Startup Scaleup To Bring In Female Tech Pros To Cleveland

Women are not fairly represented in the tech world. And that’s a problem – for women, of course, and for men, too.

If investors shut down women’s ideas, you miss out on what could become your favorite phone app, or a product to make your life easier. If venture capitalists don’t include women in decision making, you lose the perspective of half the market.

“The percentage of women-founded venture-backed companies globally has plateaued at approximately 17 percent since 2012,” according to Women CEOs receive about 3 percent of venture capital invested between 2011 and 2013, according to one study. That’s $1.5 billion of a $50.8 billion pot.

Women are breaking into tech fields, though, and Cleveland tech accelerator JumpStart is bringing three female tech leaders from outside the state to the 2018 Startup Scaleup Tuesday in the Gordon Square Arts District.

Startup Scaleup is an all-day festival celebrating the growth of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and showcasing local resources available to help entrepreneurs. Startup Scaleup’s 39 different workshops, panels and networking events will occur in 13 eateries, theaters and creative spaces.

You can register to attend here.

“Silicon Valley and certainly venture capital has been a boys’ club, and in a lot of ways that has left really talented women on the sidelines,” said Startup Scaleup featured speaker Monique Woodard, a San Francisco venture capitalist.

There are plenty of women with good ideas, said Gerri Kahnweiler, founding partner of the Chicago venture capital firm InvestHER, which focuses on investing in companies with at least one woman owner. She said she’s talked to more than 1,000 women entrepreneurs and invested in 13 ventures.

“We kept hearing before we started the fund there isn’t a pipeline, there just aren’t enough women out there who are creating businesses,” Kahnweiler said. “And we have proven that so wrong.”

What are the hurdles for women in tech? Shatter spoke to the three women featured as Startup Scaleup speakers. Here’s what they had to say.

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