The Ongoing Issue of Funding Women Entrepreneurs
There have been persistent discussions in the entrepreneurship and technology spaces in the past several years about the need to increase funding for women-led startups.
However, an increase in the actual numbers and dollars isn't exactly being realized outside of a handful of high-profile cases.
With that in mind, most of us can agree that funding more women entrepreneurs is important and seems to be supported philosophically, but there are clear hurdles that are keeping it from being realized and actualized.
This panel will discuss the current state of investing in women-led startups and why it's important to do so, and point to some of the existing problems and solutions.
We feel it's important for everyone - male or female - to join in this conversation.
As publisher, Christine Osekoski is responsible for driving the brand management and leadership of Fast Company’s advertising sales, promotions and marketing. She has been with Fast Company since 2006 serving progressively as advertising director, associate publisher and publisher. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in the title’s reinvigoration following the brand’s purchase by Morningstar’s Joe Mansueto in 2005.
Since Osekoski became publisher in 2007, Fast Company has been named to AdWeek’s Hot list three consecutive years (2008 – 2010) and once to AdAge’s A List in 2008. She was also named one of MIN’s 21 Most Intriguing People. Before joining Fast Company, Osekoski was eastern advertising director for Car and Driver and Road & Track at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. and prior to that, she was the integrated sales and marketing director at Parade magazine. She also held positions of Midwest account manager at Parade, and account executive at DDB/Chicago.
Valley Girl Inc
Jesse Draper is creator and host of “The Valley Girl Show” and CEO of Valley Girl, Inc. She has produced and distributed over 200 interviews with some of the greatest minds in business, entertainment, government and technology including; Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, MC Hammer and Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google. Valley Girl has been called “Must see startup TV” by USA Today.
Previously a Nickelodeon star, Draper has used her comedic and acting talents to bring an approachable feel to the business world. Through Valley Girl, she has helped pioneer the way in the digital media world and has created a new distribution model for online shows. Recently named “The Tech World’s Queen of Networking” by GENTRY Magazine, Jesse recently founded a women in business organization in association with Valley Girl which holds exclusive quarterly events across the country for cross industry networking and support of women in business. Draper is also an angel investor through her fund, Valley Girl Ventures where she does early stage seed investing in startups that have a female in the founding team. Jesse splits time between Silicon Valley and Santa Monica and is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.
Draper is a regularly featured speaker on digital media, women in business and entrepreneurship at business conferences around the world, including; SXSW, DLD, TEDx, TechVentures and Universities such as Stanford and the University of Edinburgh. She is also a regular contributor to such news sites at Mashable, Forbes.com, Huffington Post and Glam.
W2O Group Center For Social Commerce/The Newhouse School At Syracuse University
Kate is the Director of the W2O Group Center for Social Commerce at Syracuse University's Newhouse School and President of Girls in Tech, a global non-profit for women in technology and entrepreneurship.
She's also Founder of Other Side Group, an integrated marketing and communications firm and runs marketing and communications for StartFast, a startup accelerator program based in Syracuse NY.
She led university-wide efforts in digital and social media at Syracuse University for two year and has been heavily involved in the regional, national and international startup spaces for many years.
She holds an MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University. My focus…mmmm…foci were Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization and Security Studies. She also has BAs in Political Science and History from the University of Rochester.
When she's not doing all of that, she's a very non-professional musician and very non-professional athlete, loves a great glass of bubbly or craft brew, being outdoors – hiking, biking, sailing, skiing, whatever – and do a little hops farming with her husband.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Megan is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where she focuses on consumer Internet investments. She specializes in designing, building and scaling transformative consumer products and companies.
Megan joined KPCB from Square, the company revolutionizing payments for buyers and sellers. As Square’s director of products she led strategy and development of the company’s products across merchant and consumer audiences.
Prior to that, Megan spent seven years at Google where she held various leadership positions in communications, business development and product management. She oversaw the development and marketing of some of the company’s most successful products, including Google Maps. Her team’s work continues to serve as the foundation for Google’s location-based consumer and advertising products.
Megan also previously worked at Genentech. She received her degree in political science and history from Stanford University.