Across two events, June 4th and June 24th, Playfair Capital and Tech Nation hosted 800 one-on-one office hour meetings for 200 female founders with 60 VCs. It was the largest event of its kind for female founders across the UK and was hosted fully remote. Among the 200 female founder attendees, 80% of the female founders are following up with two or all of the four investors they met with. Three companies are closing a funding round since joining.
Going fully-remote, via Zoom Breakout Rooms, gave much-needed structure to the scale of 800 one-on-one meetings and allowed founders to share materials more easily. It also enabled a second event to be hosted at short notice to accommodate huge demand from another 100 founders and 30 VCs.
Female Founder Office Hours set out to address two key problems: a lack of funding and wider support for female founders in tech and a lack of access to investors, especially outside of London. It started in October 2019 with 45 female founders and 11 investors joining Playfair Capital’s offices.
Since then, the initiative has grown in response to the overwhelming demand from founders, investors and the broader ecosystem, and Playfair Capital partnered with Tech Nation and to go nationwide.
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Lauren Nicholson, Founders’ Network Lead at Tech Nation, commented: ‘We are incredibly proud of the success of the Female Founder Office Hour sessions and the amazing founders who attended across the two days as well as wanting to extend our thanks to the VCs and Business Angels who participated and gave invaluable advice. Founders’ Network is committed to supporting Playfair Capital in hosting regular future Female Founders Office Hours and supporting female founders to raise investment.’
Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital added: ‘I am delighted that our Female Founder Office Hour sessions reached so many founders and that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We recognise that the problem of access to venture remains for many founders and we are, therefore, committed to holding nationwide Female Founder Office Hours three times a year. In addition, we are offering our playbook to anybody in the ecosystem looking to hold events for underrepresented founders. So far we’ve helped support female founder initiatives in the US with Anthemis and SE Asia with Cocoon Capital. We hope there will be many more across the world in future.’
The events have inspired Anthemis, a venture investment platform, to launch Female Founder Office Hours in the US bringing together 30+ venture investors from across the US. Cocoon Capital will also be taking the initiative to South East Asia in July.
The next edition of Female Founder will be launched in September, with the event taking place in October. Once live, the event can be viewed on Playfair events page.
You can find out more about Tech Nation’s Founders’ Network and apply here.