On Thursday 6th May 2021, Playfair Capital and 90 of the world’s leading venture capital funds, including Atomico, Creandum, Dawn, Balderton, EQT, Notion, LocalGlobe, Partech and Sequoia will be holding remote office hours for 250+ women founders from across Europe.
Dispensing with the need for warm introductions and breaking down the barriers to investment, each founder will have the opportunity to meet four investors during one hour of remote office hours to discuss their tech business idea, ask for advice, pitch for investment or find a mentor.
The event is being held jointly by Playfair Capital, Tech Nation and Google for Startups. The previous four editions saw a total of 2,000 individual mentoring sessions with 490 founders and 105 investors taking part. To date, 18% of founders have gone on to raise funding after attending an event, with success stories including Organise, SideQuest, Paid, Freyda and Juno.
This fifth event is part of a long term commitment to redress the gender balance in fundraising and sees the initiative expand to European founders and utilise AI matching technology between founders and investors to further optimise funding outcomes from the event.
Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital, commented: “When we launched Female Founder Office Hours in November 2019, we never imagined that we would be launching a European event in collaboration with such incredible partners like Tech Nation and Google for Startups. The support from the ecosystem has been incredible and we are hugely grateful to all the investors who have thrown their weight behind this event. Starting to hear some of the success stories from previous events is incredibly exciting and early proof that by collaborating at scale and taking a long term view we can really make an impact.”
Jeevan Sunner, Associate at Playfair Capital, added: “Data from the previous four editions of Female Founder Office Hours is hugely encouraging ; 95% of investors kept in contact with one or more founder post-event and 18% of founders that attend go on to raise funding but there’s more we can do. With the support of Google for Startups, Edition V will be the first D&I initiative in the venture capital space that uses AI matching between founders and investors to optimise funding outcomes. We’re excited to see the impact this will have and will be reporting results in the following months.”
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Lauren Nicholson, Community Lead at Tech Nation, commented: “It’s been a hugely rewarding experience to be involved in Female Founder Office Hours and see the success continue to build after each edition. The fact that several attendees have gone on to raise funding directly from the events and many more have received valuable feedback is a testament to how fundamental it is to provide a space and offer the opportunity to make connections between female founders and VCs.
Moving forward, the use of our AI matching tool, will enable us to provide a great level of support and networking opportunities which in turn will optimise outcomes and enable us to support even more female founded teams on their growth journeys.”
Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK, commented: ‘There’s a substantial body of research showing that diverse management teams bring superior returns and are more capital efficient. It’s shocking then that still about 90% of all VC funding in Europe goes to all male teams, and only one Black woman in the last 10 years managed to raise Series A+ funding. Initiatives like this one are critical to level the playing field for women founders, to include women in the wealth creation opportunities that tech brings, and to ensure that tech is built for everyone — so it can work for everyone.’
To extend the impact beyond the UK, Playfair has also been making its playbook available to any other fund who wants to hold events for underrepresented founders. To date, women founder focused events have been held in the US with Anthemis, Diversity VC and Ladies Who Launch and Southeast Asia with Cocoon Capital and Click Ventures. Other events we have supported include: Access All for BAME founders with Floww, Force Over Mass and Wayra UK in the UK; Ask Me Anything with Grove Ventures in Israel; and Founders Labs with the Kansas City University Venture Fund.