About Claudia & Connectd
Claudia Stankler is the COO of Connectd, a community-driven technology platform connecting investors and advisors with leading and relevant startups. The tech startup has just entered its third year and now boasts over 1,500 thousand members across the globe.
The platform is underpinned by ‘smart matching’ technology, providing a curated community of startups based on an investor’s specific interests and investment preferences (and vice versa), alleviating many of the pain points commonly faced by founders and investors alike.
Claudia is herself a successful founder and brings keen personal insight into the challenges and opportunities for those on the platform. For women, tech startups can seem like tough gigs but Claudia proves that hard work, innovation and a thirst for learning can ensure you are ahead of the pack.
Upon graduating with a psychology degree, rather than a business management qualification, Claudia says:
“That’s when my desire to learn kicked into overdrive to ensure I broke through the glass ceiling. I’d read business books and listen to podcasts until 2am and would attend every event possible to meet people I could learn from.”
Having successfully led operations for three London-based tech startups, Claudia worked hard to overcome the experience she lacked at the start of her journey. Her attitude is characterised by a tenacity and belief that maximum effort and application will reap rewards.
Leading a small but quickly growing team means Claudia has to respond operationally in an agile way, constantly refresh Connectd’s utilisation of technology to increase productivity and deliver maximum value and support to members. Roei Samuel, founder of Connectd, explains:
“Claudia is at the sharp end of what we do, ensuring our operations grow and adapt to our ever-expanding member base. She’s brilliant at identifying new tech and digital tools we can use to drive customer experience across our network. She’s a real people-person who has time for everyone and isn’t afraid to roll her sleeves up. She’s frankly priceless.”
Claudia is a champion of Connectd’s inclusive and diverse approach to funding. Startups are judged purely on what they can offer investors, rather than limiting factors such as location, network, gender or race. Having faced discrmination on her own professional journey, Claudia is committed to democratising the investment ecosystem:
“I’m acutely aware that my journey to the senior leadership team has been different from my male counterparts. In terms of raising funds, I’ve sometimes been overlooked because of my gender. Discrimination is still rife, but it’s something we’re committed to changing”.
Women undoubtedly have it harder in business than men. Female founders received just 2.3% of VC funding in 2020 and have raised just 1% of total fintech investment in the last decade. Connectd creates a level playing field for all founders seeking investment and Claudia spearheads Connectd’s efforts on this front.
Connectd see diversity – of thought, gender, race and background – as the future of investment, and with the success they’ve experienced in just two years, it’s clear that investors and founders are onboard. The Connectd platform has been involved in over 100+ fundraises – with a number of significant rounds reaching £2 million of investment – and over 300 board appointments -. delivering great return for investors. Without Claudia, none of this would have been possible.