This podcast is made with love by 50inTech, a worldwide network built for and by Women in Tech, welcoming all allies. A short and practical format to unlock the tech industry and make it move for real! We are talking about women in tech success stories, actionable advice to break through career or business and best practices to improve diversity and inclusion in tech. --- 50inTech connects women in tech and their allies to make a better tech. Sign up now (it's free)www.50intech.com
> The reason and mission of the book
In the podcast, Claire tells us how she grew up into tech as her father was an engineer. "When I grew up I thought a computer had no gender," she said. But society bias and inequality later taught her otherwise: she felt a distance between technology and women and, as a journalist, she started looking into the hidden stories of women in tech to bring them back into the light.
The more she was looking into these stories, the more she realized there were hundreds of women who made fundamental contributions to the internet, as important as Steve Job's ones. This is how the idea of her book was born, from the sense of solidarity across history that can bring women in tech together today.
> The importance of history in tech
But how did history forget about the key role women played in technology?
Internet is the culprit. At the very beginning of the computer industry, before the 70s, programming was seen as women's work, a mix between mental and labour work. Only with the rise of modern computing, as a real business that makes people earn money, programming became a valuable and desirable job. This is when women started to be pushed out.
At the same time, women who were actually working and making progress didn't have the time to write about their accomplishments, and even when they had the opportunity to do so, they didn't feel empowered enough to underline their achievements and ask for recognition. This is a recurring theme that often works as a barrier to gender equality. A barrier we need to demolish.
Claire underlines how learning history and understanding it is fundamental to make progress, especially in the technology industry, where we are so projected towards the future and we forget so quickly about the past. But we should never forget that looking at past mistakes helps us to challenge the status quo and really make a change.
> The role of men in the tech industry
This is what Claire's book aims for: educating people in the tech industry or not and empowering women by giving them a sense of belonging and pride. But the book is not for women only: men in the tech industry are in a position of power and they should be the first ones to read about women in tech to gain a new perspective about diversity in the industry and hire and promote more women in the ranks.
> The importance of diversity
Diversity is key, it brings new ideas, it builds software made for everyone, it provides inclusion, it avoids bias and exclusion.
The software is as important as the hardware, but it is easily forgotten because it's not visible and it's far behind the machines we use every day. We should never forget that the human side and the personalities of people brings a lot to the table: 75 of the exact same personality is not going to build great things and it's ridiculous to reject someone which doesn't fit the culture. Culture is fluid.
Hi, my name is Seb Butt and I work for a fast growing start-up called Craft, as their General Manager for Europe. In addition I am an investor and a non-executive director at boutique executive search firm Engage Infotech. I am an advocate of organisations of all forms, types and in all industries making systemic changes which can lead to opportunities for everyone.
This interest led me to join Diversity VC back in 2016 as a volunteer and I still work with Diversity VC now and most recently, in fact this past summer, I helped to launch the Future VC programme.
The Future VC programme is the first of its kind globally and we brought together 30 people from diverse backgrounds who had a desire to learn more about venture capital as a potential career.
Today I will talk about the importance of diversity within Venture Capital specifically, but much of the rationale can be applied to any industry, and in the second half of the podcast I will share a few tips that you can start to use today to make your place of work or industry a more inclusive and diverse place to be.
Broadly speaking some of the fastest growing businesses in the past 20 years have been huge technology companies and many of these have leveraged venture capital funding in order to hit growth milestones and ultimately become successful. It is accurate to say that VC investors take on high risks to put money behind new ideas.
However, whilst VC might be the dynamic and exciting subset of the private equity industry, the industry is still lagging behind others across the board when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Diversity VC was set up in 2016. It is a non-profit which is focused on diversity of thought within venture capital and by extension within the start-up ecosystem. One powerful impact of Diversity VC has been its ability to evoke debate but Diversity VC is also very keen to implement practical strategies to make a difference and one of these practical efforts was this past summer when we launched Future VC which is a programme to support highly-skilled professionals and graduates from diverse backgrounds into the UK VC landscape. (...)
We understand that many firms are breaking with well-worn hiring habits. Some firms that volunteered to take on an intern from Future VC had not hired any interns before. We want firms to understand that talent is evenly distributed and, so far, opportunity has not been. We’re also keen for them to understand that they don’t need to undergo huge upheaval to reap the benefits of this untapped talent, and in fact, just a small few procedural tweaks are required.
I am now going to offer you 4 of tips and ideas about ways you can either use to position yourself better to get a job in VC, or a job full-stop!
Tip 1 - Research everything and everyone
Tip 2 - Network with a purpose
Tip 3 - Connect with people
Tip 4 - Deep dive into a subject
Thanks so much for having me on 50inTech podcast.
Diversity VC and I are very aligned with the goals and ambitions of 50inTech and I am excited to be on the platform. The practical nature of 50inTech is perfect and I would encourage everyone to use it and be involved in this community.
Only by working together collaboratively across industries, across companies and across communities we can have a positive change.I believe 50inTech will be a valid contributor enabling women to involve in technology.
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Hi, I’m Check Warner, I’m the co-founder & CEO of Diversity VC. Diversity VC is non-profit set up to promote diversity and inclusion in venture capital in tech. We collect original data, we help young people to get into the industry from all kinds of background through our internship program, we help VCs turning more inclusive and we help entrepreneurs to access capital. And it’s our mission to make venture capital representative and diverse to represent the society that we invest into.
So the advice I wanted to give today is how you, as a founder of an early-stage company, make your company inclusive from day zero.
We at Diversity VC published with Atomico a guide to build inclusion into your company and ut us available at inclusionintech.com (...)
The second piece of advice is prioritizing it, and reading around why diversity and inclusion really matter. One ressource I’d highly recommend is Fearless Future. It’s a great website which aggregates lots of really important writing on diversity and inclusion.
The third piece of advice is about hiring. It’s really easy when you are an early-stage company to just look within your existing network to hire the first 5 to 10 employees, but that’s going to lead you to developing a really homogeneous employee base. So think about hiring outside of your network. One tool that we have used which I really recommend is called Applied, and what they do is an applicant tracking tool which you can use to (...) source candidates from outside your typical networks.
The fourth piece of advice is about (...) how do you actually make sure that they feel included on a day to day basis. So that’s about having a dialogue where people feel like they can talk about which issues they are facing and bring themselves, their whole selves, to work. So, as part of that it is really important to think about things like parental leave policies, flexible working policies, religious beliefs, and different needs that each member of your company might have.
Finally, none of this would be effective unless you constantly revisit it. It’s not something that you can do once, and then shut the book and never look at it again. It is really important to collect data on what’s going on in your company, use feedback and survey tools like Typeform (...) and then also collect data on the wrong things like the gender pay gap, the equity pay gap, ethnicity pay gap (...)
So one thing I think companies don’t explore enough, which we have been promoting for Diversity VC, is actually using interns. Internships are a fantastic way to bring in diversity of thought into your company without having to make a commitment to necessarily hiring people (...) So think about whether you can offer an internship program, maybe during the summer, and make sure that the interns that you bring in are as diverse and representative as possible (...)
I was delighted to accept the 50inTech invitation to record this podcast. Our mission with DIversity VC is about making entrepreneurship more accessible and inclusive and that’s extremely aligned with what 50inTech are doing. I’m really excited to see what they are building and excited to join all of you on the community of 50inTech. Please do tell your friends about it and encourage other people and spread the word.
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Hey I'm Kim Walsh Global VP of HubSpot for Startups. (...) We partner with VCs, incubators, basically all startup organizations, and our mission is to help millions of startups grow better.
So we started this, HubSpot for Startups, three years ago. The team is a global team now, we help over 10,000 startup customers. We love to empower all types of companies, and we think that's really important, but we really love to support our female founders as well. (...)
What we see happen so often in sales is that marketing is dominated by women typically in companies, but sales positions are dominated by men. What happens and why I'm the executive sponsor of a woman in sales group, is that we feel it's really important to empower women to have a career in sales.
From a financial perspective having a career in sales gives women opportunities. One of the things that also happens in our women in sales group that I actually hate to see happen, I spent a lot of my time trying to help women is, they’ll get to a certain point in their career they'll graduate college, they’ll come in as an entry level sales person, they’ll do really well, often times they are the top performers on their team, and then what happens from there is they say: “I really love customers, I want to go to work with customers, I want to join the customer success team.” (...)
So what we do is we try and change the landscape of what is sales. Sales isn’t going out drinking every night with your buddies. Sales isn’t closing deals on a golf course. Sales is actually talking to a customer, understanding what the customer's pain points are, understanding how you can help them. (...)
So, if you frame sales, to a woman who’s doing well in sales and let her know that she can actually have a great career, and provide for her family over time. Also, in sales you have a ton of flexibility. I've seen this happen over time, where they’ve dealt themselves because they want to do a career change into something that seems a little bit more safe and they stay in sales and they've actually gone on to do really really well.
So it's really cool and those women are empowering other women. What I think has to happen inside sales and marketing too, that is really important, is that women need examples of people who have done it before. (...)
So what I think about today's world is that so many of us women are sick of our voices being quieter, you know we need to have a platform so many other women are giving us a platform, that we want to be heard, and we can collectively come together and help each other. I think that's happening in today's world as well. (...)
My few key things of advice for anyone out there looking to get into, you know, maybe you're looking to leave marketing, and go into sales, or maybe you're looking to build a career in what we call a “go to market function”.
1/ Be a good listener, be empathetic, love helping people
2/ Put more women in CRO roles, give them a seat at the table, give them a platform
3/ Put more women in leadership positions, put more women in C level positions
In conclusion, I'm really excited and thank you for allowing me to be on this podcast today and talk about something that I'm so passionate about. I accept the 50inTech’s mission, I support it in building a community for women, and building an inclusive platform, this is what the world needs right now, at a really cool time. (...)
Let's continue the conversation and I guess be passionate together, because the more of us that can do this together, the more we can help other people.
Hello, I am Amy Lewin. I'm a journalist at Sifted which is a new media platform backed by the Financial Times. At Sifted, I write about startups and tech across the whole of Europe. Although, I have a particular interest in what I call “the people side of companies” (...)
Today, I am talking about how to catch a journalist's attention.
So, journalists get a whole lot of emails. I get dozens if not hundreds of pictures and press releases every single day. And it's rare that I even bother opening them. Unless I know or trust the person who's sending them to me or, unless they have a really, really, great subject line which I'll talk about a little bit later on.
If you're trying to get media attention, I realize that's not what you want to hear. But don't worry because I have some tips about how to capture a journalist's eye.
Number one, you have to pick your journalist. There are lots of journalists out there and we all are interested in different things. You need to figure out which journalists are going to be most interested in you and your company. (...)
Next, think about if they write about your sector. (...) Do they write about companies and people in a way that you would like to be written about? (...) Think about what kind of stories they write. (...) Finally, also think about whether or not they write for a publication or work for a media outlet that your target customers, investors or potential hires actually read. (...)
Next thing to do is to follow them. (...) You can go to events that they speak at, try and say hello afterwards. But, please do not pitch them your company there and then. (...) Sign up to their newsletters, follow them on social media, a bit of flattery never goes a miss. (...)
Next thing to do is to get out there yourself. So, you can also make it easier for journalists to find you rather than you hunting them down. The first thing to do is to speak at events. (...)
You can also (...) write things. So write things, tweet things, set yourself up as a thought leader. (...) Show that there are certain things that you really care about and you're an expert on. (...) And then when a journalist is looking for someone to speak to on those issues, your name will probably come up.
The next thing to do is to make friends with journalists. So, treat that relationship as you would treat any relationship. If you give to them, you might expect to get back. So, be helpful. (...)
If you can't actually meet them in person though, then you'll probably need to resort to the dreaded pitch email. (...) The first thing, if you're emailing a journalist out of the blue, is to write a really sexy subject line. (...) Then in the main body of the email, make sure that you explain what your company does in really simple language. (...)
Include useful information like, when your company was founded, how much money you've raised, how big your team is. So that the journalist has to do less hard work there. Make sure the email is short though. Be funny, show some personality. Include links and assets. (...)
And then finally, be available. Some journalists work to really tight deadlines. So you need to be able to speak to them that day straight away if they’re interested.
I'm very excited to be joining the 50inTech community. If you want any advice on speaking to the media, storytelling, how to catch a journalist's attention or even how to, kind of, network and connect with people more broadly in the world of startups, then find me on the platform.
We recorded this special femtech episode in partnership with our pioneer partner, Axa. Hello, my name is Ariella Dreyfuss, I am originally from England. I moved to Israel around 14 years ago and I am a partner in the M&A department of Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co. law firm. I’ve been working as a lawyer in the high-tech space for over 10 years, during which time I have represented startups, mature tech companies, VC funds, corporate ventures and private equity funds. One of my soft spots has always been MedTech and I am delighted by the recent traction and attention that FemTech is receiving.
So today I am going to speak briefly about FemTech: what it is, why I think it’s important, what are some of the early challenges, and offer you some tips.
So what is FemTech?
Let me start by saying what it isn’t: we are not talking about male or unisex products that have been shrunk in size, painted pink and remarketed for women. FemTech is essentially a palatable term for VC men to describe tech products and services in the space of female health, including periods, menopause, fertility, breastfeeding, incontinence, contraception (...).
Why is iT important that FemTech receives attention?
Because we live in a world where there is one size, and it doesn’t fit all, it fits men. I believe that the statistics are that on average, smartphones are 5.5 inches too big for women’s hands (...). Women are also hugely underrepresented in clinical trials, so drugs are designed for men (...).
Right now only 4% of tech investment in life sciences are aimed for women’s health tech solutions, so I think it is obvious that this imbalance needs to be readdressed.
What are the early challenges for male and female founders in the space?
Well, one of the main challenges is funding, and one aspect here is gender: gender of the founders, and gender of the investors. With respect to the founders, FemTech has predominantly female founders. This is largely due to personal experience (...). In other words, women identify the pain in FemTech, the problem that needs to be solved, but female founders are underfunded compared to male founders. For example, in 2018, female led startups in the US received just 2.2% of the $130 billion in VC funding that was available.
Now, with respect to the money man, a colossal 94% of decision-makers in US venture capital firms are men, and it’s difficult to raise financing from someone who does not understand the problem and is uncomfortable by the still somewhat taboo subject matter. Writers write what they know, entrepreneurs innovate what they know, and venture capitalists fund what they know.
Another challenge is the legal landscape: healthcare, which includes both digital products and medical devices is highly regulated (...).
So what are my tips?
1/ Do your homework
2/ Find the appropriate fit
3/ If you are pitching to a woman, first tell a story and wait for the nod
4/ If you are pitching to a male venture capitalist, focus on the money
5/ Emphasize the power of the female driven economy
6/ If you are developing a digital app, leverage the general trend towards digital health
7/ If you receive a snarky comment about being a women, emphasize the profitability of female leadership
8/ Don’t forget the ask
I am very happy to be part of the 50inTech community and to help empower and support women in tech. Please feel free to reach out and speak to me by the platform.
Hi I’m Maren Bannon, I'm the co-founder of Jane VC. Jane is a new fund to invest in early stage female lead startups in Europe in the U.S.
Before moving to Europe and starting Jane, I spent my career as an operator in San Francisco. I worked at large tech companies, startups, and I was also a founder. At university I studied engineering, and over and over again I was surrounded by rooms full of men. I got the idea of starting Jane from my experience as a woman in tech, and recognizing the huge untapped potential of female founders. I want the technology being built to be as diverse as the people on this planet.
Today I want to give founders actionable advice on how to cold pitch a VC.
60% of VCs are white men who went to Stanford or Harvard. If you went to one of these schools, chances are you have a warm connection. If you're one of the other 7 billion people in the world you likely don't have this network, but you still may be building something incredible. This is why we started Jane VC: we decided to let anyone cold pitch us because we believe that access to venture capital should depend on what you're building, not who you know, or, where you went to school. I'm personally a huge believer in cold emailing, calling, pitching. I've gotten jobs, made friends, and acclimated to new countries this way. There's something magical about the way a cold intro inserts you into a new network, and broaden the people that you interact with.
So today, I'm going to give some actionable advice about how to cold pitch a VC.
Tip #1: tailor the email to the person you're trying to reach. VCs are inundated with emails and impersonal emails are very obvious, so when you're writing to a VC take the time to research that particular investor and explain why you think they would be interested. Have they made investments in adjacent industries? Do they have a past role at a company your competitive sat? Is there something unique about the way they think about the world that you think would resonate?
Tip #2: nail you're one liner. This is the old elevator pitch, it's still highly relevant. You need to be able to describe your business in a ten second elevator ride. You should be able to describe who you are, what makes you unique, and what you offer, in one simple sentence. Until you can automatically and succinctly explain the heart of what you do this quickly you'll be wasting your time pitching anyone. (...)
Tip #3: list bullet points on your traction. This could be users or revenue numbers, notable customers, advocates, angel investors with relevant industry expertise. A bulleted list makes these bragging points easy to skim and gives VCs a quick overview of who you are and why you matter.
Tip #4: make sure to explain why YOU. In this initial pitch you should have a brief description of your founding team. Make this easy to skim, again, highlight which parts of your background make you the ideal people to run this business.
Tip #5: include and ask. Be explicit, why are you contacting this VC? Are you trying to raise a seed round? Are you simply looking for advice? Be very clear about what you're asking for.
Tip #6: include the right materials. Your letter can be very brief to a VC, but make sure to include more information in case it is something that's interesting to them. This could be a deck or a one pager about your company. You could attach it as a PDF with compressed photos, or a link like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Thanks for having me on this episode today, I'm really excited about 50inTech’s mission of reaching gender equality in the tech industry. It's very aligned with what we're doing at Jane.
Hi my name is Alison Murdock, and I am the Chief Marketing Officer at SocialChorus. We’re a work force communications platform that helps organizations connect and engage everyone in their work force and I am based in San Francisco, California. I've worked in Silicon Valley and here in Europe with many startups over the last 20 years, helping them find their super powers and winning.
Having worked a long time in Silicon Valley, I often get asked about the “bro culture” and “How do you manage that?”. With the exception of my own business which I've had for 7 years, I'm often the single woman on the executive team. It's not the most comfortable thing, but I work to be direct and not put up with bullshit. Because bullshit really sucks.
But, I'm really here today to talk to you about how to build and scale your B2B brand.
(...) Building a B2B brand it’s just as important, and the key difference is that you're appealing to a business person or group that is looking for you to solve a problem; they don't actually make snap decisions and actually they're happy to take a free trial. So, this poses a real challenge to build a brand that is differentiated. What is the same with consumer brands is how you look, and how your product works, and whether you're meeting the promise that you've offered to your customers. This is just as important for B2B companies. Customers want to believe that you can deliver. It's never too early to think about your B2B brand, because you own it, and you can cultivate it, and scale it, and win.
There are three things you need to do to build your B2B brand and it feels like B2C... But remember, we're all buyers who are biased: we make judgments, and we feel an emotional connection to the brand. Just like in our everyday lives with any consumer product we use.
1/ The first thing I would suggest is “write your narrative”. (...)
2/ The next thing to think about is the experience: you have to design the experience. (...)
3/ You get to design this, and you also get to talk about what you believe, this is the third thing. Be vocal. (...)
Now, how do you scale? It comes down to taking your brand to market and their three strategic ways to scale that B2B companies can do really easily.
1/ One is content marketing. How do you promote your narrative and your beliefs to your target audience? Your company has a story you can craft an editorial calendar and build thought leadership around what you do. (...)
2/ You can also use PR. PR simply amplifies everything you've done in content marketing and your research might be interesting to a journalist, you never know. (...)
3/ Finally, sales and marketing, so bringing your ethos to prospective customers. They've read about you and now they want to meet you, so your sales people need to be trained about how to talk about your company and what to say. (...)
(...) Marketing also needs to align with your brand. I know first hand how much there is to do in marketing, every single day, and it's really hard. Things can really go off brand; especially in all of the channels and all of the formats that you're producing. But it's up to your entire team in your entire company to: promote the brand, scale it, and be consistent. If it stops working, then, everyone's on board to make the change.
I am Jade LeMaitre, I am the CTO of Hease Robotics. Originally, I have a background in engineering before I completely fell in love with robotics. That's why three years ago I decided to team up with Max my co-founder, and start Hease. It is a robotics company, our mission is to have businesses to use air ride driven robotics
Today I am here to share something important for me to the 50inTech community, and that is: “as engineers we have the unique ability to build the future you want so, and my mission is, and always was to: put robots in the public where they can solve everyday problems and inspire people like you and me.
We as women, have the unique responsibility to take back this field that was quite dominated by men and make the most: out of our experience, our values, our strength, our resilience. That's not quite an easy task, and I learned a lot of things over the past three years and that's what I wanted to share with the community today.
The first one is, when you have a technological role, or a management for a technical team, you have to have a technical background. It matters because you deal with big technological product, so you have to stay up to date: you have to network with your peers, you have to attend conferences, and read academic papers.
The second advice, will be about the posture of a few women in a technological field. You see in France there are fewer than 1 in 4 engineers that that women. Also, I'm starting to be known in my field; business people still frequently ask to speak with Monsieur LeMaitre. They always mistakenly assume that I am a man, and I struggled with that since the beginning, so that's three years. So no matter how much of an expert in your field you are, no matter how big is the company you are growing; you have to prove yourself ten times and you have to be ready for that so we remain.
It's important to be prepared. Technology is not the only key, non-technical skills also matter, and that's my third advice. Learning non-technical skills will help you understand the challenges that are faced by your startup.
You are a founder, you are not building the technology, you are building a product; understand the ecosystem behind that. You're building a product for customers so you have to understand the fields: marketing, sales, finance; as well. So you are knowledgeable in these fields and you choose the right people to work with you. It will help you to spread the problems early on, and that is something I learned quite early. So my advice would be either you gain this knowledge by yourself or you surround yourself with knowledgeable people that share your values and will help you grow. And when I look back three years ago, I see that the knowledge that was missing for me was, finance. I had no clue about financing a startup, about how you grow a company. I think that was my biggest mistake.
Shares are not a problem when everything is going well in your company. But your voice has to matter, especially when things are not going the way you want them to be.The journey of an entrepreneur is like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs everyday. So you have to be prepared for the downs, much better than you are prepared for the up.
My last advice and recommendation would be: to not do it on your own. You have to find a partner that will have complementary skills to you. Being a single founder is hard, being two founders is less hard.The survival statistics of companies founded by two people is much higher, and much better. A technical person & a non technical one. This raises the statistics and the chances of your startup to survive
I'm Ian McDonald, CTO of residents at Microsoft for startups in Western Europe. Today I want to talk about how we can help women, & how we can help introverts to really flourish in the startup ecosystem. So I want to talk about, you know why we are doing away with pitching and how there are practical steps to make you better.One thing that we’ve found here at Microsoft is that pitch deck don’t really work.
A pitch deck is a short presentation outlining the business plan for a start up. In the startup world this has often being used as a convenient way for VCs to judge who they should accept and incubators or accelerators to judge who they should help. These pitches are delivered by the founders and they can be given as little as three minutes to talk about their company which means that you often been judged on your skill as a new rater.
What pitch decks do is tell you who's good at selling, and we don't want to know who's good at selling, we want to know who's good at building so wherever possible we're actually doing away with the concept of pitch decks when we invite people to join our program we send them out a questionnaire so they can fill it out from there on time in their own way, and then when people come into the office what we do is we have a series of meetings with them and we just sat there and awesome to tell about the product tell us about the background we don't let them use slides we just get them to actually talk to us, and what we find is that we find people who are passionate about their products, who understand how to build their products, and help I understand their markets, so what do you want to do?
Do you want to find somebody who is a big sales person or do you want somebody who has a big startups?
So when we’ve tried this approach what we’ve discovered is that we’ve seen quite a different range of people coming into our programs of the people that we're able to help. We’re able to help those said the introverts. Women are more likely to apply because they are not having to sell themselves in a masculine way. With finding that older people are applying and the statistics simply show that we knew you include women, when you have older people, when you have introverts, you actually have some higher success rates with startups. All the statistics show that the diverse founders massively increases the profitability of startups and we've certainly found that ourselves.
Recently and now I only for good intake that we ran we had a company called ThermaFY that the woman leading it was a woman in her fifties she is quite shy and she wasn't sure about even applying and then we actually sat down and had a check to her and she was very open, was able to express her product extremely well. Well and then she got to the end of it and she said: “ Okay when do i do my pitch?” and I said: “you don't have to do pitch, we talked about, you’ve actually explained your product very well and we actually want to take you on board”
And she was totally amazed at this difference because it had empowered her to come into our cohort and to build her company. And she would never have been accepted under a traditional approach and now she's doing amazing things.
Initially we did this because we didn't have time to listen to all the pictures and we introduced a form for people to fill in and then when we introduce the form we accidentally discovered that actually increased the range of people that we wanted to talk to because what was coming through in the form was actually quite different when people just came in and gave a three minute pitch on a PowerPoint.
Hello ! My name is Dr. Vanessa Marcie, I'm the CEO and founder of “Leading With Humour”, a change management consultancy company. I have an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School where I lead workshops and I did a research on the impact of humour in leadership. That research has been picked up by the Financial Times and published in 2018. With the success of this research, people started to ask me to lead workshops in their company. So I've left my job for the City of London in order to dedicate my time to help leaders all over the world to use humour to their advantage and to change companies' DNA with humour.
I work a lot with financial industries and in tech. Why? Because it's male-dominated. I have entrepreneurs in my workshop who share stories about how difficult it is for women to be in a male-dominated environment and to support everyday male humour. For example, a web developer in one of my workshops shared that in his company it's mainly male and the only woman is the HR. And the HR actually left the company because she was tired to hear everyday jokes about the fact that she was a woman. For example, one day she was in the kitchen and one of the guys told her: " Oh, you found your spot ! A woman should always be in the kitchen". So examples like that, that's what people are sharing with me during the workshop.
And what I tell them, I give them 5 tips to use humour.
First of all, you have to know your audience. That's something that nobody really does, when they are talking to people, especially when they are using humour. We all have been in a presentation where the boss or the colleague is using like a funny image and it's falling completely flat because nobody is laughing because it's not targeted to the right public. If you do public speaking, you know that. But you have to be mindful of who you have in front of you. You have to take information about the people before using humour in order to not hurt anybody who is in your audience.
You have to laugh at yourself. So, I know I said that self defeating humour is an aggressive type of humour. But the higher you are in the hierarchy, the best you can use laughing at yourself because it's making you human, it's making you approachable. That's something that women often use but they use it in the wrong situation. They often try to cover up a tiny mistake using self-defeating humour. For example, I've done a presentation or I'm sorry I'm blond or whatever, you know, you are trying to cover up something that men would never spot anyway. So you are making a big fuss of something and you are putting yourself down in front of your peers and your hierarchy when you shouldn't do that you should just move on.
Be mindful of others. As I said, humour should be kind, humour should be positive, humour should be about gathering people around a subject you can all laugh about together, not laughing at people.
Appear in control. When there is a crisis, the first thing that goes away usually is your sense of humour. So think about it, if you use humour in a difficult situation, that actually shows that you are in control of the situation.
And be ready, which is the most important thing when you are a woman. You have to be ready, you have to have a ready comeback in your pocket that you can use in a difficult situation. We all have been victims or we all have examples of a difficult situation and usually it's the same joke, the same thing that is coming back over and over again. So you can be prepared, you can actually look online for comedians that have covered the subject and comedians all over the world have covered every possible subject. And you can use one of their jokes, you can adapt it, you can learn it by heart. And you can use it in a situation which is coming back to you.
I am Clementine Piazza, the CEO and solo founder of InMemori. I created InMemori 3 years ago to support one of the hardest moments in life: the loss of a loved one. So, we've all lost someone we love. It's the hardest time for families because they have to share the sad news with many people near and far and that takes so much effort.
And friends want to pay their respect but they are afraid to disturb, even to ask where to send flowers. That's why I created InMemori, an online space for family and friends to gather, celebrate and remember.
Today I would like to share my pitch experience because the pitch is the first step to create interest around your project. You have to convince, you have to convince all the time customers, investors, team members. And entrepreneurs spend their time pitching in meetings, in conference, on vacation and in the elevator of course. So it's very important to know how you can heat and swim in it because then magical things can come on your way.
So how do I do? To convince I have three golden rules.
The first one, of course, always, is to be sincere, to speak with your heart and to love your project. Because the first things that humans will feel are the emotions you will give them.
The second thing: it's very, very important to know the person in front of you. Before a meeting, I always study who my audience is. So when I meet people, I like to know what their professional and personal stakes are, what their drivers are, and how can my project response to them. Before I pitch, before I have to convince, I spend one hour studying the background of my interlocutors, also listening to them talk in videos, and like that I am not surprised and I can adapt my message to the context.
The third golden rule is to be attentive. When you convince, the questions that you are asked, the doubt also that is opposed to you, are so many clues to convincing. I always say to my team: when after a pitch a person shows you their doubt, this is very good news. Because that means that first: they are involved and second: they give you the material sought to find the right answers to convince them in the end.
Do you know how I got my second business contract in the US? I accepted to participate in a pitch competition in New York. So I took the plane and I pitched an agent of investors and businesswomen and businessmen. And at the end of the pitch, I met a person who is part of a big insurance company and I dealt my second business contract. It was amazing, because in 5 minutes only, in 5 minutes of convincing and pitching, I got a deal and it would have taken me like eight months to get it otherwise. So I have two advice for women. First, don't hesitate to participate in pitch competitions, you never know what happens and of course master your pitch.
Why do I believe in 50inTech to make the women ecosystem grow? Because thanks to the platform, we can share, we can be together. And I am sure that sisterhood, in the end, will make the difference and will help us break the glass ceiling. So I am more than happy to be part of the platform because I can learn from amazing women, I can get valuable advice and of course I am here to help you as well. So join me on the 50inTech platform to get advice about how to pitch of course, but also how to build a team, how to raise funds, how to build your company when you are a solo founder.
I'm Claire Calmejane, I am the Chief Innovation Officer of Société Générale. But way before that, I graduated as an IT engineer in France. It's been an interesting journey always working in digital transformation. I've also published at MIT about how big organizations are evolving, I’ve led engineer teams, I’ve worked in a lot of strategic jobs. And all this diversity, as well as giving some of my time to transform the Fintech sector in the UK, but as well building the Fintech community across the world, have led me to this position in Société Générale today. Working alongside Frédéric Oudéa on how we move Société Générale to be one of the most innovative Banks in Europe.
What I want to share is 3 tips that have probably made my career.
1/ Work your authenticity. When I look back at my career, at the last 16 years I've worked as a consultant for 7 years. My senior bosses told me: you really need to work in your authenticity, keep it and make it to the profit of our clients. And to some extent you know as a very junior consultant and you also have to deliver, be targeted and it's a job where you are selling assignments, so people also want to to be rendered, be lean and etc.
And I believe that standing for myself, standing from my personality, I've probably made a big difference for later. And that's not always an easy choice to make because sometimes you are surrounded by your environment and it's hard to put yourself in other shoes and say this is really what I want to do. You have influence in different ways. So I think working in this authenticity is critical.
2/ Be curious and be enthusiastic about what you do. I always consider a job is what you do, day in and day, out to serve the purpose of the strategy of the company you’re working for being a startup or being a large company. And there is a lot of ways that you will explore that may be not related directly to your job that can to help you to build that.
That's what made a big difference. Being interested by that or being interested to really support some of the fintech that were there or some of the accelerators made a difference about the perception but also my ability because I ended up to just enjoy everything I do. A lot of time people say: oh, your work on a Saturday morning. but for me I don't "work", you know, I learn, I love it because I'm curious and because I always maintain this state of mind.
3/ Build around you a network and a team, especially if you are a woman. The reality is maybe when you are a man, some days it's a little bit more easy because you have the support of your wife that is there and I think it’s changing. You have to build your support network, you have to build it at home, you have to build it at work and you have to build it especially around senior mentorship and sponsorship.
You should not be frightened to go to pitch the most senior people of your network or to create this meeting with CEOs, start a conversation and try to find what is on their mind and where you have a mutual interest and ask for the mentorship. Because today I cannot believe that any CAC 40 or any CEO of the industry is not interested by having a perspective of a tech CEO in an environment that is not exactly that where they work.
Go and find these big sponsors. This has helped me to grow a lot. And now what I'm looking is more junior mentors because I always need to stay in tune with this Tech sector that is constantly evolving.
I think the growth mindset is definitely something that is needed for the next decade.
My name is Joanna Kirk and I am an international Tech PR. I work in the Tech Ecosystem since a few years now mainly with International VC firms, startups, Ecosystem Builders.
What I would like to share with you today are a series of tips in PR.
For those of you whom are launching a startup or starting a company or thinking of doing so, the main advice that I give at first is that there’s a lot of the PR you can do on your own.
The first advice that I would give is don't hesitate to put yourself in the shoes of the journalist and the media that you are targeting. So, spend time a lot of time actually to identify the journalist and the media that interests you most and then once you have done that step back and trying to imagine how you could to tell your story so that it fits with the editorial line of that particular journalist or that particular media.
Don't hesitate to take the time that you need to do this and also never forget that it's not because you exist that you are a story for a journalist. So you might now spend several weeks or several months targeting this media over the time, and when the time comes you will be able to reach out much easier and in a relevant way. That will avoid you being kind of pushed back and it will maximize your chances of getting their attention. If you don't get a response from a journalist at first, that's absolutely no problem. never forget they receive several hundred messages, potentially, a day. So you can send a first message, a second and maybe a third and maybe that would be the time you get a response.
Other ways for getting attention would be by attending relevant and focused events that are focused on your business and often you could be in a situation where you encounter the key journalist that will be your first contact on your first supporters and also if you have any invitations to participate at a workshop or a panel or you are part of a co-working or an incubator you might also have other ways of be in more visible and that also can help to get more attention. as I was saying earlier what you do need to do is nail in a simple question what your startup is doing so that you can present it in a very concise and clear way to a media or a journalist that interests you. The question you need to ask yourself is what is my startup doing and what problem are we addressing with it and how we plan to answer this problem. Once you've done that, and do take the time necessary to formulate it in the way you want to, you will be able to communicate easily with a journalist that you meet at an event or that you will pitch by email.
As a female founder or a female co-founder it's an opportunity in terms of PR to be in Tech today. I think that media are looking for stories and you should never hesitate to contact them for that. On the other hand take the opportunity to speak about your business about your startup and as sometimes it is the case they have questions of work-life balance or how to build a company with children or family. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, no need to answer it and again my advice would be to really focus on your business
50intech is really interesting and important. It is relevant in the sense that it started out internationally and I think it's really important to move forward together. And I think that's the way that we're actually going to change things and that the lines will be able to move and that's actually why I joined 50intech as an ambassador from the first days and I'm really happy to be able to do this.
I'll be on the 50intech platform so if you have any Tech PR questions or if you are interested in connections then I'll be happy to help, so see you there!
My name is Emmanuelle Flahault-Franc, I amDirector of communications for Iris Capital, a European VC, co-author of the book “Into the French Tech” and have been working in tech for over 12 years now.
I would like to talk with you about the lack of female VC and the fact that many women need to actually consider that job as probably a second-time career job or maybe a new job for the younger generation.
What’s a VC or an investor? VC is an acronym for venture capitalist, somebody who will invest money in your company and your startup and who will follow you across your path. This is very different from a banker. We are not loaning you money, investors decide to come with you on the project, they invest money, they invest time, they invest energy with you.
And being a VC has two sides of the job,
1: You are ready to invest everything you've got and 2 : you actually hate to take risks because entrepreneurs take risks. Being a VC is making sure you can bet on people and you can bet on projects and not just decide who will get you all the money back but also making sure you are ready to make big decisions.
Try and test, if it does work its magic if it does not work it's not a big drama.
Why you should be a VC especially if you’re a woman? Because it's not a job about money, or figures, it's not about calculating all the time how much money you're going to make.This is not being a trader. Being a VC, is about being passionate of and about entrepreneurs, wanting to work with them, and the best for them, wanting to make sure that they ask for the right money, and you provide the right money, and helping them on making sure the project is shaped the right way.
(...)The first thing you do as a VC is meeting and chasing, so there is a lot of hunting, for the best companies, the best entrepreneurs. Every VC will tell you that they invest in people more than in techs.
And who's the best person to encourage more diversity? A woman, because we care about lots of different people.
(...) When I joined Iris Capital there were very little women and I expressed my doubts. They told me : ”We used to be the only fund in Paris, with two female investors. Unfortunately they left and have amazing careers now. Can you really force them to stay with you? No you can't.”
I decided to join the fund to make sure that my voice as a woman and as a feminist was heard. Being a feminist is not a woman topic it’s an everyone topic.
If you go to pitch to a VC, do not fear to say that you would like to see more females, more diversity. It will encourage them to hire more women, juniors, seniors.
If you think that being a VC is only for people who love finance, who love spreadsheets, data, then you might be wrong. Of course it's part of the job, of course you have to be able to read, write, correct a budget, a P&L with an entrepreneur but most of your job is understanding their field and what they do. You can be a VC coming from finance obviously but also from marketing, having been an entrepreneur previously, or a manager.
Being a VC is making sure you can support entrepreneurs If they are in trouble, if they cannot reach a corporate, if they feel insecure, if they need a boost on how to make the biggest sales. You have to make sure you are passionate as much as they are and you are able to go with them across the journey. That’s not a finance job, that’s a human being job
I've decided to join 50intech because I think that lots of things are badly perceived and badly understood and i would like to help you navigate that.
Hello, my name is Dagnija Lejina. I am from Latvia, from Riga. I call myself “Oratora”. And this is also the name, of the public speaking company I founded just last year.Why I did it ? I am a PR professional with 20 years of experience. I am here because I am in particular interested in Tech and the startup world. 5 years ago, I founded the Digital Freedom Festival. One of the biggest Tech events in the Baltic Sea region. Gathering 2000 people every year in Riga.
This Festival, was an eye-opener for me. You cannot imagine my own embarrassment when I saw in my first tech event that I got maybe 10% of women on stage. (...) If I don't make a special effort to get more women on the stage in this Tech event, nothing will change.
So we put this goal to have 50% women speakers. Easy to say, hard to do. Especially in the Tech world. Just look at the statistics. Only 10% women are founders of startup companies. Only 20-30% of women are working in IT Tech companies, depending on the country. There is obviously a huge face bro and if we say that we are living in a digital Revolution so where are the women fighters ?
At that moment I made the choice. Instead of being this angry person who is tweeting all the time about all-male panels. I decided that I want to make positive change and I want to influence this change myself. (...)
I see public speaking as a very very important leadership transformation instrument. Both internally, as a person, as a personality but also in a career, professionally. (...)Tech and startups world is so much around sharing ideas on stage, evangelist, pitching ideas, inspirational talks about the purposes of of transforming the world. I could say in the Tech world and especially for the women: if you are not on stage you do not exist. My advice is: instead of being angry maybe we, women, have to start holding our room. We have to help each other. We should inspire each other.
1/ you should start with yourself. You have to recognize your powerful, positive, high status. Some people call it Charisma or confidence. Some people say: “wow, that speaker really radiates on stage”. People really feel it, they love it. And this positive attitude is what really counts.
2/ check what happens internally what your heart is passionate about and what your mind really cares. (...). Maybe you are not the best expert or the smartest person in the room on everything. But you can definitely be the most passionate about something.
3/ Recognize and stop all these internal, killing, negative dialogues. Recognize imposter syndrome and lower all the barriers of perfectionism. Make it just good enough. Don't put so much pressure on yourself.
4/ Get a mentor a person who can help you narrow down your topics, discuss presentations, inspire you, and most of all will not let you say last-minute stop.
5/ It is okay actually to be afraid to be on stage. Some statistics say that 75% of people are afraid of being on stage.
6/ Your breath is a super powerful instrument you have, in any case. It's always good idea to breathe. Inhale and exhale.
7/A good presentation is all about preparation. One minute speech requires one hour preparation.
8/ Take off the pressure from your own ego. Do not concentrate so much on you but concentrate on the audience instead. Audience is the key.
My name is Marie. I am the CEO and co-founder of Aiden.ai. We are an AI startup. We started in 2017. I have one co-founder who is the CTO of the company,PJ, and he worked at Apple before he started Aiden. I worked in mobile app marketing for 8 years. We went from 2 people in 2017 and a low quality minimum viable product or MVP to a team of 12 people, 2 years later. We built a software called Aiden, that is used by mobile app marketing teams to get better results from their paid acquisition campaigns. It is an AI assistant that relies on machine learning to analyze facebook, google adds, snapchat, twitter... campaigns automatically and it produces recommandations that marketers can implement in all those different channels in a single click.
(...) we raised two rounds of funding to fund the company. A pre-seed Angel round of $750,000 joined by strategic Angel Investors such as the head of deep learning at Apple, Nicolas Pinto, and Alexandre Legrand who is a serial AI/NLP entrepreneur, who’s now the founder of Nabla The second round was particularly interesting. We closed then a seed round, 18 months after the pre-seed round, of 1.6 million. I was 6 months pregnant when we started the process. And my daughter was four months old when we closed that round. And it’s the one obviously that I’m going to talk about more today.
(...)Start by being very pragmatic and identifying all of the VCs that could potentially invest at your stage. (…)Do not waste time with people who are just going to see you for the sake of it. Because VCs will always take a meeting with you. (…) set a deadline for yourself, decide exactly when it is you want to close the round and tell the investors that. No time to waste. Start early. Fundraising can take ages,
The second thing is, make sure to take all the VC meetings within a period of two to three weeks and tell the VCs that this is what you’re doing. Tell them “We need to have a decision on whether we’re going to the next step, next stage by the end of november for example. How does that look for you?”. Essentially you explain what the context is and you ask the VC. Put it to them basically. Put the ball in their court, basically. Ask them whether or not with your timelines they are able to make a decision fast enough.
What VC's don't tell you, unless you ask them, is that they may be in the middle of raising a fund, maybe they haven't closed it yet, maybe they have restrictions about how many investments they can make.
Never leave the meeting without knowing what the next step is. “Yes” is better than “No” but there is nothing worse than a “Maybe”
It's not because you are pregnant that you need to rush things. Don't give up anything that you don't want to give up just because you are pregnant.
(...) do you bring this up when you are in a VC meeting? Most of the time you don't have to because it's quite visible. You are literally the elephant in the room. But I never, ever, mention this because I don't apologize for being pregnant.
If people want to just ask how you are going to be handling the maternity leave, let them ask but don't anticipate it.
it's easier to fundraise when you're pregnant if you have a co-founder.
You have to be quite objective. Investing for VCs in startups is high risk. So you cannot deny that, whether they tell you or not, they just look at you as being a risk.
(...) Do not forget that you are pregnant, the most important thing is you and your baby : listen to yourself.
In this opening episode, Caroline Ramade, founder and CEO of 50inTech will explain:
1/ Why it was so urgent to launch 50intech.com
2/ How to give and take actionable advice on the 50inTech platform
3/ The reason why those first podcasts-to-go for women in tech have been created
I have always been committed into gender equality.
Before launching 50inTech, I ran a gender lens incubator based in Paris - WILLA, which supported 500 women led-startup.
And I saw all the barriers and obstacles that women in tech are facing. Rather to talk about diversity, I choose to act for diversity and create an actionable tool to unlock the Tech Industry, involving all the ecosystem players, women and men.
At 50inTech, our ambition, is to operate the change needed to reach 50% of women in tech by 2050.
So why It was so urgent to launch 50inTech?
It all started with data: where are you Women in Tech?
Only 10% of female co-founders, 3% of CEOs, 9% of female investors, less than 25% of women in the digital force.
Another shocking data: Female founders get a dismal of 2.7% of all venture capital.
Guess what ? Startups co-founded by women are performing 63% better than all-male founded teams, and with 50% of women in tech, Europe GDP would increase by 9 billion euros
What is 50inTech?
50inTech is The Fast-Track App for women in tech
The 50inTech platform is inclusive, easy-to-activate and business-oriented providing useful advice, practical tools and a powerful social network
Our ambition is to create the biggest pipeline of Women in Tech, worldwide.
And for that, we designed 4 main features :
SHARE: Learn from your peers or tech industry leaders and share your experiences and best practices, guidance on entrepreneurship, funding, careers and leadership.
- Join Discussions in and out of groups, Ask Me Anything sessions, Surveys
MATCH: Take advantage of the power of the 50inTech network to overcome your day-to-day challenges by receiving bespoke support from investors, incubators, mentors, companies and the international community of Women in Tech
- Ask/offer, office hour, 1:1 call, mentorship -
UNLOCK: Inclusion is all about action. Master the codes of the tech ecosystem thanks to our useful tools
- best curated contents, tech& start-up dictionary and our exclusive 50inTech podcast-to-go -
ACHIEVE: Tracking of your personal objectives, posts follow-up, financial metrics
50inTech is collaborative : “give first, take after”
We believe women need to learn how to share their advice and skills as an innovative way to fight the impostor syndrome.
That is why we encourage support, mentoring, sharing and feedback within our community, Everyone can become in turn: a mentor or mentee on our platform.
Last but not least, The 50inTech Podcast is one hundred % actionable.
It's very simple : no interview, and no digression ;-),
Just 10 minutes of practical advice and sharing of experiences.
That’s why the whole 50inTech community is invited to contribute in the 50inTech podcast and give their advice to boost Women in Tech to next level or share with us their process to increase diversity and inclusion.
So if you also get tired of the tech boy's club, with white men, barely 30 years old,
Join the evolution