This March, Alpha Edison launched the #StartWithEight initiative, challenging our colleagues in VC to join us in taking meetings with eight women from outside our usual networks during the month of March. As we noted then, the statistics about women in venture capital are dismal. In 2017, only 2 percent of venture capital funding went to female founders, and only 8 percent of partners at the top venture capital firms were women. Meanwhile, Only 18 black female founders had raised more than $1M of venture capital for their startups, ever.
These numbers aren’t a secret; it’s widely known that women and minorities face prodigious barriers to entry in VC, but so far, a solution to correct the inequity has been elusive. The #StartWithEight campaign is a first step in correcting the historical imbalance and opening up pipeline access. The next step focuses on the other half of the equation: addressing and reducing bias.