Currently, gender equity within Venture Capitalism falls short, with female-founded startups securing the lowest share of investment in the European Union, despite generating more than twice as much revenue per dollar invested when compared to male-founded companies. The 200Bn Club aims to bridge this gap by providing support to female entrepreneurs, backed by 40+ UK-based VCs and corporate partners.
Built by founders, for founders, the 200Bn Club is a 12-week non-equity programme open to applicants from all industries. Founded by Dr. Amber Ghaddar and Bridget Greenwood, it is geared towards getting participants pitch-perfect and VC investable at its conclusion.
There will be weekly mock pitches with VCs, who are asked to give honest feedback on why they would not invest in the participating startups. This allows startups to gain valuable insight and improve their pitch and business model ready for pitch day in front of 40+ VCs at the end of the programme.
Initially running online, the programme will consist of expert-led masterclasses and workshops each week. Throughout, participants will receive honest feedback on how to improve to receive investment, and if unsuccessful, will receive coaching on what is needed to secure funding next time.
So far, 43 top VCs with a combined £900Bnin assets under management, including HSBC Ventures, Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit), and Frontline Ventures have pledged their time to provide mentorship and support to The 200Bn Club participants, giving them access to a promising talent pool.
The 200Bn Club curates the deal flow to maximise return for the VCs, ensuring that candidates are matched to the respective selection criteria upon completion of the programme.
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Amber Ghaddar said: “As a female founder, I’ve experienced first-hand the pains of raising funds and understanding the real reasons VCs reject investment. Having gone through the process, I’ve discovered that most accelerators focus on networking and take equity, without any guarantee of investment.
“There’s no doubt networking is important, but without the money to get started or scale, it is meaningless. This is why, with the help of our VCs and corporate partners, we are backing women to adapt, conquer and change existing paradigms within private equity financing. Female founders currently receive five times less funding than their male counterparts, with this number falling even lower among minorities, so The 200Bn Club aims to arm females with the expert-led support they need to succeed.”
Edel Coen, Head of Dealflow at Molten Ventures (previously Draper Esprit), concluded, “As VCs, we are in the privileged position of making investments that have a real impact on the world we live in. But I believe we can do more to find and invest in founders that reflect our diverse society. Addressing female under-representation not only makes business sense but will also enable the next generation of founders to see themselves in the tech leaders of today. Partnering with The 200Bn Club can help us shape a new generation of female leaders.”