Making venture capital accessible for female founders

New online event opens the doors for female founders across the UK to access previously unattainable opportunities.

For every £1 of venture capital investment, not even a penny goes towards female-founded businesses. Playfair Capital and Tech Nation, however, are encouraging venture capital funds to put their faith, time and investments towards female founders.

On Thursday 5th and 13th, November 2020, female founders from all across the UK will have the opportunity to access mentorship from over 70 of the UK’s’ leading capital funds. Playfair Capital, Seedcamp, Balderton and more will be holding remote office hours for female founders to meet with investors and discuss their business idea, ask for advice, pitch for investment and find a mentor.

Every investor attending must commit to mentor at least one female founder on an ongoing basis, making sure that a difference continues to be made between events. Previous events by the hosts have seen a total of 1,200 individual mentoring meetings with 290 female founders and 85 investors. To date, multiple companies have ended up receiving funding from the events, including Organise, SideQuest and Paid.

The events have all been a success, but they all have different end goals, explains Chris Smith, Playfair Capital’s Managing Partner: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see our fourth female founder office hours event come together with the support of Tech Nation. Whilst our first events addressed the challenge of access, removing the need for warm introductions, we are more focused than ever on ensuring that this initiative leads to meaningful relationships and more pounds being invested in women-led businesses.

However, they still all focus on mentorship and the positive impacts that come along with it. “With every investor committing to mentor at least one founder from the event and some early examples of cheques being written for companies that attended previous editions, these ambitions are being realised. We’re excited about meeting all the founders in November and making a genuinely positive impact in our ecosystem.”

Venture capital funds are notorious for being focused in London and giving funding to businesses in the same space. However, having this instalment online makes the event more accessible than ever, says Lauren Nicholson, Founders’ Network Lead at Tech Nation: “Building on from the last event, Tech Nation’s focus, as a national organisation, will be promoting this great initiative to all female founders, including those that are based outside of London, who may not have been aware of previous sessions or were unable to attend due to location.

“The beauty of an online event is that it ensures that all female founders from across the UK will have the opportunity to participate in this initiative and we look forward to working with the amazing female-led businesses from across the UK.

Although the event is more accessible than ever, Playfair wants to take it even further, making its playbook available to any other fund who wants to hold events for underrepresented founders. From doing this, female founder focused events have been held in the US, Southeast Asia and across Europe.

Founders can apply for the event here.
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