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Fundraising is one of the biggest obstacles that startup founders face. This year, with the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the economy, it's been even more challenging to keep up with latest fundraising trends and changes, and subsequently, even more difficult for women entrepreneurs to make headway in closing the gender gap in securing venture capital funding. 

To address this issue, the Founder Institute hosted an interactive online event featuring an expert panel of female founders and investors, to help early-stage women entrepreneurs gain insights into how they can successfully navigate securing funding for their startups during these uncertain times. The expert panelist included:  

  • Jeanne Mariani Sullivan: Investor & Advisor at the Arcview Group and Co-Founder of the Arcview Collective Fund, actively investing in cannabis companies promoting the regulations, legislation, and economic prosperity within the cannabis industry. 
  • Kiki Mwiti: Founder & CEO of DYVVYD,  the tech industry's first diversity and inclusion platform and digital community for VCs and startups, helping men and women of color gain access to investors with little fanfare as possible. 
  • Mariah Lichtenstern: Founder & Managing Partner of DiverseCity Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm aiming to accelerate positive social, economic, and environmental impact through entrepreneurship.

In this video, Rachel Sheppard, Director of Global Marketing at the Founder Institute and Co-Creator of the Female Founder Initiative covers this topic with Jeanne, Kiki, and Mariah in detail. They discuss current funding trends and offer their expertise, including what they're looking for as investors and how they evaluate companies.

Key Topics Include: 

  • How Covid has impacted the startup fundraising landscape
  • The current mindsets of early-stage technology investors
  • How to make yourself more attractive to investors
  • Best practices for when is the right stage to start fundraising
  • How to seek out the right investors for your particular startup
  • How to build relationships with investors at the early stage
  • What investors look for in a pitch deck and best practices for pitch presentations
  • How founders can put forth projections that are optimistic in an unprecedented time

Top Take Away: 

Mariah's perspective on how important it is for women entrepreneurs to persevere through the challenges they face as startup founders was a theme that echoed throughout the discussion, ultimately leading to a virtual standing ovation. Mariah shared:

I truly believe that women are going to lead the way in solving a lot of the problems that the world is facing right now. We need to be encouraged and inspired and empowered to do so. It is not a time to shy away and be a wallflower; it's time to lead!

To join the Founder Institute for future live, interactive free online events like this one, see our full list of upcoming events at https://FI.co/Events

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