AirTalk for May 13, 2014

Female-run startups fight for investment

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US Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, an Internet company that helps raise funds for small businesses, talks during a session at LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis, near Paris on December 5, 2012.

Women are fighting for money and opportunities in the world of startup entrepreneurship, but the playing field is still far from level. According to an ongoing survey at Emory University, startups with female team members, even just one, are 18 percent less likely to attract equity investors.

A study out of Harvard pitted investment pitches by men and women against one another and found that both male and female investors are more likely to choose a man’s pitch.

The gap is well known, and not entirely surprising -- 96 percent of senior venture capitalists are men, and in 2013, only 16 percent of companies pitching to angel investors were owned by women -- there’s a gender gap in startup businesses.

Critics of the male-dominated startup industry say that learned intuition is what compels investors to fund men more frequently than women.

What might help narrow the gap? How can women and men in investing and startup entrepreneurship adapt their behavior to make things more accessible? How will the idea of who is worth of investment change?

Guest: 

Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation, Alvin J. Siteman Professor of Entrepreneurship, Faculty Director at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT

 


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