Recap: The Glaring Gap Summit 2021
Our 2021 Glaring Gap Report outlined the state of tech entrepreneurship for women in Florida. This year’s report noted that the proportion of venture capital funding going to women-founded companies is up nominally year-over-year from 7% to 8%. However, this proportion still trails 3 points behind the national average. We also know from numerous studies that if more women invest in startups, more women get funded. For that reason, we have built the Glaring Gap Summit, which is a 3-day virtual summit of intensive training to 50 Florida women on how to conduct their own due diligence process to evaluate startup investment opportunities.
Following an impactful 2020 Summit, we wanted to continue the education for women looking to jump into startup investing in 2021. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s Glaring Gap Summit:
Jan Seale, Co-Founder & CEO of Out of Office &
Jessie Dixon, Operating Partner at SpringTime Ventures and Former COO of Havenly
Jan Seale and Jessie Dixon talked about their founder/investor relationship after working together at Havenly.
- “The people that are actually invested in you and your business need to know the challenges you’re facing as a founder so you stand the chance of getting their help” -Jessie Dixon
- “Before you have product-market fit, people invest in a team and in a comprehensive and exciting story” – Jan Seale
Julia Taxin, General Partner at Grotech Ventures
Julia Taxin walked through her career in venture capital – from being a Tampa-native to serving as a General Partner at Grotech Ventures. Julia joined Grotech in 2012 and was promoted to Partner in 2019. In her role, he has led a multitude of investments and has served on the board of several startups — including women-led startups like The Mom Project.
Allison Barr Allen, Co-Founder and COO at Fast and Investor at Trail Run Ventures
Allison Barr Allen spoke with Lauren Prager of Synapse Florida about her professional journey from startup operator to startup investor. Allison Barr Allen is the Co-founder and COO of Fast, an online login and checkout platform that has raised over $124M by top investors like Stripe, Index, and Susa Ventures. Allison was an early employee at Uber and a passionate private and public investor, both as a Founder of her personal investment vehicle Train Run Capital. She also walked through what she has applied from public market investing to startup investing.
Angela Lee, Professor of Venture Capital Practice at Columbia Business School and Founder of 37 Angels
We brought back Angela Lee for her intensive due diligence course and learned the process to consider founders and their startups against an evaluation framework. Like last year, attendees were holding on to every word from Angela as her training is the best around.
Angela is a Professor of Venture Capital Practice at Columbia Business School. She is also a serial startup founder and investor herself— including as the Founder of 37 Angels, an investing network that has evaluated 15,000 startups and invested in 60+.
Putting Learnings Into Action
Following Angela Lee’s due diligence training, we listened to pitches from Tampa Bay Wave’s TechWomen Rising program. This gave Glaring Gap attendees the opportunity to use the frameworks shared by Angela and meet women founders from across Florida.
Thank you to JPMorgan Chase for making the Glaring Gap Report and Glaring Gap Summit possible.
Thank you to our presenters – Jan, Jessie, Julia, Allison, and Allison, for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.
Thank you to Tampa Bay Wave for the collaboration and for engaging Glaring Gap Summit participants with the tremendous TechWomen Rising cohort.
Thank you to the 50 participants of the 2021 Glaring Gap Summit – your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn made this Summit a highlight of our year.