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09.12.2019

Roll Call: Women Founders and Investors in Florida

A statewide directory for women leading and investing in technology startups to narrow the gender investing gap in Florida.

 

We all know the woeful stats: in 2018, women raised less than 3% of venture capital funding, made up just 26% of the angel investor population, and comprised only 11% of decision-making roles at US-based venture capital firms.

In our effort to narrow the gender gap in Florida investing, we created an open-source list to recognize women founders and investors statewide. With this list, we can collectively better distribute opportunities for Florida's tech community—enabling founders to develop a community of peers, investors to diversify their deal flow, conferences to identify new voices, and networking dinners and events to offer balanced representation.

View the list of Florida Women Founders + Investors

For the purpose of this research, our dataset includes women co-founders of technology or tech-enabled startups and/or women currently working in an investment-focused role across institutional or corporate funds or established angel investor networks. To maintain the quality of data, we have excluded family offices and super angels. The data was aggregated from Angelist, Crunchbase, The Southeast Capital Landscape, and self-reported by startup support organizations, accelerators, founders, and investors from throughout Florida.

Why does this matter? We chose to collate a list of women investors and founders because of the data-driven links between these two groups.

 

More women in investment positions leads to more women founders receiving investment.

  • ....which leads to more successful outcomes for all. Companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation. (Source: McKinsey)

 

25.5% of Florida firms include at least one woman in an investment position. Nearly 18% hold a senior investment position (Partner, GP, MD), compared to the national average of 11%.

  • In a business driven by pattern recognition of "intuition" and "gut instinct", underrepresented founders tend to lose out. As Doug Speight put it, "pattern recognition is bias turned practice." With more women in investment decision-making positions, we can help break the cycle of bias in the pitch process that can aggravate the funding disparity.

 

Women are expected to hold half of private wealth in the US by 2020... and Florida ranks fourth for the number of accredited investor households.

  • By educating more women to invest their assets via angel networks or as Limited Partners in venture funds, Florida has an opportunity to take a substantial lead in the US as a destination for women-led companies to receive investment.

 

We see an incredible opportunity to grow the pipeline of investments for women-led companies—and tap into the economic benefits of diverse leadership in the process—by doubling down on diversity in Florida's investment decision-maker pool.

What's next? We hope that this list enables women founders and investors throughout the state of Florida to cultivate a sense of community, such as sourcing and referring diverse investment opportunities, meeting prospective co-investors, and connecting when on business trips across the state.

Have an addition? To include any founder or investor that we did not already surface, please submit this form.

 

Seeking more? Find a slew of resources and expertise curated for this community below:

Locally

  • Amnita Ventures—South Florida-based organization for women that facilitates exploration into angel investing through education, support, partnerships and a network of investors.
  • Tampa Bay Wave x Starter Studio Grant—$300,000 grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Seed Fund Support to address early-stage capital funding gaps in central Florida.
  • Startup Sisters USA—Connects women of wild ambition through business events and startup education nationally.
  • SoGal Foundation—The largest global platform for education and empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Working Women Foundation—Grants for women entrepreneurs who can demonstrate proof of concept and a plan for how the funds will be used.

Nationally

  • Femstreet—Weekly newsletter on women in tech, entrepreneurship and diversity in venture capital by Sarah Noeckel.
  • Elpha—A platform where women in tech talk candidly online.
  • Allraise—Nonprofit organization behind diversity and inclusion efforts to boost the amount of funding women founders receive.
  • Ms. Tech—An online collective of women in business.
  • Women in VC Directory—The world’s largest global directory for women in venture capital to find each other, connect, and collaborate.
  • Negotiating the Terms (NTT)—Blog that elevates stories from a growing community of young women in venture capital.
  • 50+ Firms Focused on Women-Led Startups—Comprehensive list created by Eva Reder of the Manos Accelerator.
  • 2019 ACA Funding Report—Annual report on angel group investment and the startups they support.

 

Advice from Women Founders and Investors

Special thanks to Anna Warnke, our Summer Intern at Embarc Collective, who worked diligently to compile the data for this project.

And thank you to our friends in collaboration who helped make this list comprehensive: Antonio Montoya at Domi Station, Fumiko Shinkawa at Groundswell Startups, Raul Moas at The Knight Foundation, Christina Graham at Catapult Lakeland, Tigre Wenrich and Wifredo “Wifi” Fernández at The Lab Miami, and Christine Caven at PS27 Ventures.

 

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Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective
We are a startup collective — curators of experiences, resources, and environment that help forward-thinking founders and their teams thrive in Tampa Bay, FL.
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