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Women Leaders

Roundtable Recap: August 27 – Showcase of Women Entrepreneurs

Posted on Thursday, Aug 27th 2015

During this week’s roundtable, we had an unusual pitch roster of the first three entrepreneurs being women.

RegDesk
First up, Priya Bhutani from Chicago, Illinois, pitched RegDesk, a marketplace for healthcare regulatory experts who can complete projects for major pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The company also has a subscription-based regulatory information service, and is currently in revenue.

Gazillion Fund
Next Ann Shin from Santa Clara, California, pitched Gazillion Fund, a Kickstarter for fashion designers offered on a mobile app format. The concept seems fine. Execution will determine success.
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Featured Videos

Feminist Father vs. Chauvinist Father

Posted on Friday, Aug 14th 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 10.21.46 PM

We hear a lot of complaints about sexism and chauvinism in 21st-century Silicon Valley. I want to share some stories from India in the mid-20th century. It may sound prehistoric, but it wasn’t that long ago.

I was born into an old family in Calcutta, India. We were a traditional extended family with about 25 family members and another 25 servants living in one family home. My father is the youngest of six siblings — three brothers and three sisters. His father, my grandfather, was a good man, a noble patriarch, well-meaning, trying to do the right thing.

The right thing, however, in his worldview, did not include treating his sons and daughters equally.
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269th Roundtable Recording On July 23, 2015: Future of K-12 Education with Betsy Corcoran, CEO of EdSurge

Posted on Friday, Jul 24th 2015

In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:

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Roundtable Recap: July 23 – Future of K-12 Education

Posted on Thursday, Jul 23rd 2015

During this week’s roundtable, we had as our special guest, Betsy Corcoran, Founder and CEO of EdSurge, and an authority on the subject of educational technology. We learnt a lot from Betsy today.

Watchful Eye Security
First up, Kevin Coleman from Wilmington, Delaware, pitched Watchful Eye Security, a real-time surveillance technology company. Kevin needs to get up-to-speed on financing, as well as competitive analysis and positioning for the venture.

A(P)ertain
Next, Jay Jayavasanthan from Chennai, India pitched A(P)ertain, a mobile app management and promo technology company. Jay may be able to bootstrap the early phases of the company without having to seek venture capital very soon, which puts him in a strong position.
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257th Roundtable Recording On April 30, 2015: With Therese Tucker, BlackLine

Posted on Friday, May 1st 2015

In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:

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Roundtable Recap: April 30 – Billion Dollar Unicorns with Therese Tucker, CEO of BlackLine

Posted on Friday, May 1st 2015

During today’s roundtable, we celebrated the launch of my book, Billion Dollar Unicorns, with Therese Tucker, Founder and CEO of BlackLine. Therese is a very successful female entrepreneur who followed our core philosophy of bootstrap first, raise money later. When I first met her in 2009, her company was in the $10 million revenue range. Subsequently, it has continued to grow at 50% CAGR year over year, and Therese raised private equity funding in 2013 to take liquidity for herself and her team. Today, with annual recurring revenue in the $65 million range, and continued growth at 50%, $100 million revenue is not far in the horizon. And with that, the company’s valuation will easily touch unicorn levels.
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The First Key Lesson From Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11th 2015

Like many, I have been following the Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins saga.

Last week, New York Times had a report on it that has a brief mention of the key issue, in my opinion, that no one else seems to be highlighting:

Kleiner has had about 24 junior partners in its history, Mr. Doerr testified. Most of them were male. Most of them did not make it to the inner circle.

“What’s unusual, what is truly unusual, is for a partner to be promoted,” he said. “It’s happened only five times in the 30-year history of the firm.” The others, he said, were asked “to move on.”

And this is the crux of the matter: in the Venture Capital industry, General Partners seldom get promoted from the ranks of analysts, principals, and junior partners. A long time ago, it used to happen from time to time. Nowadays, almost not at all.
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The Second Key Lesson From Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11th 2015

While my first key lesson from Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins is for both men and women, this one is specifically for women.

Yes, we’re watching this trial bring to focus gender discrimination as a core issue in the technology industry. That discussion needs to happen. I am glad it is happening.

Meanwhile, for young, talented, ambitious women out there, I have a few words of wisdom.

Please do me a favor, and do not go have affairs with married colleagues.
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Billion Dollar Unicorns: Net-a-Porter Cracks The Luxury Fashion Market

Posted on Friday, Jan 16th 2015

The Billion Dollar Unicorn club, of course, is not restricted to cloud technology. Here is an analysis of a luxury retailer Net-a-Porter, which successfully leveraged principles of e-commerce and strong design to become the club’s member.

According to recent market reports, online sales within the luxury segment still account for a modest 5% share. The global luxury market is expected to be worth $270 billion. Analysts believe that online penetration within the segment is growing 30% annually and should account for nearly 20% of luxury revenues by the end of the decade. Another report by McKinsey revealed that the online avatar of the luxury market was growing twice as fast as the offline market.

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From Friends and Family Funding to $30 Million Exit: Vertical Response Founder Janine Popick (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Jan 15th 2015

While we’re spending a great deal of time analyzing billion dollar Unicorn companies, it is important not to lose sight of the capital-efficient, bootstrapped or minimally capitalized companies that have achieved success, provided significant return on investment to their stakeholders, and built value for their customers. Read Janine Popick’s wonderful story!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with some of your background. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Janine Popick: I grew up in a small town called Wingdale, New York. It’s about an hour and 40 minutes north of Manhattan. It’s pretty rural. My dad was an engineer for IBM for 35 years. My mom was a nurse. I went to public school and had a great education, but I really felt the need to get closer to Manhattan. I went to Hofstra University, which is about half hour away from Manhattan. I studied Communications and frankly, >>>

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