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Women Leaders

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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Building a Fashion Accessories Marketplace from London: Kiyan Foroughi, CEO of Boticca (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 9th 2015

I continue to be interested in how the fashion industry is slowly and surely finding innovative ways to leverage the Internet. Kiyan Foroughi has created a marketplace for fashion accessories that is scaling nicely and helping new designers find a customer base.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal story. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Kiyan Foroughi: I’m French-Iranian. I was born in Paris. My parents were immigrants from Iran. I grew up a little bit all over the place. I grew up in France, but I also spent a big part of my childhood in Dubai. We went out there because my father was an architect and he had >>>

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241st Roundtable Recording On Dec. 12, 2014: With Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

Posted on Friday, Dec 12th 2014

In case you missed it, you can listen to this roundtable here:

You can find the dates and register for upcoming roundtables here.

Book: Carnival In The Cloud.

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Roundtable Recap: December 11 – Carnival In The Cloud With Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

Posted on Thursday, Dec 11th 2014

During today’s roundtable, as part of the launch event for my book, Carnival In The Cloud, we had Ann Winblad, Co-founder of Hummer Winblad, as our guest. Ann is one of the most successful women VCs in our industry, and as I mentioned in my introduction, I have never heard her whining about bias against women.

One of the most encouraging things she discussed today is how her firm is sourcing interesting ventures from all over the world, not just Silicon Valley. Mulesoft, one of their hot portfolio companies, had its CEO based in Malta, originally!
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238th Roundtable Recording On November 13, 2014: With J.T. O’Donnell, Careerealism

Posted on Friday, Nov 14th 2014

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

You can find the dates and register for upcoming roundtables here.

Book: Bootstrapping With A Paycheck.

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Roundtable Recap: November 13 – Bootstrapping With A Paycheck with J.T. O’Donnell, Careerealism Media & CareerHMO

Posted on Thursday, Nov 13th 2014

During today’s roundtable, we had an excellent discussion with J.T. O’Donnell, a top 20 LinkedIn Influencer, and CEO of Careerealism Media and CareerHMO.

I invited J.T. to brainstorm with us on what she is seeing from the career coaching perspective. Our observations about this gigantic trend of people starting companies while holding onto their full-time jobs, is from the entrepreneurship perspective. People come to us once they have decided they want to be entrepreneurs.

J.T. is in the middle of the decision-making process as people are trying to decide how to play their careers and when to become entrepreneurs.
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