It won’t come as a surprise that women and minorities are significantly underrepresented as both venture funding recipients and startup founders. The most recent stats show a bleek, 2.2% of all venture funding going to women with less than 5% of startups owned by women.
Is this a performance or pipeline problem? Well, neither. Women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs and the data shows that women entrepreneurs consistently outperform their male counterparts. The combination is a recipe that would seemingly attract even the most cautious of investors, yet the tides continue to shift only slightly.
We’ve seen first-hand the success that follows diversity and strong female leadership. For recent inspiration, look to Jennifer Tejada from PagerDuty or Michelle Zatlyn from Cloudflare, both companies who went public in 2019. And, check out some of the incredible companies and investors helping to close the funding gap like All Raise and Backstage Capital.
As female founders here at Spekit, we felt first hand some of the challenges that come with launching a new product in a world where you don’t look like everyone else at the table. So, when we learned that we were one of the only 100% female-founded apps on the AppExchange, we reflected on the journey that got us here.
Looking back, there were two major reasons we were able to grow at the rate we have over the last year:
- Attending and launching our product at Dreamforce: Launching our product at Dreamforce last year, in front of 170,000 attendees, was pivotal to our success. We practiced our pitch, received product feedback and gained immediate exposure in the ecosystem.
- Meeting, collaborating with and learning from other brilliant female leaders and entrepreneurs: We quickly learned that we weren’t alone in this endeavor. There are networking groups, mentors and communities full of talented women that you can join. For us, leaning on these networks for guidance and advice has been instrumental to our success.
Given that such gender disparity still exists and knowing what’s contributed to our success along the way, we felt it was our responsibility to pay-it-forward to another fledgling company this year.
That’s why we’ve partnered with three other incredible, female-founded companies in the Salesforce ecosystem, TaskRay, Sercante and CloudGiants to offer the Diversity at Dreamforce Scholarship.
The winner of the scholarship will have the opportunity to accelerate their growth with a booth at Dreamforce and instantly have a network of female entrepreneurs offering advisory hours to guide their success.
To learn more, check out my introduction video below and the landing page here for details on the scholarship, the women behind it and how you can get involved.
If you’re a Salesforce user, you know how valuable the AppExchange ecosystem is to your business. Imagine what it would look like with more representation! That’s our goal with the Diversity at Dreamforce Scholarship.
To help, share/promote the scholarship to your networks via this link. Let’s get the word out and help close the equality gap, together.