Currently, only ~2% of all Dutch Venture Capital is invested in female-founded or female co-founded companies. While recent policy changes and the widespread adoption of HR frameworks are an improvement (and I am certainly not criticising that) it cannot be argued that women are underrepresented in the tech space and more can always be done to right this wrong.
Investors need to stop blaming the lack of diversity in their portfolios on a "pipeline problem". It's not a pipeline problem, it's a power problem.
Not too long ago, inc.com called this out on a global scale in an article titled: “Women aren’t getting funded and there’s a simple reason why”.
The columnist highlighted that: "Investors need to stop blaming the lack of diversity in their portfolios on a "pipeline problem. It's not a pipeline problem, it's a power problem.”
According to research completed by PitchBook, in the US since 2005, less than 10% of all companies that received venture support had a female founder.
Simply put, there is a huge part of the population with potentially phenomenal ideas but they are largely being ignored, misunderstood or brushed to the side.
Now, what can we do to solve this problem?
Imagine how many more female founders and businesses there would be if there was a platform that was actively seeking a 50/50 gender split in their portfolio companies. Not to mention enabling ambitious women to launch their own business by supporting them financially, providing professional mentorship and access to capital.
Enter Antler, a global startup generator and early-stage VC company that launched in Amsterdam earlier this year following success in Singapore and Stockholm.
Antler aims to bridge the gender-gap plaguing tech by breaking down the barriers of entrepreneurship.
By providing funding from day one, a clear pathway to capital, access to a global network of advisors, investors and entrepreneurs, as well as helping them find a co-founder with complementary skills, Antler is supporting founders at the very earliest stage in their journey.
Of our 44 portfolio companies, 50% have at least one female co-founder. We are so committed to maintaining this balance that we have joined #Fundright. This initiative, which was started by 26 Dutch VCs (with more joining by the day) are committed to hiring more women in tech. Along with Antler all the VCs signed have agreed to reach 35% female representation within the next 3 years.
Antler removes much of the fear, risk and personal sacrifice previously required to start a business to allow founders to truly innovate and create the change they have been seeking to achieve.
In just six months we help founders build a team, launch a business, secure pre-seed funding, scale that business, achieve first milestones, and then potentially gain a seed capital fundraising round at the Antler Demo Day at the end of the program. Some teams in international regions have gained between US$250K to US$1.5 million. These accomplishments would ordinarily take startup years to achieve.
If you or someone you know has been looking for access, funding, or just a supportive pathway to achieve your dreams of starting your own business, Antler could be the program you’ve been looking for.
This article was written by Sarah Kimmorley, Director of Communications for Antler Sydney.