The Problem with Startups
House of Killik Soho | Tuesday 23rd January 2018
Female Business Leaders on Beating the Statistics
House of Killik Soho is a seven-day series of inspiring conversations and workshops. From discussions about modern business and the challenges of ever-evolving marketplaces with founders and business leaders, to urban gardening workshops and wellness sessions. A week-long event to inspire you to identify the life you want to lead.
With just 9% of all startup investment finding its way to female led companies, on Tuesday morning we were joined by four business leaders to discuss their experiences first-hand, and hear what advice they could offer to try and beat these statistics. Kubi Springer, founder of She Builds Brands, Olivia Knight, founder of alternative gift registry Patchwork, Tiffany Young, a VC investor from Pentech were also joined by our host for the mornings discussion, Lydia Slater; deputy editor of Harper’s Bazaar.
“Fundamentally it is a systematic problem” says Olivia, “we need to encourage more women into these investment jobs and to start businesses. The simple fact is these are still very male dominated industries.”
Tiffany who invests in early stage technology companies says “it’s startling to realise that women are often starting from behind the baseline. In my experience women tend to be a lot more reserved when it comes to pitches than their male counterparts”
And when it comes to advice on the actual pitch, Kubi says “there is this myth that all investors are sat there in suits but that’s just not the case anymore”
“I wouldn’t adhere to any of the so-called ‘rules’ about what you can or can’t wear” confirms Tiffany “these things are often so informal, nothing like you see on Dragons Den.”
The most important thing that came out from all four panellists was the need to live and breathe your business. To understand your idea and your potential market inside out. Ultimately, no matter how brilliant your idea or product, you are going to have to convince someone to invest in you.
“They are going to look beyond just nice graphics or great branding. They are looking at you, and your understanding of your brand and your mission.”
“They are going to look beyond just nice graphics or great branding. They are looking at you, and your understanding of your brand and your mission.” Says Kubi “Everything about your business should be represented by you.”
And, to end a positive note, Tiffany says “I do feel like we’re going through a change – we just need to keep our foot on the pedal”.