More does not necessarily mean better, and that is a lesson for life and for technology. To focus on the latter, the startup ecosystem is experiencing an astonishing influx of capital right now. However, the dollar increase is not evenly distributed to all founders. For the vast majority of people, especially women and non-binary entrepreneurs, it is still difficult to raise money, and perhaps even more difficult than before the pandemic.
All Raise, a nonprofit that has worked for years to promote women and non-binary people within technology, has been closely watching the drop in funding for female and non-binary founders. According to VP of Marketing Caroline Caswell, while there are pockets of progress, funding for female founders remains “tepid.” He pointed out how in the first half of this year, 1.6% of venture capital went to female founders, 30% less than 2.3% in 2020, which was already a drop from the previous year. by PitchBook.
“The narrative that ‘VC is back?’ Caswell said. “It is back for the same people as before.”
The misconception that hot summer benefits everyone has given All Raise some urgency to launch a new product for women and non-binary founders, which it announces today.
The non-profit organization is launching a series of master classes intended to give an idea of how the first institutional rounds and scale companies are posed. The material, which includes prerecorded sessions of the Founder Bootcamp in person from All Raise, will be free to access to anyone interested.
Instructors include check writers such as Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures and Sarah Tavel of Benchmark Capital, as well as seasoned executives such as Figma Vice President of Communications Nairi Hourdajian and Solv Health Co-Founder and CEO Heather Fernandez. All Raise said it did not track ethnic or racial data from its instructors, however it did offer a breakdown of the 400 beta users who tested the masterclass series.
There is a constant disconnect between tactical fundraising content and actual access to capital; The tips don’t necessarily lead to a closed check, leaving some founders skeptical of another resource launch.
With that said, Caswell says the masterclasses are trying to go beyond the “typical Sandhill Road Medium post” or Twitter threads, and he believes that the explicit and real-world examples could serve as an empowering tool for students. founders.
Topics range from basics like how to prepare for your Series A to more nuanced thoughts like fundraising thrills and how to say goodbye to a team. The programming is meant to be a more intimate look at early-stage technology, beyond what you’d find in a Twitter thread, explains Caswell.
“When it comes to resources and knowledge for typically underrepresented founders, more is more is more,” he added. Lessons range from three to 60 minutes and total about 15 hours of content.
The structure of All Raise’s master classes is similar in format to what Y Combinator offers in its free Startup School series, which includes some light content aimed specifically at female founders. In the long run, it would be interesting to see how All Raise updates the material to work more on online learning, as it already has an engaged community that could easily become a living class that is filtered through the other tools of the organization without profit.