Various questions were raised during a panel of women entrepreneurs moderated by Keren Hod, Founder and CEO of WE Women Entrepreneurship, which took place as part of the Mind the Tech conference in New York. Some of the questions apply to all entrepreneurs and others are specific to women entrepreneurs.
However, one of the main points that comes up repeatedly is the minority of women among the founders of start-up companies, as well as the low number of women serving partners in venture capital funds.
“Only 2% of startup funding goes to women-founded businesses, is that an improvement?” Hod asked the panelists.
“Change happens slowly, we need to make successful women role models. As soon as others see it’s possible, it will happen more often,” noted Inbar Haham, co-founder and managing partner of the equity fund- INcapital risk. Companies.
However, Timor Arbel-Sadras, CEO of LeumiTech, disagrees with Haham: “We may be seeing more women in absolute terms, but in terms of percentages, there’s really no progress. Only 10% of venture capital fund partners are women and this number has not increased for years. As a mother of girls, I find this troubling.
“We at Team8 are looking for women entrepreneurs and there are hardly any, it has gotten even worse after Covid and the transition to working from home, where women are still carrying more of the burden. , out of 97 unicorns that exist in Israel today, only one was founded by a woman,” notes Team8 Partner Galia Beer Gavel, referring to Eynat Guez, who founded Papaya, a company operating in the HR sector. -tech.
Inna Braverman, founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, pointed out that even in the cleantech sector, where the company she founded operates, only 5% of executives are women. “When I founded the company at the age of 24, every time I walked into meeting rooms to present Eco Wave, everyone looked to me only to ask me if I could bring them something. coffee or water Even when attendees realized I was the founder, they didn’t ask me about the technology. Wave on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, I looked at the PR companies, the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the industry in Sweden advised me to leave the position of CEO of the company and bring in a man with graying hair instead. She told me that investors trust men more.
Later, the discussion moved on to more general questions regarding the management of start-up companies such as the timing of entry into the American market, the relocation of senior executives to the United States, as well as considerations for the location of the activity in the United States. Haham noted that more and more companies are moving from Silicon Valley to smaller cities such as Austin, Texas and Miami: “It’s a very smart move because the cost of living outside of San Francisco is much lower, the rent in Austin is only a fraction of that of Silicon Valley. We also really like Toronto because there are a lot of employees with a high level of education and relatively low costs. We have several businesses there and some in Miami as well.
Arbel-Sadras believes that any company that wants to go public must enter the US market in order to receive more confidence from investors. According to her, “In the past, startups that started to grow moved management to the United States. This is especially important for companies that sell to end customers. Israel and today, it depends on the company and its relationship with the market.”
Beer Gavel added that “lately, since the end of the epidemic, entrepreneurs have started to feel the FOMO again, they are worried that they will miss something important and want to move to the United States”.
Finally, Braverman was asked to give advice to women entrepreneurs: “My most important advice to women is to not be afraid to talk about money and not to be afraid to ask for money. If a woman has need a million dollars for her startup, she will ask for half a million dollars where the men, on the other hand, will ask for five million.