SXSW 2020

Female Founders Breaking Out of the Beauty Aisle


Female-founded companies receive only 2.2 percent of VC funding, and it’s even worse for those starting gender-neutral businesses. Many famous female-led unicorns from 2018 and 2019 were companies like Glossier, Rent the Runway and Third Love, all of which cater mostly to women. Crunchbase found gender-neutral businesses get 54 percent less funding than female-founded businesses that are female-focused. In a discussion moderated by Sarah Koch of the Case Foundation, Renee Wittemyer of Pivotal Ventures, Kristen Sonday of Paladin, and Sky Kelley of Avisare explore how women can find big success in building businesses outside of traditionally female-focused fields.

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  1. How are women only taken seriously when starting businesses that only cater to women?
  2. What can the industry do to support female entrepreneurs, but not just in female-focused industries?
  3. Why are there so few women in non-female-focused startups?



Jennifer Roche, Program Associate, The Case Foundation

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Startups
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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