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SXSW Interactive 2016

Is the Venture World a Meritocracy?

Few would disagree that the venture capital world is male-dominated. 97.7% of VC backed companies have male CEOs and 94% of VC partners are men. But are these two facts connected? Some would argue that they are, and that those statistics are caused not only by an unconscious bias but also outright sexism that remains a problem in the venture world. Others would say that VCs are gender-blind, funding only the best companies and ideas regardless of the gender or ethnicity of their founding teams. This panel will tackle the disconnect between talk and reality, what it means, and what attendees can do about it.

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  1. Is the venture world a gender blind utopian meritocracy it frequently says it is?
  2. What does this mean for men AND women entrepreneurs seeking funding?
  3. What can entrepreneurs, investors, LPs, and others in the venture world do to address this disconnect between talk and reality?



Anna Consani, Community Mgr, Springboard Enterprises

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