Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021
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Founders and Funders: The Fundraising Gap

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Lisa Besserman (She/Her)
expa, Managing Director

Lisa Besserman, Founder of Startup Buenos Aires accelerator, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas. She has also been credited as “The Woman Behind Argentina’s Startup Revolution”.

Currently, Lisa serves as the Managing Director at Expa VC a $350m fund led by Garrett Camp (founder of Uber & StumbleUpon), investing between $250k to $3m in pre-seed to series A startups.

Prior to Expa, she was the Head of Program at Indeed’s global corporate Incubator in Austin, Texas.

Lisa is a Google Mentor and has been a judge for dozens of startup competitions around the world.

She was recognized as a successful entrepreneur in Forbes magazine and an International spotlight entrepreneur from the U.S Department of State.

Lisa has been featured by CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Reuters, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, and CNN. She has guest lectured on entrepreneurship and innovation to prominent universities such as NYU, MIT, Northwestern, Berkeley, and University of Pennsylvania.

She finds it awkward to write about herself in the third person.

Bre Cruickshank (She/Her)
Radical Girl Gang, CEO
Janice Omadeke (She/Her)
The Mentor Method, CEO and Founder
Heather Buffo (She/Her)
Republic, Venture Growth & Partnerships Lead
Holly Tachovsky (She/Her)
ISO, Chief Innovation Officer

According to Techrunch, women-founded startups deliver 62% higher ROI, generate twice as much revenue per dollar invested, and take one full year less time to exit. In the past five years, VC investments in women-owned tech companies increased steadily. However, once COVID hit, and investors retreated to their referral networks and “safe investments’’, VC funding for women shrunk drastically. Crunchbase data show more than 800 female-founded startups globally received a total of $4.9 billion in venture funding in 2020, through mid-December, representing a 27% decrease over the same period.

If we invest in women at the same rate that we invest in men, this could boost the global economy by up to $5 trillion. Many 2020-2021 portfolios are missing that opportunity. In this panel we will hear from founders and funders who will discuss how the presumption of “investment safety” not only stunts ROI but is a district barrier to equity efforts.