Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021
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How to be Successful in Fundraising as an Underrepresented GP

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Jade Tran (She/Her)
Muttly, Founder

Jade Tran is a people and operations consultant in Los Angeles. Working with both venture capital firms and venture-backed startups, Jade is passionate about helping executive teams create and scale the environments and strategies that connect people with the resources they need, in order to do their best work.  Previously, Jade led people-first initiatives, as Director of Culture at Honey (acquired by PayPal), and built Platform at DFJ, working with the firm’s early stage and growth portfolios. Having started her career in the non-profit arts space, she is a firm believer that all perspectives are not only valuable, but necessary, for bringing the best ideas to life. Jade also sits on the United Friends of the Children NextGen board, working to empower current and former foster youth.  In her spare time, you can find her surfing, gardening, and taking neighborhood walks with her husband, and her rescue dog, Cricket.

Claire Hansen (She/Her)
Firebrand Ventures

Claire Hansen is a leader in Austin’s early stage investment and innovation ecosystem, having worked alongside startups and investors since 2015. Prior to joining Firebrand as Principal, Claire worked for the U.S. Army as a founding member of Army Futures Command’s Corporate Ventures unit. There, she was responsible for sourcing dealflow and deploying startup diligence strategies with Army stakeholders. Notably, Claire also previously served as the Investment Director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) and as the Coordinator for Capital Factory’s Accelerator program.

Claire received a MA in Organizational Communication from Texas A&M University and a BA in the same subject from Pepperdine University.  She also holds certifications in Data Analysis and Financial Modeling. In her spare time, Claire plays the violin in a community orchestra and tends to her Lettuce Grow.

Lauren Washington (She/Her)
Fundr, Cofounder and CEO

Lauren is the cofounder and CEO of Fundr, a platform that automates and removes bias from seed investing by creating portfolios of AI-vetted startups.

Prior to this, Lauren cofounded Black Women Talk Tech, the largest membership organization and only conference for black women founders and KeepUp, an automated social listening platform. Her companies have won multiple awards including 43North and the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She has been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, Elle, Inc and Black Enterprise and has been listed as a top entrepreneur in CIO Magazine, Essence Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and the ForbesNEXT1000 list.

Lauren started her career as a special education teacher with Teach for America and went on to develop marketing and data strategy for over 100 global companies at InStyle Magazine, TVGuide and Omnicom Group. She has her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She is on the board of advisors for SXSW Pitch, Athena and New Profit’s Future of Work Fund, as well as the vice board chair of Talk Tech Association and on the board of directors of Beam.

Lorine Pendleton (She/Her)
TIGER 21, Lead Partner - Portfolia Rising America Fund

Lorine is a seasoned investor, business development executive and attorney with extensive experience in the legal, technology and entertainment industries. She was recently named by Marie Claire as one of the “Most 50 Connected Women in America,” and Crunchbase as “39 Black Women Investors Inspiring a New Generation of Investors”.

She is the NY Chair at TIGER 21, as well as an active angel investor who invests in and advises women and diverse-led companies. She is on the Board of Directors of the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and ACA's first African-American board member in its history. A member of Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors changing the face of angel investing and providing capital to women entrepreneurs. With over 200 members, Pipeline has collectively invested $4 million in 40+ companies. She is also an investment partner in Portfolia Funds, an innovative platform that brings together growth-stage companies, and a collaborative network of investors in a unique combination of angel investing and micro-funding. It has invested multi-millions in several dozen companies in the enterprise software, consumer, data analytics, life sciences and active aging sectors with collaboration with many of the top angel groups and VC firms in the US.

She practiced as an attorney at Londell McMillan PC, a leading boutique entertainment law firm, where she structured and negotiated multi-faceted entertainment and media deals on behalf of clients such as Prince, Spike Lee, Ruff Ryders Records, Faith Evans, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and the estate of the Notorious BIG.


Only 9% of Venture Capital general partners worldwide are women, and according to Deloitte, only 11% of women make up VC deciders. This reality propagates the 3% investment rate of venture money spent on all-women teams, with 83% of VC deals involving founding teams with no women. These statistics are troubling because, as Kauffman Fellows notes, women VCs invest more in women entrepreneurs and underrepresented founders than any other group.

Several cyclical elements regarding lack of representation contribute to the dismal statistics above. To become a general partner at a VC firm, you either have to be:


- A former successful entrepreneur;
- A former executive of a mid to large size company;
- From a private equity or investment banking background; or
- Have moved up the ranks of a VC firm (associate onwards)


The rarity of women in each of the spaces above contributes to homogenous portfolios, male-dominated teams, and emerging women VC’s inability to raise capital. This panel will discuss how to break the cycle of lack of women leaders at venture capital firms and how solving this problem will lead to more successful women tech entrepreneurs.