Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021
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Joining an Early Stage Startup: How to Think About Career Growth and Equity

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Gordon Daugherty (He/Him)
Capital Factory, Co-Founder & President

Gordon is a best-selling author, seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor. A proud native Texan, Gordon grew up in a small town and graduated from Baylor University with a computer science degree.
Gordon joined Capital Factory as a mentor, angel investor and co-founder in 2012 as we were opening the coworking space after two IPO’s and more than a dozen M&A transactions on both sides of the table.  Gordon developed the current Capital Factory Ventures program and remains one of the most helpful mentors in the community.

Over the years, Gordon has given personal advice to several hundred entrepreneurs, and more than 1,000 startup founders have completed his Founders Academy boot camp.

Joelle Vail (She/Her)
Capital Factory, COO

Joelle has built her career dedicated on driving startup, mid-size and enterprise organizations to successful growth and scalability. With more than 25 years of hands-on business experience, Joelle joined Capital Factory in February 2020. As a tenured executive with experience successfully growing organizations from startup to enterprise, Joelle focuses on optimizing financials, production, product, customer service and company culture. Prior to joining Capital Factory, Joelle was the Chief Revenue Officer of Ascentis Human Capital Management Software and a regional Sales Executive at Paychex.

Riana Lynn (She/Her)
Journey Foods, CEO

Riana leads fast-growing software startup Journey Foods. The company is backed by top VCs in North America, Europe and Asia. Riana has served as a top consultant and VC to fortune 500 food and CPG companies. She's currently an angel investor and former Google Entrepreneur in Residence. She is one of just a few dozen black women that have raised more than a million dollars in venture funding. Riana has been featured in Forbes, MIT 35 under 35, USA Today, Fast Company, CNBC, Wired, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.  

A Chicago native and Austin-based that enjoys growing fruit trees, writing film scripts, and exploring black culinary and architectural heritage sites around the world. She currently sits on the board of AGLIFF, one of the country's largest annual and inclusive film fests.

Sara Brand (She/Her)
True Wealth Ventures, Founding General Partner

Sara Brand is the Founding General Partner of True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage VC fund investing in women-led businesses improving environmental and/or human health. She is also the co-founder of (512) Brewing, believed to be the largest draught-only, self-distributing microbrewery in the U.S. before COVID. Sara was previously in venture capital and management consulting in the Bay Area as well as in a variety of strategic and operational roles in large tech companies. Sara holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in green design and manufacturing from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from UT Austin.

According to Axios, women represent 13% of startup founders but own just 7% of founder equity and women make up 34% of startup employees but hold only 20% of startup employee equity. Explanations for these numbers include female founders selling larger stakes to investors than their male peers, founding teams not giving the same amount of equity, and that women are underrepresented among startup employees with large equity grants.

In this panel, we will address the guidelines for equity for startup founders and employees from Seed to Series A funding. This panel will discuss how startup employees can assign value to the quality of stock they can get, how to determine how much your equity will be worth in the future, and lastly, discuss why startup founders should structure employee option pools in a way that will help close the gender wealth gap.