Posted by Rosana Francescato
How does a woman in cleantech succeed in a startup world where investors prefer handsome men? Never fear — the dynamic women on a panel at the recent startup eventVator Splash Oakland embodied evidence that women can be every bit as successful as their male counterparts.
Investor and startup coach Reena Jadhavmoderated the panel, “Startup Success Secrets — A Female Perspective.” She was joined by Carol Carpenter (Chief Marketing Officer, ClearSlide), Mary Ann Byrnes (C&M Partners), Kristin McDonnell (M33 Partners), Anne Dwane (Chief Business Officer, Chegg), and Meera Kaul (Meera Kaul Foundation).
While most of the insights shared apply to anyone trying to achieve startup success, some were especially relevant to women in cleantech. That was certainly true of what followed Jadhav’s opening remark that investors tend to favor handsome men.
Given that, what can women do to get investors’ attention? Kaul, the angel investor on the panel, said she looks for:
Also crucial to a startup is the team, which can make the difference between mediocre and great performance. The panelists offered this advice on recruiting:
My own takeaway? Anyone who surrounds herself with women as engaging, dynamic, and helpful as the ones on this panel will surely be on the road to success.
Photo credit: Hasain Rasheed
Rosana Francescato is Director of Communications at Sunible.com, an online marketplace that’s radically simplifying the home solar buying experience. She’s on the board of Women in Cleantech and Sustainability and the steering committee of theLocal Clean Energy Alliance. She’s been the top individual fundraiser at the GRID Alternatives Bay Area Solarthon four years in a row.
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