Currently, only 2% of all Dutch VC capital is invested in female-founded or female co-founded companies. While recent policy changes and the widespread adoption of HR frameworks are an improvement (and I am certainly not criticising that) it cannot be argued that women are underrepresented in the tech space and more can always be done to right this wrong.
Not too long ago, inc.com called this out on a global scale in an article titled: “Women aren’t getting funded and there’s a simple reason why”.
The columnist highlighted that: “Investors need to stop blaming the lack of diversity in their portfolios on a “pipeline problem. It’s not a pipeline problem, it’s a power problem.”
According to research completed by PitchBook, in the US since 2005, less than 10% of all companies that received venture support had a female founder.
Simply put, there is a huge part of the population with potentially phenomenal ideas but they are largely being ignored, misunderstood or brushed to the side.
Now, what can we do to solve this problem?
Imagine how many more female founders and businesses there would be if there was a platform that was actively seeking a 50/50 gender split in their portfolio companies? Not to mention enabling ambitious women to launch their own business by supporting them financially, providing professional mentorship and access to capital.
Enter Antler, the global startup generator and early-stage VC company that launched in Amsterdam earlier this year following success in Singapore and Stockholm.
Antler aims to bridge the gender-gap plaguing tech by breaking down the barriers of entrepreneurship.
By providing funding from day one, a clear pathway to capital, access to a global network of advisors, investors and entrepreneurs, as well as helping them find a co-founder with complementary skills, they are supporting founders at the very earliest stage in their journey.
Of their first 80 portfolio companies, almost 50% have at least one female co-founder and they are among the first group of VCs who joined #Fundright. If you haven’t heard, this initiative, which was started by 26 Dutch VCs (with more joining by the day) are committed to hiring more women in tech. All the VCs signed have agreed to reach 35% female representation within the next 3 years. It’s a great step in furthering this movement.
With their early-stage program, Antler removes much of the fear, risk and personal sacrifice previously required to start a business to allow founders to truly innovate and create the change they have been seeking to achieve.
In just six months they help founders build a team, launch a business, secure pre-seed funding, scale that business, achieve first milestones, and then potentially gain a seed capital fundraising round at the Antler Demo Day at the end of the program. Some teams in international regions have gained between US$250K to US$1.5 million. These accomplishments would ordinarily take startup years to achieve.
If you or someone you know has been looking for access, funding, or just a supportive pathway to achieve your dreams of starting your own business, Antler could be the program you’ve been looking for. Apply here.
“We need to organise our work better ánd smarter” says Martine Meijburg. Meijburg founded Second Degree in 2013; the first LinkedIn marketing agency (worldwide). A success, as the agency became one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands (Silver FD Gazellen Award in 2016), servicing clients such as Philips, KLM and Microsoft.
Martine is an author, public speaker and was listed in The Next Women 100 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Adformatie100 in 2017. She shares with us her experiences as an entrepreneur and member of The Next Women.
She got into the world of recruitment because she showed talent for it and acted on that: at TNW we love playing out your strengths. Now, with her own company and being a mother of two, Dayanara Vonk Ilaria reflects on her journey: “Leadership really is learning how you can influence yourself.”