Launching your own startup is full of challenges and obstacles, but raising funds can be one of the most vital yet twisted aspects of all! However, for female Founders, this journey can be even more slippery.
According to a recent research report by the Boston Consulting Group, in partnership with US accelerator group MassChallenge, discovered that female business founders pitching for investment capital receive significantly less than their male counterparts.
Nowadays Women Founders dread the fundraising process. Most of them are thoroughly convinced about the bias involved, which is not wrong! Researches also reveal that investors tend to ask different questions on demo days to women entrepreneurs than male entrepreneurs.
Although most of it might be unconsciously done, our basis for ideas related to gender is so deeply embedded that an investor who thinks he or she is treating women and men the same, probably isn’t. Women Entrepreneurs who want to maximize their shots of finalizing deals with investors on their demo day need to learn how to navigate their paths through such sets of questions!
Following are tips and tricks on how to respond to certain questions on your demo day, control the direction of the conversation, and keep bringing it back to the business and the amazing opportunity it presents.
Full disclosure: Most of what we’ve written here is going to sound sexist. Well, it is!
Women Founders don't have to twist their way of functioning to get the investments, they so rightfully deserve. We truly hope that society’s idea about gender evolves with time, but this is going with the flow for now!
Can I meet your boss?
In a recent blog by an international media agency, Nicola Hazell, director of SheStarts, the female-focused arm of Australian accelerator Blue Chilli, says recent research shows nothing new.
Hazell mentioned, in conversations between startups and investors, male founders are more likely to be asked questions focused on what they are going to do, what are the prospects of their startup, and what new they can bring to the table. Women founders, on the other hand, are more likely to be quizzed on what issues they need to address, and what they will do to make sure they don’t fail.
The questions “lead to a negative, not a positive,” Hazell says, meaning females have to “jump over a higher bar to access funding”.
Much more than just money !
According to Hazell, the reason behind investment imbalance is that most of the investors are male. Getting money into a startup is about “much more than just the dollar sign”, she exclaims.
Generally, startups search for investors who can bring value to the business in terms of advice, mentorship, and connections. And investors wish to support individuals they can relate to.
Navigating your way to close the deal!
According to industry experts, one of the few vital aspects to consider is the presentation of yourself on your demo day! The key to which is confidence in yourself and the services and products that you offer. You must be able to present how passionate you are about your dreams and most of all, your faith in your brand!
Some experts emphasize the fact that not all investors have to be your investors, hence founders are advised not to stress much on breaking the deal, rather presenting their true selves, because you never know what triggers the investor and when.
However, in most scenarios, founders that come across as confident won’t experience some of the challenges associated with being a woman in business.