Female Founder School
 

About

 

We're reimagining what it takes to build a successful company. Join us in making your vision (and ours) a reality.

A Better Way to Build a Company

Even though there are countless books and resources on starting a business, we still found ourselves floundering when starting our first company, "What do I do first?" "Am I doing anything right?" "Is this even a good idea?" It seemed like most of the support out there was for people who were already well on their way to building their companies, and we were still exploring our business ideas. In talking with hundreds of first-time founders, we learned that this resource gap wasn't unique to our team.

We also heard from the directors of several well known startup accelerators that many of their portfolio companies had to spend valuable time going back and redoing the groundwork, often pivoting in the middle of the program. Or similarly, we heard that their founders were ultimately unsuccessful because they spent all of their time and money advancing down the wrong path, having missed key learnings important in the earliest stages of company building.

Moreover, unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, not everyone has equal access to the resources that enable startups to successfully get off the ground. There are clear divisions in who has traditionally benefited from the existing startup infrastructure based on certain demographic characteristics, including race, gender, geography and socioeconomic status. For example, in 2018 the investor group #angels found that, women account for only 13 percent of startup founders, and even worse, own just 6 percent of founder equity (article link).

For these reasons we built Female Founder School. Starting a company is indisputably hard, but we started Female Founder School to make it easier for ANYONE to start a company ANYWHERE.

 
 
 

Why Now?

 
 
 

Venture Capitalists invested $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders in 2016. Meanwhile, women received just $1.46 billion in VC money.

- Pitchbook Data

 
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Companies with a female founder performed 63% better than our investments with all-male founder teams.

- First Round, 10 Year Project

 
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our team

 
 

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT FOR US?

Female Founder School is built on our collective experience as founders, investors, and tech community members. Throughout our careers, we have focused on how to design better systems to support more people--the connective thread that brought us all together.  Enhao brings product and finance, Katie brings partnerships and community, Brittney investing and growth. Together, we’re working to enable thousands of women start and build businesses.

 - Enhao, Katie, Brittney

 
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Enhao Li

Founder & CEO of Mentorkind

Launched mentorship programs for women and professionals of color in tech and politics

Past investment banker at Morgan Stanley - helped fast growing technology companies with IPO and M&A

BA in Economics from Harvard University 

 

Katie Doherty

Previous Co-Director of Runway Innovation Hub 

Led Runway through an acquisition in 2017

Launched Corporate Innovation Program at Singularity University 

BA in Government from Harvard University 

Brittney Riley

Investment Consultant at Pivotal Ventures

Previous VP of US Ventures for Village Capital

Helped launch Snapguide, and led growth and community at Zipongo

BA in International Studies from University of Washington

 
 

Founding PARTNER

 

Runway is an innovation hub bringing together entrepreneurs, startups, VCs, mentors, Fortune 500 Corporations, and industry experts. Runway provides coworking space to entrepreneurs, accelerator programs for high-growth startups, corporate innovation services to global companies, and event programming. Learn More>

 
 
 

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