That’s in part why a group of women investors in Kansas City is planning to meet with women entrepreneurs to foster better relationships.
Investors from the KCRise Fund, Royal Street Ventures, TIFEC, UMB and Techstars Kansas City plan to hold open office hours for female founders Friday, Dec. 8, at WeWork Corrigan Station.
The meeting, which might turn into a series depending on the demand, aims to cultivate stronger relationships with investors and entrepreneurs, Techstars KC program manager Alex Krause said.
“Lots of research supports that women have a more challenging time finding mentors, a network and access to capital than their male counterparts,” said Krause. “By gaining access to other women investors — building their network and connections to women in this space at our office hours on Friday, we hope to narrow those gaps.”
Darcy Howe, managing director of the KC Rise Fund, said that the idea came about from a challenge from Sarah Shipley, chairwoman of the Kansas City Startup Foundation.
“She saw a TechCrunch article about women venture capitalists in California who did this, so she sent a public tweet,” Howe said. “I saw it on November 14 and by the end of the day we had eight women venture capitalists lined up, a blast email to women founders and 10 signed up for the December 8 event. 20 Founders are currently signed up to participate.”
Howe encouraged women to come prepared with questions and use the event as a learning opportunity. It is also a valuable opportunity for investors, she added.
“The objective is to be a welcoming face of capital to women founders, provide an opportunity to speed pitch to and get feedback from several venture capitalists in a short period, and generally begin to support one another,” Howe said. “It will be a good way for venture capitalists to continue to build relationships with founders in which they may invest.”
Some of the investors attending are:
- Darcy Howe, KCRise Fund
- Laura Brady, Royal Street Ventures
- Shari Coulter Ford, TIFEC
- Jacquie Ward, UMB
- Lesa Mitchell and Alex Krause, Techstars KC
For those interested in participating in the event, RSVP here.