I am a sole non-technical female founder. I could be shitting rainbows and unicorns out my ass (which I do, daily) and investors still won’t touch me with a stick. I know for a fact if I were two dudes I’d be fully funded by now.

      • Since your obviously in need of tech people , and can pick them(an amazingly short skill in biz founders it seems),but a non-tech founder, why isn’t one of your devs the CTO? If they don’t have the skillset, why don’t you find someone who does? That would make you look a lot stronger.

    • Take a look at the investor you are trying to attract. Make sure you fit their profile of company to invest in. Also, I have people that I drop proposals in from of and get their feedback. If they can blow holes into it anywhere… it isn’t investor ready. Just becuase you think it is a great idea doesn’t mean others will.

      If you don’t have anybody to review your presentation before you show it to an investor, I would be willing to read it over and see how bulletproof it is.

  • Not sure what gender has anything to do with it? It’s still about hustle, determination and building something ppl actually want, male or female.

    As Bezos said, ‘complaining is not a strategy.’

      • Firstly, 7% of all venture capital funding goes to women. What is the percent of women who are entrepreneurs who are seeking this funding? IF the percent of women who are startups seeking funding is 21%, then 7% is 1/3 of women seeking funding succeed. That should be the decisive data for comparison between male and female startup seekers.

        Secondly, the experiments are setup in a contained environment where the ‘investors’ (participants) are not real investors which would mean they are not really putting a stake of their money into it. The experiment merely would be if they had the money would they invest in it? Its like if we won the lottery what would be do with it? I’m sure what we imagine doing now and what we actually would do would be vastly different. So, the experiment title could very well be, if you won the lottery would you invest in this, purely hypothetical. The difference in the results would be explained by the fact that historically men are associated with strength and the breadwinner and we are all biased towards this. Same as, we are biased to women being the nurturer and the attentive one.

  • Do you have a successful exit on your resume?

    Are you an ex-Google/Microsoft/Apple VP?

    Do you have millions of users and double digit month on month growth?

    If you don’t answer yes to at least one of the above, then it is not surprising you aren’t getting funding. It has nothing to do with being female.

    One suggestion: if your business is female oriented or even if you just want to trade on your female-dom – there are a number of wives of very rich people who at least reportedly try to help. I want to say Ellison’s wife, but you should look around yourself.

    • Your suggestion that only startups who fit those 3 criteria get funded is completely absurd. Have a look around. I do not have millions of users, but I do have better traction than the majority of seed funded startups.

      • The numbers don’t lie.

        Founder teams with one person or more with an exit get 10x more funding and get funded 5x more often vs. ones that don’t.

        Sure, you might be able to find dumb money or family money, but the big names don’t give out big money to newbies very often at all, and when they do, it is due to traction.

        If you have the traction – that’s great, although number of users isn’t the criterion anymore except in a few very specific categories.

  • Keep pitching. It’s like kissing a bunch of frogs. It’s hard to get funded regardless… Xoxo minority solo female founder

      • If your reactions here are similar to your reactions to investor questions…. you might need to adjust your attitude.

        You say you’re a solo non-tech founder – that’s pretty high risk from the investor’s perspective. Just offhand:

        You could just throw in the towel and there goes the company.
        Since you’re not building the solution yourself, that means you are depending on an external resource. Idea people are everywhere, and investors don’t tend to give money for ideas.
        Investors want to make more money with their money, period. Are you speaking their language when you’re showing them your thing, or are you talking about how awesome your widget is because x, y, and z?

        Signed, 2 unfunded (and less bitter, apparently) guys.

        • I actually happen to be a very talented, intelligent and eloquent person with specific domain expertise that are more important to my product than the devs are. I already mentioned I’m not at idea stage, I have proven market traction.

          I realize in an anonymous forum it’s easier to assume I’m the one at fault, and therefor just lash out at me and my attitude. Assuming I would talk to investors in the same manner as I vent in an anonymous forum is unlikely, but it’s easy to assume the worst, than to actually think there’s a grain of truth to my frustration, isn’t it?

          Only one who decided to give me a tiny bit of credit, is someone who has faced the same difficulties and knows what I’m talking about.

          If you’re a white male Stanford alum (or somewhere close to this criteria) I don’t expect you to identify, but at least have the humility not to criticize. Is all I’m saying.

          • Hey,

            I understand that you are in a difficult situation. I am a non-white dude, techie with a lot of experience in building products.

            I also have a fair degree of domain expertise also, and a working product, and….you guessed it – still unfunded.

            Getting funded IMO is a matter of timing/dumb luck, and persistence. I do freelance on the side to pay the bills while trying to get my start-up off the ground.

            It is hard, frustrating and just plain shitty. I hope things are better for you, but I do want you to know that it may not be a gender thing.

            It is just how life is for start-up founders. Thanks.

  • Most start ups are bootstrapped – meaning that founders start with nothing or their own savings and company grows slowly. I bootstrapped 5 businesses. It was scary and great. I didn’t have to answer to anyone.

  • You just need to hustle. Without a doubt, women have an uphill battle still but that incline is declining day by day.

    I am a male, but my sister is a non technical founder and she managed to raise $2M in seed funding. Her biggest annoyance is when other female founders whine and complain about the gender disparity – keep that in mind.

    I wish you the best of luck and I know people are being condescending on here towards you, but you also need to take a good long hard look at yourself and stop blaming your lack of funding solely on gender. Take that energy and put it back into refining your business and your pitch.

    • Thank you. I do not blame it all on gender. Of course not. Women do get funded just like your sister – case in point. And I have no doubt I’ll end up funded as I am fully hustling at all times. This post is but a snapshot in time of my frustration at that moment, which as you kindly acknowledge, is a result of a very real reality.

      Fundraising is hard for everyone, and as a woman you’re pushing that rock up the hill with one hand tied behind your back, while your fellow male founders seem to zoom on by. I think that’s enough to warrant a rant.

      To all haters, rest assured you are not likely to find me cussing and burning bras up and down sandhill road, as fun as that sounds.

  • I guess if you were a man you wouldn’t be whining about it and would be working instead.

    No one gets funded because of a gender. You are not a technical person, your idea probably sucks and you suck.

    If the first sentence is about your gender, this is what’s wrong. Why aren’t you telling us about your success record? Your thousands of active users? Your profit?

  • I realize you’re just venting, but don’t forget that you wouldn’t get funded either if you were a Latino and a black dude. Or if you were too old. The further you are from the Silicon Valley archetype — a pair of 20-something white male Stanford students — the more discrimination you’re bound to face.

    It’s still possible for women to get funding, just disproportionately difficult. You’ll get there in the end, I’m sure. Good luck.

  • Well, I’ll be leaving this thread now as it seems to be getting the exact opposite of what I had hoped. Came here hoping to find a tiny bit of support from other founders, of all ages sexes and colors – after all carry our untold suffering in silence. Instead it seems I found a group of beasts preying on someone showing the slightest weakness to derive a tiny bit of superiority out of it. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Startup anonymous, you should really add a ‘report’ this post feature at some point.

    To the lovely commenter who suggests men would be working instead of talking… yeah. But women have the amazing power to mutlitask. I can actually afford to spend 10 minutes of my day on this forum and still get work done, and a bunch of other stuff to boot. How neat is that? Try it sometime, you get a lot more done this way, although I have to admit being an asshole sounds like a full time thing you can’t really get out of.

    • Lol. Seriously.

      You’ve got an attitude problem. Seriously.

      Startupsanonymous needs a “report” feature? Wtf is wrong with you? People disagree/criticize and you automatically consider it harassment and want someone to step in for you?

      You’ll probably just rationalize it to gender discrimination in the end. Fuck you. People like you enforce gender bias.

      Also, investors want to make money. That doesn’t have a gender. So if your startup had that much potential you would have no problem getting investors. You on the other hand seem to be a huge liability/risk.

    • You are arrogant, sexist, impolite and you just seem to just simply suck.

      You got challenged in this thread a couple of times, your responses was always “Fuck you” or “women can multitask” – that’s YOUR RESPONSES?! Check your ego at the door.

      If you respond the same way to investors no wonder you’re getting your ass kicked. If someone says your idea suck and you start personally insulting them, or telling they are sexist, well, there’s the problem.

      • huh…? Those responses were nothing compared to what I would have written to a person that says, and I quote “I guess if you were a man you wouldn’t be whining about it and would be working instead.”. A response like that should be flagged and should be called out. I assume you wrote your response without reading exactly what was said or else you’d be siding with that responder, which I assume you are not trying to do.

    • Multitasking doesn’t work. In fact, it decreases your productivity by as much as 40%. Read the Stanford study about it.

      Watch less TV and read more books. Key to success bruh.

  • Lmao cry us a river. Everybody has the same problems as you. If you’re going to worry about this shit then just give up entrepreneurship. Plus, it’s not about “getting funded,” it’s about building a sustainable business.

  • I don’t see the problem, uh? You have people working for you, that is – either you have the money to pay them, or, the charm to convince them .. (that your idea is just to great 🙂 hehe sure. always is ..) – such, that is just very good!

    So .. what do you want the funding for? Just continue, it seems to be good!

  • Not all startups require outside funding. Not even most. Consider bootstrapping your idea to prove its worthiness, pursue funding to add fuel to your then-proven growth plan.

  • Guys, girls, if we are honest we know that women have to prove themselves and work twice as hard as men do for investors to start realizing the value they’ve created. That’s the reality, and women should be vocal about it, not shut up and pretend it’s not there, like some of you seem to be suggesting.

    • Ascribe it to why you failed? Wouldn’t suggest that. It implies there’s nothing you can do to improve and everything else should change before you can succeed. Do you want to wait that long?

      The critics here are trying to say this.

      Different parameters give rise to different results. Everything’s different therefore everything will not be the same, everything will be “unfair”. Just find the unfair that works in your favor.

  • “Shutting up” doesnt imply its not there but this rant is definitely not helping. Im a woman, minority, bootstrapping, broke & hustling, been turned down for funding, etc.. Maybe that investor was gonna be a bad fit for me. Honestly you have a very defensive chip on your shoulder. Its resonating through your writing so it surely is showing on some level when you’re approaching investors no matter how you try to hide it. They see hundreds of pitches. They can sense when something is off regardless of your project or gender. This is a very supportive board but you’re focused on the wrong thing. As an entrepeneur in one of the toughest businesses on the planet, there’s plenty to be depressed about other than gender issues lol. You’ll learn that. Let it go. Focus on being a viable business on the leanest scale possible. Then reinvest your profit. Just like any business. The money will come to you.

  • I couldn’t get through all the comments because of the bullshit. But hang in there. The sexism is real and you don’t have to prove that to the ones who don’t care to see it here. You’ll find the right people to see your vision, and if not, you’ll find the revenue to make your business self-sustainable, if you are doing the right things, measuring the right things, listening to the right customers, reacting the right way in your product. Keep going.

    /woman technical founder.

  • It’s a shame that pointing out inequality is seen as “whining and complaining”. We all should be loudly shouting about the discrimination in the industry. You can’t just tell someone to work harder… it doesn’t work that way.

    That said, for a variety of reasons investors don’t like single founders- and a much higher proportion of women tend to found alone. Which explains why it is harder for them to fundraise beyond the obvious gender issues. It is harder for women to find tech cofounders and since women are breaking into the industry they are less connected and have smaller networks.

    OP, you have a tough choice to make. Funding will be harder for you as a woman, do you really want to make it 10x harder by trying to go it alone?

    • FYI investors don’t actually prefer multiple founders.

      Check actual data from CB Insights, there is only a 1-3% difference in solo founders vs multiples that get funded.

      Bias only exists in California. Not other states.

      Data tells all.

  • Do you have actual evidence of discrimination?

    Please remember there are a very high proportion of start-ups that never receive any funding, the media just makes a frenzy of the unicorns and it can feel like everyone around you is getting funded but you. I’m just saying you should put your funding failures into perspective.

    I’m male and haven’t received any funding, it’s taken me two years of working 15-20 hour days, 7 days a week to finally get to a position where I have enough customer revenue to not need external funding. Starting – and then running – a business is not easy, hang in there and build a contingency plan.

  • You do not “know for a fact” that you would be funded if you were two dudes. It is merely your overstated opinion. And, if you really believe your rhetoric, then hire two dudes to act the part.

    Might even be a better business than the one you’re currently working. There must be thousands of Stanford dropouts hanging out in CA coffee shops. Start a faux CEO rental firm.

  • Hello, what you are saying has some truth in it. Luckily there are other ways to seek funding. Try some of these “crowdfunding platforms” like “Kickstarter” for example. alot of angel investors have their reps on the lookout for new startups there.

    there is another company called lighter Capital based in Seattle that only invest in Tech Startups and whats more they don’t take equity.

    Good luck!!

  • Wow. You were treated like crap on here. Some men, and even some women, can get super defensive when you so much as hint at male privilege. And unfortunately victim blame and misogyny are still considered socially acceptable in most circles.

    You could ask these guys why they feel so threatened by you and they couldn’t even tell you. They would deny their emotional reaction, the contempt, but it gives them away.

    You’re perceived as an intruder in a male space. Just being a woman is a threat to them because they’ve been told they must be superior to you to be “real men”. And they are terrified, really terrified, of not achieving this mythological ideal.* No one wins, for sure.

    Anyway, you’re right, you’re treated differently because you’re a woman. You don’t have to look beyond this page to see that. Women experience sexism a hundred different ways every single day.

    Stick to people who get that and will support you.

    You are a warrior. Your struggle is acknowledged and appreciated.

    Your victories affect us all.

    You are already ” real men”, just as you are. You don’t have to achieve anything else to be loved and accepted. When others tell you otherwise, they are trying to manipulate you by making you doubt yourself.
    You are good enough right now. Really.

  • OP here. I’m fully funded now. All facts and story considered – I fully stand by my original post. Shame on all of you haters, you make our world a darker place and I am ashamed to be your ‘colleague’ in this swamp.

    I hope women who read this will know they can fight through it, they’ll be called names, shamed, blamed, criticized and will need to work 5 times hared and longer to get there than their male counterparts. Is it worth it… you decide. Perhaps there’s console in knowing our struggle inspires and opens the doors for next generations to come.

    You have no idea who I am or what I’ve accomplished before the original post or now. If you knew me or my story, you’d be amazed and ashamed.

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