I have always been one to not hide behind gender stereotypes as a disadvantage and create my own opportunities… but today, I am finding it really hard to tell myself that I do not have a disadvantage.
Let me first give some background: I have been working on my startup for 10 months. I have an MVP in the market, 4K active users and some revenue …. but I am not coding it myself. I would classify myself as non-technical but can review every line of code and can judge the quality of code. I am also funding this business myself.. and have another 12 months of funds left at least (assuming revenue does not increase).
This brings me to my question:
I continue to be written off and rejected from pitch events… the very events that are focused on very early stage startups… many who have presented with much less traction than me.
The reason I get every time is that I need to have a technical co-founder…
I 100% agree that 2 people are better than 1.. and having a technical founder is a value. But here is some my unfiltered thoughts:
1. Even if I were to feel confident I can code the product myself… I would still opt to outsource it given that is one of the only things that I can outsource (I can also afford to). It is much harder to outsource the hustle, strategic thinking, product management, PR, business development …
2. If the pre-requisite to getting someone to feel you deserve a chance is to be technical… and only 20% of engineers are women.. what kind of opportunities for entrepreneurship are we truly creating in tech for women? My easiest path to finding a co-founder who is technical is a man… just based on the numbers/ odds. What does that say about the opportunities out there for a female-only tech startup?
Am I overreacting? I know rejection is part of the path I took as a founder… but anyone deserves at least someone who believes in them.. gives them a chance.. when I am written off every time because of what is on paper as a non-technical founder… it feels the odds are against me.
I know that I can make generate 100K in revenue this year alone.. and may never need to raise funds.. but I feel for other women in my shoes.. that may not have as easy of a path to revenue or may need to raise money.
Would love to hear thoughts.