Reading the posts on this site, I am a bit worried. Can I get funded as a female, minority founder, and how?

I am a black Caribbean female founder who is launching a high-tech healthcare start up. We will need millions of $$$$$ to build the product, before we even get traction. I am worried about our chances of getting funding. Do we have any chance to get funding and how?


    • I am not using it as an excuse -there are quite a few posts here that point to the fact investors don’t want to invest in females. Rather shocked to read that!

  • Based on this line in your post:

    “We will need millions of $$$$$ to build the product, before we even get traction.”

    I would say that you have a 0% chance of getting funding. Not because you’re black or female, but rather because you are an entrepreneur without a proven track record who wants someone to take a multi-million dollar bet on them with nothing to show that your idea will succeed.

    Only founders who’ve succeeded in the past can raise money on those kinds of terms where they don’t even have to have traction or a product yet in order to get millions. I would suggest that you try to create a different product since the one you’re currently trying to build takes too much money to get started.

    I had the same issue as you, and I decided to do something different and it’s working out, but you have to stop looking at it as being unfair that no one will take a chance on you and realize that you’re the one who is being unrealistic. Good luck.

    From a black male entrepreneur.

      • Aside from founders who’ve succeeded in the past, I forgot to include founders who come from wealthy families and have connections. The Clinckle founder’s parents are wealthy; people like that always have it easier. But, mommy and daddy’s connections can’t save him from failing like he is now.

      • Clinkle has an impressive prototype. I have seen that in person. You need at least a good demo to pull that off.

  • the shortest answer is yes and no.

    the real answer is – that it doesn’t matter. You have to just go out and make it happen no matter what.

    Some people won’t like you – or say no because race or gender or just because they dont like how you move or smell or talk. it doesn’t matter.

    you have to build it and seek a path – if its rocking they will give you $$$. Put all the other things to rest – the truth is there are caribbean-americans of both genders doing deals all over – but you can’t tell by the press.

    Best of luck kiddo.

  • I’d be more concerned about your business model than your race or gender. Healthcare is a really tough space to succeed at as an entrepreneur. Do you have healthcare work experience? expertise? Are you experienced working with regulators?

    Check out “Health 2.0” in the US. It’s a community of healthcare entrepreneurs.

  • I’m glad that you raised this! I’m a black non-tech founder, UK based -where investors are even more risk averse than the US and I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’ve validated the opportunity, attracted tech talent to build a useful MVP and have been tireless on the biz dev and networking.

    There’s a lot of naysayers and doommongers and self inflated wannabees on this site who can’t stop themselves from shooting you down -must be points collecting for some super geek loyalty card, fuck ’em..

    You don’t say if that 60k is seed or F&F funding but find a way to offset your lack of track record -accelerator or incubator programmes, connected mentors to give you a warm introduction to the right networks etc.

    Good luck, post back with your success!

  • Nobody here wants to say it- so I will. Your chances of getting funded are slim because of your race and gender combined. Everyone here is (or should be data driven) and the facts are indisputable.

    Investors have this weird thing where they want a founder that they can “fall in love with” or be trapped on a deserted island with… but it is really just them wanting someone they can relate to. Women and minorities are out of their wheelhouse so they won’t say, and they might not even know why, but they most likely won’t fund you.

    I wouldn’t tell you not to try, I just would say expect it to be 1000x harder than it would be for a young white Stanford dropout in a hoodie.

    Every industry needs women and minorities who are willing to go up against the system and break through. Just do it with your eyes wide open. If you are ready to be a pioneer, than go for it.

    • Thats the interesting thing. Everybody is so quick to support the notion that color/gender makes a big difference in getting money, but whenever someone brings up the J word, everybody gets so defensive and says its not true when there are ample evidence that it exists.

      • The two biggest names in the tech world are not J people, if by J you mean Jewish. Steve Jobs(I know he’s dead) is half Arab and half white and was never followed a mainstream religion, and Bill Gates is a white atheist. Most of the top venture capitalists are non-Jewish white guys.

        Every group practices some form of discrimination in favor of their own group, and Jewish people are no exception to that rule. If you’re a Jewish guy who wants to break into the rap/hip hop world, you’re going to have a tougher time than a black guy trying to make it in Hollywood.

        There are good people of every race or religion who don’t discriminate though and they’re the ones who will give you a chance if you just keep at it.

  • (1) don’t focus on the investors that can’t see beyond color. Instead seek funding from your constituents. Check the african american chamber of commerce chapter in your area and even look to potential investors in the Caribbean.

    (2) if u need millions just toget off the ground read lean startup and figure out how you can do it with $100-$250k

    (3) if u think you are being discriminated against from the outset of a pitch, that negativity will manifest in your speech, your body language etc and it will be a self fulfilling prophecy

    Good luck to you!

  • You can get funding, but it’ll be very difficult. Only 1% of funding goes to minorities and a whooping 3% to women. I have no idea what the percentage is for minority women, but I would assume around .33%. If there are any women and/or minority focused entrepreneur groups nearby, get involved with as many as possible. Also do that for healthcare startup groups. It’ll be hard, but you can position yourself in ways to make it easier to meet investors and create relationships. It also helps if your team includes men and white people.

  • The thing with minorities and females is that they constantly receive negative messages in the media in start-ups:

    – Females Will Raise Less Than Males

    – Females Will Need To Prove Themselves More Than Males

    – Equality in Technology for Females Not Possible At All

    And so on and so on.

    You can choose to read and believe these, or you can go out there and prove these people wrong!

  • Don’t listen to the naysayers; decide to the be exception that proves the rule.

    Yes, there is a bias out there, but you don’t need to change to world for every female entrepreneur, you only need ONE lead investor. Just one.

    Credibility and prestige usually trump bias. Find ways to load up on both. Get creative, you’re an entrepreneur….

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