TL;DR: Some VCs don’t value cold inbound; we do. Not only should it be a crucial part of the ecosystem’s access and inclusion efforts, but it strengthens dealflow too. Win-win.

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Why?

How many VC firms talk about access and inclusion, but are actually impossible to reach?

If you’re a founder from an underrepresented background without access to many privileged networks, how do you get your voice heard?

It is easy for funds to claim that the best founders filter to the top naturally, or to say they don’t have the time for cold inbound and have to instead focus their efforts…


Across two events — June 4th and June 24th — Playfair Capital and Tech Nation hosted 800 one-on-one office hour meetings for 200 female founders with 60 VCs. It’s the largest event of its kind for female founders across the UK and we hosted it all fully remote.

This post is a quick summary of everything we set out to do, what we achieved, what we learned in the process, and what’s coming next.

Some of the amazing founders and investors from Female Founder Office Hours in June

What we set out to do

Our full mission statement for Female Founder Office Hours can be found in our original post, but can be summarised here:

There are two key problems:


Collaboration is hugely important in working towards improving the stats on funding going to female founders. At the same time, we think that as important as getting in the room is making the most of the opportunity while you’re there.

In the lead up to the fully remote edition of Female Founder Office Hours on June 4th, we have been sharing material to ensure all founders attending (& those not attending!) have a chance to get to know the funds and individual investors before their meetings.

We published our team’s tips and advice on getting what you want from each…


This is the seventh in our “8 Questions” series — in which we sit down with founders in the Playfair Capital portfolio to share their entrepreneurial journey.

We first invested in Melissa back in 2015. We were inspired by her vision to build a platform to manage the global healthcare workforce. Writing in the times of Covid-19, her mission has never been more relevant.


We launched the third, nationwide and fully remote edition of Female Founder Office Hours last week and we are looking forward to meeting all 100 female founders on June 4th.

We wanted to ensure all founders attending have a chance to get to know the funds and individual investors before their office hours meetings. As Alexandra Baranowski wrote in her blog post — ‘A guide to getting what you want’ — as important as getting in the room is making the most of the opportunity while you’re there.

To this end, we’re publishing a series of five articles over five…


Collaboration is Queen. At Playfair, we believe in the power of bringing people together to solve issues and make us all stronger. As investors, we recognise the potential for entrepreneurship to improve society, but this will not be fully realised until we achieve real equality in access to startup funding. That’s why we have always been strong advocates of the power of collaboration. We are using this principle to address the continuing headwinds for female founders in tech.

(Update 09/06/2020)

We received so many applications for Female Founder Office Hours that we decided to put on a second event for…


This is the sixth in our “8 Questions” series — in which we sit down with founders in the Playfair portfolio to share their entrepreneurial journey.

We first invested in Roy and Joseph back in 2018. We were excited by their vision for the future of autonomous flights and their lightweight, software led approach which had the potential to open up a wide range of commercial use cases and dramatically reduce deployment costs.


This is the fifth in our new series “8 Questions” — in which we sit down with founders in the Playfair portfolio to share their entrepreneurial journey.

We invested in Matt Wilson in March 2019. We were inspired by his vision to enable any health provider and any patient to participate in research to bring new treatments to market and improve the fight against disease. …


This is the fourth in our interview series “8 Questions” — in which we catch up with founders in the Playfair portfolio to share their entrepreneurial journey.

We first invested in Philipp and his co-founder Ludwig back in 2015. When we meet two entrepreneurs with the level of hustle and energy they both had coming straight out of university, we see the potential for a company that can really grow beyond two people and an idea. When those two people also happen to have found a product for a simultaneously underserved and large market, it becomes a no-brainer.

Ludwig Wurlitzer (Founder and CPO) and Philipp Man (Founder and CEO)

Fast forward…


This is the third in our new series “8 Questions” — in which we sit down with founders in the Playfair portfolio to share their entrepreneurial journey.

We first invested in Mandeep back in 2014, in the very early days of Playfair. We were inspired by his vision to bridge the worlds of beautiful offline retail with the power of online. Mandeep, alongside his co-founders were in that category of founders who you just know will find a way, somehow, to build an unstoppable business, and that’s why we first invested a year before they even had launched Trouva.

Henrik Wetter Sanchez

VC Investor @PlayfairCapital | prev @Cambridge_Uni @BankofAmerica | Founder @RendezVu_App | Working on #AI #HITL #EquityCrowdfunding #DiversityinTech

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