True Ventures’ first female partner speaks up about being the only woman at the table

Ann Crady Weiss stands out from her fellow investors at True Ventures in one key way — she’s the first, and only, female partner in the firm’s 12-year history.

Weiss took on that historic role last year, making the leap from entrepreneur to investor after founding two startups. Now, Weiss is making it her mission to fund other women founders. Her efforts seem to be paying off — so far about 40 percent of entrepreneurs in the firm’s newest fund are women. Globally, less than 17 percent of VC deals involve female founders, according to PitchBook Data.

“I know that women have been underserved,” Weiss said, “so I consider that a very significant opportunity to create an environment in which women are excited to start companies.”

Weiss sat down with this news organization to talk about recent sexual harassment allegations, unconscious biases she’s encountered, and why venture firms need women at the table.

Q What was it like moving to the other side of the table, transitioning from entrepreneur to investor?

A It’s been fantastic. I think I’m a better entrepreneur for seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Probably the biggest realization in the transition is to understand the risk tolerance that venture capitalists have. At least our firm in particular has. They really are swinging for the fences and they don’t sweat the small stuff.

Q What does it mean to you to be the first female investing partner on the team?

A I feel frankly really excited and super fortunate. I won’t pretend that my gender is not noteworthy. I got this job because I am a two-time founder of True-backed companies, and they think I’m smart and we connect as partners from a personality perspective. But I also got this opportunity because I’m a woman, and they recognize the problem that venture capital, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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