Posts tagged Merian Ventures
Inside VC Firms: The Gender Divide

Johannes Lenhard has been conducting a year’s worth of ethnographic and interview-based research with venture capital firms for my post-doctoral project at the Max Planck Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change. 

While Lenhard initially set out to understand the investment decisions made by these funds, what he observed is an incredible gender divide -- almost every time he entered a venture capital firm in Munich, Berlin, London or San Francisco, he was greeted by a female office assistant who offered me coffee and walked me to a conference room. And almost every time, the partner of the fund I met for an interview was male, white, and over 40 years-old.

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Why it pays to be a male tech entrepreneur

Just two per cent of venture capital (VC) money went to all-female founding teams in Europe in 2018, while in the UK, for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Professor Simonetta Manfredi from the Centre for Diversity Research Policy and Practice (CDPRP) at Oxford Brookes University attributes this low investment in women-led companies because they are only a small minority to begin with, and because the majority of venture capitalists are male, with females making up just 13 per cent of VC decision-makers in the UK, creating an unconscious biases.

Merian Ventures is one example of a US and UK VC firm that funds female-led businesses, specifically in artificial intelligence and consumer-facing technology companies. Its founder, Alexsis de Raadt St James, believes VC firms and investors have a role to play in levelling the playing field, and it’s beneficial to everyone. Aside from VCs, there are other paths to funding including university incubators, commercial firms with links to universities, and crowd-funding., which Priya Guha, venture partner at Merian Ventures, says can be used “very effectively” to get traction in a large market by publicity.

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We need more female entrepreneurs. Universities can help create them

Budding female entrepreneurs can overcome the gender funding gap with targeted support from universities. This article, co-authored by Alexsis de Raadt St. James, founder and managing partner of Merian Ventures, explores the gender investment disparity by venture capital firms and how universities are taking responsibility to cultivate and support women entrepreneurs.

Universities have launched programs, such as WE Innovate at the Imperial College London, specifically for student women entrepreneurs to provide access to funding, mentoring and exposure to invest networks.

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Seven Silicon Valley Tech Startups That Are Likely To Succeed In 2019

ImpactVision is one of seven Silicon Valley tech startups identified as likely to succeed in 2019. The selected startups are likely to succeed for a variety of reasons. For example, most of them have invested in niche markets. Others have developed unique solutions for problems in markets that blossom….

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What’s the Key to Debugging in Today’s Distributed Systems?

Mirroring your staging environment to production for code debugging is a fool’s errand in today’s distributed systems.  Observability is the key because you can’t predict where the next failure will occur. Read more about the remarks by Honeycomb’s Charity Majors at the recent Chaos Conference…

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Walmart is embracing Blockchain technology for food safety

Walmart is investing heavily in Blockchain technology and proactively educating their suppliers of food products on how Blockchain can be used to improve food traceability from the farm to Walmart shelves.  The paper, Food Traceability Initiatives”, specifically addresses the use of Blockchain to provide transparency on leafy greens which have often been the cause of E coli outbreaks.

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The Wild Bunch uses Provenance Blockchain Solution for Conservation

Food, and other industries, are finding uses for blockchain technology, to record encrypted, permanent and unalterable data in digital ledgers. Companies like Provenance deliver solutions that provide data on supply chains that can be trusted by companies and individuals. The food and drink sector is one of the most difficult supply chains to manage.  In this article, The Wild Bunch, a Dutch food importer, and Provenance, are featured. The Wild Bunch employs the Provenance blockchain solution to take food industry block chain to a new level by using its transparency to encourage conservation…

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