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Women, Networking Groups, Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital in Massachusetts

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 12, 2009 07:01 AM

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cartwrightschulman.jpg
Sunday's column focused on the growing infrastructure in Massachusetts that supports female entreprenuers. In the photo at right are Jill Cartwright, founder of Go Gaga, and Rebecca Schulman, founder of Papa Products, both mentioned in the opening of the story. (The day I interviewed them both, I happened to run into them at an evening event at Babson College.)

Innovation Economy readers have helped create a really great list of many of the networking groups dedicated to female entrepreneurs in Massachusetts. Feel free to continue adding to that list...

And on Twitter, I asked whether there are more than a small handful of women venture capitalists throughout New England. (I couldn't think of more than five.) The list breaks into the double digits, which surprised me... (Is anyone missing? I'm not including principals, associates, or administrative staffers -- just partners.)


Interesting, is it not, that most of the firms with women making investment decisions are based in Boston, not Waltham...? Mount Money is so progressive that way...

And I found it pretty brave for Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital to ask the question last week, "Are VCs Sexist?" His blog post was republished in PEHub and BusinessWeek.

"I find the preponderance of males in VC an annoying and stubborn phenomenon," Bussgang wrote. Yet Flybridge is one of many firms in New England that does not have a single woman involved in making investment decisions.

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10 comments so far...
  1. Don't forget Daphne Zohar, founder and managing partner of PureTech Ventures:

    http://bit.ly/4ud9zN

    Posted by Lily Kim October 12, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Just added Daphne - don't know how I'd forgotten her!

    Posted by Scott Kirsner October 12, 09 11:31 AM
  1. Good article Scott. Browse enough VC team pages, and the percentage of portfolio shots of guys in blue blazers becomes quickly apparent.
    a few that came to mind:
    Anne Mitchell at Fidelity Ventures: http://www.fidelityventures.com/portfolio/team.cgi/1/23/
    Kathy Barry, CFO of Highland: http://www.hcp.com/kathy_barry
    Dafina Toncheva, VP at Venrock, not sure if that counts towards the list:
    and I wanted to call out Jacqueline Morby, ex-managing director of TA associates, now a senior adviser there in her retirement.Truly one of the pioneering women of Boston VC: http://people.forbes.com/profile/jacqueline-c-morby/6240

    Posted by Daniel Sullivan October 12, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Don't forget Geraldine Alias from Fidelity Ventures:

    http://www.fidelityventures.com/portfolio/team.cgi/2/39/

    Posted by Steve Schlafman October 12, 09 05:53 PM
  1. Thanks for these. I added Geraldine at Fidelity. Dafina seems to be based in Palo Alto. Know about Kathy @ Highland, but I'm focusing on women who make investments, rather than support the fund infrastructure/administration.

    Posted by Scott Kirsner October 12, 09 06:45 PM
  1. You mentioned Jean Hammond and Golden Seeds in your Friday five. She should be on the comprehensive list.

    Posted by Marilyn Matz October 13, 09 04:39 AM
  1. Don't forget Elyse Cherry (President) and Sharon Shepard (Managing Director) at Boston Community Capital's Venture Fund.

    http://www.bcvfund.com/index.html

    Posted by Amanda October 13, 09 08:25 AM
  1. I wonder if we need a separate list of angel investors....

    Posted by Scott Kirsner October 13, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Curious about the number of female LPs and fund of funds, that invest in venture capital firms. Has this increased over last few years, could this impact more hiring of female VC partners

    Posted by Pearl Freier October 13, 09 09:15 PM
  1. Scott, you should add Dina Routhier, of MTDC.

    Posted by Geoff Mamlet October 15, 09 09:47 PM
 

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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