On March 8th, International Women's Day, Brilliant Ventures co-signed as a signatory to the #StartWithEight initiative. More than a hashtag, this effort garnered commitments from dozens of VC firms and companies to meet with 8 women outside their existing networks in the month of March.
The initiative garnered a lot of social media buzz on the 8th, but what's happened since? Here's a quick report on the impact of our commitment to #StartWithEight thus far.
As a female-founded and led venture fund, we meet with a lot of women outside our network just about every day, so we set the bar a little differently - how could we meet women who are doing interesting things that may sit outside of, or adjacent to, our thesis? And how could we connect with women who aren't necessarily actively investing or seeking capital who might add value to those who are?
With these objectives in mind, we've met with 6 new women from outside our network/daily flow (as of March 16, 2018). From those meetings, we've already benefitted from exposure to their networks and knowledge, gained the opportunity to give back the help we received when we were launching our first fund, and enjoyed a general sense of excitement about the amazing founders and companies in LA that sit outside our thesis.
We've also spent time with 4 women we've met before, but not really taken the time to learn more about. Those conversations have led to new dealflow, budding friendships, and in one case, a fresh mani/pedi.
Finally, we've connected at least 12 women to new connections, for all sorts of reasons. One very excited entrepreneur followed up yesterday to let us know that she has a new addition to her advisory board, one that has the reach, influence and network to "level up" her business. It's too early to speak to results on the others, but we're hopeful that the rest of these introductions may lead to investments, partnerships and other collaborations, too.
In sum - the rewards have been manifold, the effort minimal. It's not too late to #StartWithEight.