For entrepreneurs and startups, raising capital can be a tremendous challenge. For female entrepreneurs, that challenge often gets compounded by gender bias. Women, especially in STEM, struggle to be heard, making it difficult to raise as much capital as their male colleagues. For women of color, it’s even more challenging. 2020 saw healthcare venture fundraising reach $17 billion, a 57% increase from 2019. However, overall funding for female-founded startups globally decreased by 27% in 2020. While 42% of digital health startups in 2020 had female founders, women digital health founders were less likely to be venture-backed.
On March 11, 2021, Sonavi Labs CEO Ellington West joined Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Washington, DC, for the panel discussion, Closing the Gap in Access to Capital, focused on what can be done to help ensure female entrepreneurs are set up to succeed at the micro and macro levels, potential avenues for capital, and other factors like female mentorship. Click here to watch.
The discussion was moderated by Sally Allain of JLABS @ Washington, DC. Along with our own Ellington West was Tracy Gray of The 22 Fund, Sara Nayeem of Avoro Ventures, and Maura O’Neill of the Haas School of Business and the University of California, Berkeley. The program is opened and closed by Mikyla Tuggle of JLABS @ Washington, DC.