No Longer Overlooked - Issue 29 | Change Like The Seasons 🍂
POV: You're a founder building a startup, or a VC running a fund
Hi there 👋 Welcome to No Longer Overlooked, a newsletter, curated by me, Janine Sickmeyer, a tech founder turned investor. Follow me as I share startup tips, industry news, founders you should know, and investors putting their money where their mouth is.
What's In This Issue 🗞
A brief look into what you'll be reading about
Opportunities & advice for founders
A few things I’m working on
News in the startup world
Investors to keep your eye on
What's On My Mind 💭
I’ve been thinking…
Sitting at the coffee shop in my oversized sweater, sipping my Jack-Oat-Lantern (it’s better than a PSL, btw), I am looking out the window at the orange and yellow leaves on the trees around me and thinking about the way things change.
Just a few weeks ago, I was walking the beach on the West side of Maui, taking in the rich reds and oranges of the sky where it meets the deep blues of the ocean. While I was there, I spent time taking a break, a real break, and something I don’t think I’ve done in maybe 8 years — before I had customers with my company, before I had kids knocking at my door every morning. It was a feeling of letting go and truly being in the moment. Now, it feels like it was all a dream. When we got home, I got news that we lost my grandfather. This is coming off of other family health concerns and losing my grandma last year. I’m thankful I had a loving relationship with them both but it’s never easy losing loved ones. I’m sure so many of you feel the same.
Experiencing loss comes in so many different forms. Sometimes the loss of friendship or loss of a business or opportunity can hurt deeply too. Something my therapist reminded me is that we can’t have change without loss. As the seasons change in the midwest and we start to see the fall leaves turn colors and tumble to the ground, it’s a reminder of the way life feels when we lose something we care about. It’s also a reminder of letting go.
As you move on from that job, or leave that relationship behind, or say no to that funding offer, just remember that we can’t have change without loss. For every loss you experience this season, embrace the change that accompanies it.
Now, let’s talk about things that are changing in the tech and startup world.
What I’ve Been Working On 💁🏻♀️
Things I care about that I want to share
I was interviewed this month in Forbes all about why I started Overlooked Ventures, the horrific stats behind this industry, and what we're doing to change it! The interview digs in deep on my experience as a founder turned investor and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share my story. *Thank you Amy Shoenthal for the interview! 😭 Read more here.
More Equity: Harlem Capital Podcast
I had a chance to speak with Harlem Capital about my journey from founder to investor and my authentic view from someone just coming into the industry. One of the pieces of advice I share in the episode is: Put your values and missions at the forefront of what you do because they shape everything you will become. Check it out here.
Founders Slack Group
If you're looking for a community of peers, support, and startup/vc talk, join Overlooked Ventures' Slack Community. We have a ton of founders and VCs already signed up and chatting away. There are various channels based on different topics ranging from founder tips, asking for beta founders, and so much more. Get access here.
Meet our Fund Event - Oct 26
The tables have turned. Instead of founders pitching investors, investors are pitching founders at the Meet Our Fund Event hosted by Jason Calacanis & Inside. Excited to share that Overlooked Ventures will be wrapping up Day 1 of the FREE virtual event. Register to watch Brandon Brooks and I pitch founders why they should take our money. We'll be presenting at 7pm ET on Oct 26. Register for free: meetourfund.com
Recently Hit the Stands 📰
Things in the news you should check out
Female leadership is important for obtaining good outcomes in business. Hiring women helps your company increase diversity, and in turn, provides a larger range of ideas and perspectives. Leah Edwards, Partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures, sees the lack of women firsthand in venture and startups. Her feature in TechCrunch explains the value behind hiring women.
Women-founded startups raised $25 billion in the first two quarters of 2021, breaking records. However, if you look at the percentage of all venture capital funding that went to women, the number is still too low. And, Black and Latinx women are receiving even less funding. Women are being held to a different standard.
The latest PitchBook study on women in startups found that women only received 2.3% of venture dollars. Liz Giorgi of storyperneurship shared her thoughts about women's worst year in a decade.
Here's what happened when #BlackLivesMatter stopped trending. Last year, Black voices were finally listened to, but are allies putting their money where their mouth is. During and soon after the movement, Black-owned businesses saw a surge in purchases and website traffic. Some brands stayed strong, while others' sales and attention went back to normal.
Silicon Valley is failing to increase funding to Black and other minority-owned businesses. While some Black founders are finding it a little easier to get meetings with VCs, others are getting past just conversations. Black, Latinx, and women of color entrepreneurs keep feeling like charity cases. This is getting old — Silicon Valley needs to change.
There's an accelerator for emerging fund managers. GPx is a program that includes free educational modules with valuable lessons. The program, founded by Plexo Capital, also selects a small group of EMFs to be in a cohort where members can work more closely with instructors.
Although senior care is a sensitive topic, it's important since many people find themselves needing assistance when they get older. Many older individuals want to remain independent but also receive some care. Honor Technology, a startup that provides home care for adults, raised $370 million. to change aging.
LatinxVC found that only "2 percent of partner-level investment professionals are Latino or Latina." Co-presidents of LatinxVC, Maria Salamanca a partner at Unshackled Ventures and Rami Reyes a co-founder of NextEquity Partners founded LatinxVC in 2019 to increase Latinx representation in VC.
A Little Birdie Told Me 🐦
Tweet of the moment
Hot Take of the Moment 🔥
Somebody had to say it
Founders You Should Follow 👀
Meagan Lloyst | Lerer Hippeau
Founder of Gen Z VCs and Associate at Lerer Hippeau, Meagan Lloyst is a young investor changing the world of venture capital. What started as a tweet turned into a full-on movement to make VC more welcoming, connect Gen Z founders with each other, and much more! When she isn't leading the way at Gen Z VC, she's investing in early-stage companies at Lerer Hippeau in New York City. If you're a fellow Gen Z VC, make sure to join the Slack group - everyone is welcome!
Paige Finn Dougherty | Behind Genius Ventures
Paige Finn Dougherty is a founding partner at Behind Genius Ventures. Before going out to start her venture capital firm, Paige was a Developer Success Engineer at WorkOS, an On Deck Angel Fellow, and an early-stage syndicate organizer. Paige is also the author of a children's book Seed to Harvest: A Simple Explanation of Venture Capital and actively shares her knowledge of VC on Twitter. Learn more about Paige and Behind Genius Ventures here.
New Funds Announced 🚀
Don Katz, founder of Audible, partnered with Dan Borok and Tom Wisniewski to start Newark Venture Partners. The fund invests in companies but also gives back to the broader ecosystem. The firm launched in 2017 with a $44 million fund, and now has a new Managing Partner Vaughn Crowe who helped raised $85 million for Fund II.
Capitalize VC is shifting the venture capital paradigm to change inconsistencies. Their founding purpose is to reduce the racial wealth gap and empower diverse entrepreneurs. Capitalize VC was founded by Tessa Flippin, and is focused on early-stage companies.
The Fund, a community of founders & operators, is raising a new angel investment fund to pull together women investors to make pre-seed and seed-stage investments.
Graham & Walker started as the Female Founder Alliance to help female entrepreneurs grow companies and land funding. Now the firm is expanding into investing with a $10 million venture capital fund.
Ankur Nagpal, founder of Teachable, started Vibe Capital to fill the current existential void in his life. He is leading the fund to invest in early-stage technology companies around the world. Fund I is $12 million, while Fund II will total in at $70 million.
Patron is an early-stage venture firm investing in the convergence of games, consumer, and Web. Brian Cho and Jason Oliver believe that the Spectrum of Play will shape the future. Their $90 million fund is already backed by some great LPs.
CEO of Google Sundar Pichai announced the tech giant's plan to invest $50 million in in African early- and growth-stage startups via its Africa Investment Fund to support businesses around the continent.
Walk the Walk
Investors putting their money where their mouth is
UBS and Hello Alice teamed up to provide thirty female founders of color with a $25,000 grant. In addition to the grant, founders will also receive virtual coaching, skill-building, and so much more.
Mono HQ just closed it's Series A round led by Tiger Global, General Catalyst, Target, and SBI. They're powering the digital businesses in Africa with Open banking by helping businesses reliably access bank accounts for data and payments.
Small checks can make a big impact to build companies and create generational wealth. Instead of just relying on venture funding, founders are seeking investments from micro angels. Read this Medium article from Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene to learn how micro angles are changing investing.
Shop Latinx, an online marketplace that amplifies the work of Latinx founders and creators, raised $1 Million closing its pre-seed round. The round included Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, Debut Capital, 2PM, Humble Ventures, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Silicon Hills Capital and Techstars. Check out shoplatinx.com!
What you need to know
A profession isn't a personality. Here's why reducing yourself to a single characteristic is damaging.
Venture capital doesn't have to be a mystery. Read this Twitter thread for an easy-to-understand explanation of VC.
Bank of America is giving female entrepreneurs a database to unlock capital.
CEO at Paladin and Partner at Long Jump Fund Kriston Sonday dropped four tips on securing good intros.
Mac Conwell of Rarebreed Ventures shared the perfect hype playlist for founders and VCs.
Hunter Walk shares his advice to VCs on raising their first fund.
Mercury has a database of seed and pre-seed angels, VCs, & funds that are currently writing checks.
PR is pretty challenging these days. This is what you can do about it.
Learn about NFTs from my friend Harold
Women in the News
Women represent just 13.3% of all check-writers in venture capital but there are promising signs as more women investors build track records and generate wealth. The Wall Street Journal profiled women in venture who are leading venture capital firms in this article.
Supply Change Capital and 2045 Ventures, founded by Latinas, and 22 Fund and WOCstar Fund, founded by Black women, partnered to get an edge on fundraising and investments. The Ally Capital Collab is working to put money in the hands of diverse founders.
Long Time Listener 🎧
Audio and podcasts
Harry Stebbings, the host of Twenty Minute VC, launched a new episode with Chris Sacca, Founder and Chairman at Lowercase Capital and a new fund called Lowercarbon Capital. The two discuss parenting, relationships with money, investing, and more. Listen to the episode to learn more about Harry Stebbing's proudest episode yet.
Before You Go 🚪
What you might have missed.