Michele has been a member since our very early days. We are incredibly grateful to her for her support and guidance throughout the years and her continued contributions on our VC Steering committee.
Welcome to our conversation with Michele.
What is your fund’s focus?
We are an early stage, majority women owned Silicon Valley venture capital fund investing in the $120B AI in the Healthcare market.
What kind of companies do you invest in?
We invest in game changing companies that identify illness earlier and are less invasive, less expensive and more accurate because they are enabled by technology.
What motivated you to create this fund?
Late diagnosis of several friends and family members which led to their untimely death.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why? Women who advocate for other women. It takes a certain generous, growth mindset to share with others what could be saved or limited for yourself, especially when higher level opportunities for women are scarce. It takes someone who really believes we are better at the top together to look beyond themselves in an environment of scarcity and advocate for what is often seen as a competitor. There are a lot of women who give this lip service and are selective to help those who can also help them. There are very few women who focus on others in parity with advocating for themselves. I have such respect and am so inspired by these open and forward thinking women.
What is your favorite piece of advice for founders?
Never make a decision because you are being pushed to do it. The passage of time reveals a lot of self-interested parties. If you have the luxury of time, take it to get to know people and watch them through particularly stressful times before you calibrate the objectivity of advice. If something you have paused is meant to be, it will come back.
What is the biggest change you would like to see in the funding ecosystem and why?
I would love to see the artificial constraints that prevent new, innovative fund managers from getting an allocation by institutional investors change. If LPs can look at their goals, which are ultimately to reduce risk and increase trust, we should build filters for new managers based on that goal, and not automatically follow the “team pulled out from another team” concept defined as an emerging manager. If we only promote and invest in those teams who are already in the business, then the number of women investors will never increase. If we don’t increase them, then the reverberations for women entrepreneurs, boards and c-suites will also not increase.
What is your favorite piece of advice for women wanting to get started in investing?
Invest in what you know. Investing is difficult and it’s scary to lose money you’ve spent so much time working to earn. So start with the least risky area which is what you know, and then find someone (a fund manager, an angel investor) who invests in this area with success and sync up with them on investments. You will probably make some good investments and you may also find a mentor in the process.
Please share a piece of recent news:
Our portfolio company CEO Niamh O’Hara of Biotia addressed the United Nations last week!
Would you like to share a Fun Fact?
Our fund just put our 150th fellow through our DigitalDx Ventures Fellowship.