Women Investing in Women
Over the course of her 20-plus years career in the Technology industry, Shelly Kapoor Collins has mentored, advised, and invested in women – from starting in Corporate Tech to innovation in Politics and Public Service, and now as a Venture Capitalist and Founding Partner of Shatter Fund.
Kapoor Collins founded Shatter Fund to invest in female entrepreneurs and to change the way that female entrepreneurs are supported, how they are funded, and how they scale their businesses. Technology is the greatest equalizer of the 21st century but without women in the innovation economy, there is no equality. That is the change Kapoor Collins is leading through the Shatter Fund, while advocating that young girls pursue a career rooted in STEM Education, the foundation of Entrepreneurship.
Kapoor Collins is demystifying the investment process by creating an accessible fund dedicated to women. Studies show that when women are a part of the investment decision making process, a female entrepreneur is 2.5x more likely to raise capital. Investment in women-led and founded companies generates greater returns and creates extraordinary opportunities for women to scale companies, create jobs, and contribute as equal participants to the innovation economy. In fact, companies with female founders performed 66 percent better than those with non-diverse or all male teams. Investing in women is smart for our economy, for our country and for the Tech industry. Yet, only 2.2 percent of venture capital dollars go to women entrepreneurs.
Through the Shatter Fund, Shelly is redefining the investment network and community. In this talk, she shares with audiences how she empowers women to invest in high-growth technology companies, and how she’s working to redefine what it means to be an investor today.
The Use of Technology and Innovation in the Quest for Gender Equality
Throughout her career, Shelly Kapoor Collins has advocated for the use of Technology and innovation as the most powerful means to answer the call to action for gender equality in the workforce. She has developed and launched multiple Technology products to connect female entrepreneurs with resources, so that they can safely turn their visions into reality – all powered by the magic of Technology.
Kapoor Collins shares her own experiences with developing Technology products and tools to help women kick start their ambitions and climb the corporate ladder, while finding security in the workforce. Tools such as Root Square, a social media fundraising platform for nonprofits and political campaigns; the Gender Watch App, a free tool for women to anonymously record and document incidents of gender bias in real time in the workforce; and Shatter Capital, a crowdfunding platform to connect female entrepreneurs with resources to empower women to take risks and become 100 percent participants in the innovation economy.
Technology is the greatest equalizer of the 21st century. But without women’s equal participation in the Innovation Economy, there is no equality, and these tools put women on equal footing. Along the way, Kapoor Collins shares how she leveraged her network to raise funds and achieved product market fit for the tools she developed.
How to Break Into Male Dominated Industries and Lead as the Only Woman in the Room
More and more, employers are understanding that Diversity is not a buzzword, or a nice to have. It’s a way of life which directly impacts their bottom line.
Yet there are still a myriad of industries that are male-dominated, where female input and perspectives, which are critically needed, are obviously missing – especially in formulating products and solutions which directly impact women. Shelly Kapoor Collins explores why.
Starting early, she says, there is a lack of girls in the STEM pipeline which feeds into industries such as Technology and Venture Capital. Although girls graduate high school on par with boys in math and science, they are much less likely to pursue engineering, math and computing degrees than boys. But, there is another cyclical reason which impacts the gender make up of today’s workforce: Systemic practices such as men hiring other men, raising funds from other men, and funding each other are just a few examples of women being left out of the network and perpetuating the “good old boys’ network.”
Kapoor Collins shares leadership lessons on stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking risks which led her to break into one male-dominated industry after another, starting from Corporate Techie to hacking politics, and finally breaking through into the most insular industry of all, Venture Capital, to fund female entrepreneurs.