How founder, venture capitalist and trailblazer Monique Woodard charted her own course to become a VC and how she sees opportunities in the shifting demographics in the US.
Who is Monique Woodard?
Monique is an early stage investor raising a $25M fund to invest in intersection of startups led by Black and Latino founders and companies focusing on high-growth categories that will be impacted by coming demographic and economic growth. She has led 500 Startups’ investments in companies in the US and Africa, including Blavity, ROHO, and Printivo. She is currently on the board of advisors for Women 2.0 and has been an advisor to for-profit startups and technology-focused organizations including Hackers/Founders, EveryoneOn.org and Startup Policy Lab. She regularly speaks, writes, and advises on startups, consumer internet, and government technology.
- Monique talks about how it is both well-meaning but condescending to be called a unicorn.
- Monique paints the picture of what a typical venture capitalist looks like
- How Monique became a VC and the challenges she overcame on the way to 500Startups
- Monique talks about she and her friends noticed that there were so few black founders at various demo days and wanted to change that by creating Black Founders
- How she leveraged her ability to develop and nurture relationships to surround herself with people who wanted her to succeed
- Terri and Monique talk about being fangirls of Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures and how she didn’t follow the traditional path to VC
- Monique talks about how you have to be what you have never seen before when there are no role models or examples in front of you
- Monique and Terri talk about the problem in VC right now in that they are not shifting with the change in demographics and are not keeping up with how the market is changing
- How VC circles are no longer reflective of what the US represents and the problem with the resulting bias
- Blue ocean /green field market opportunities in shifting demographics and purchasing behaviors
- Monique would wave a magic wand to change the viewpoint of VCs towards founders and markets as well as changing the flow and direction of money from LPs to go into a broader swathe to create a portfolio that better represents actual demographics.
Terri’s Key Takeaway:
While we have focused on the difficult of being something we cannot see, if we can’t see it, we need to create it for ourselves and for those who follow us.
Contact Monique can be found on Twitter @moniquewoodard and via her website www.monique.vc
You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium: https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.
Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com.