April 5, 2006 (San Francisco and Mountain View, CA)—Fenwick & West was proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of the Second National Venture Capital Awards ceremony, recognizing VC investment in women-led companies. The event, organized by the Women's Technology Cluster (WTC), hosted over 375 investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders to celebrate the seven venture capitalists with the largest number of investments in women-CEOs and founders in 2004 and 2005. The total amount invested by VCs during these two years in women CEOs was $1.395 billion in 157 companies.
The evening was MC'ed by Kara Swisher, co-producer, D: All Things Digital, and included key note speeches from both Donna Dubinsky, CEO, Numenta, Inc., and Jennie Mather, Founder, President and CSO, Raven Biotechnologies, Inc, two highly respected Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In addition, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Accel Partners; Dr. Forest Baskett, New Enterprise Associates, Brian Atwood, Versant Ventures; Jennifer Scott Fonstad, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Dr. Drew Senyei, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital; Monica Morse, Cargill Ventures; and Lon Chow, Apex Venture Partners were on hand to accept the awards presented to their firms.
In accepting the 2004 Breaking the Barriers award for the largest number of investments in companies with women founders, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, of Accel reflected on her prior life as CEO, "I understand the reality that our women-led companies operate in every day; they are truly exceptional entrepreneurs." In her current role as a venture capitalist, she was very "pleased to now be able to give financial support and encouragement to women entrepreneurs," commenting that she would also like to see more women VCs. Accel's women-founded investments included: Dianna Mullins, Glam Media; Lori Kendall, Transera Communications; Jennifer Bursack, Volantis; Kristen Talley, Webroot Software, Inc.; and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Yodlee, Inc.
New Enterprise Associates (NEA) noted the increasing role of serial women CEOs in their portfolio. Dr. Forest Baskett, partner, NEA, commented, "Three out of the five female CEOs we have invested in have approached me in the last few weeks with new business ideas, and I would love to have the opportunity to work with them again." NEA received the 2004 Shattered Glass Award for having made the largest number of investments in companies with women CEOs.
Other VCs prided themselves on taking the risk with first time CEOs. Jennifer Scott Fonstad from Draper Fisher Juverson (DFJ), recipient of the 2004 and 2005 Breaking the Barriers awards, commented that "60% of the female entrepreneurs honored as part of the awards, were first time entrepreneurs." She continued, "It is a success story for women today to be able to have a broader life. Many of the entrepreneurs and VCs had to sacrifice a lot to have children. One of the silent successes is that we can have it all, and be successful."
Enterprise Partners Venture Capital (EPVC) received both the 2004 and 2005 Shattered Glass Award recognizing the largest number of investments in women CEOs. Drew Senyei, MD, Partner at EPVC, said, "We made these investments as it was good business." He concluded by noting, "The pressure is on for next year… I'm accepting business plans now!"
"Women have demonstrated a track record of building highly successful technology-based companies: two spectacular examples are Donna Dubinsky and Jennie Mather," commented Gordon Davidson, Chairman of Fenwick & West and opening speaker. "The role model of serial entrepreneurs like Donna and Jennie is inspiring an increasing number of women to take the initiative to launch their own companies. The landscape is changing – and this is a great thing."
In providing insights on how to build successful technology companies, both Donna Dubinsky and Jennie Mather commented on the importance of leadership and team building. Donna noted that "great leaders build great teams and the team is critical to a company's success." Jennie commented that "the critical components of success for a biotech company are leadership and a team with people skills, trust, business expertise and scientific knowledge." She added that "it is essential for leadership to provide joy and not inflict pain."
|-||Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and New Enterprise Associates for the largest number of investments in companies led by women CEOs, the Shattered Glass Award|
|-||Cargill Ventures for the largest percentage of investments in companies with women CEOs, the Diversified Portfolio Award|
|-||Draper Fisher Jurvetson for the largest number of investments in companies with women founders, the Breaking the Barriers Award|
|-||Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Versant Ventures for the largest number of investments in companies led by women CEOs, the Shattered Glass Award|
|-||Apex Venture Partners for the largest percentage of investments in companies with women CEOs, the Diversified Portfolio Award|
|-||Accel Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson for the largest number of investments in companies with women founders, the Breaking the Barriers Award|