Sunday, June 24, 2012

Analyzing Backgrounds of Top Female Investors

Forbes recently published a list of the "Top Women Angels and VCs," which was compiled from TechCocktail’s Femanomics. The list of women in alphabetical order can be found here.

I was curious about the typical background for the top female investors, so I went through their public bios to see if there were any trends or similarities between all of them. Here’s a snapshot of what I discovered:

Investing in Healthcare vs. Tech
Like the majority of VC’s, most of the women invest in technology, specifically focused on digital media, mobile, internet and SaaS. Most of the women investing in healthcare are focused on digital health apps and consumer health & wellness with only a few focused on life sciences and medical technology. The "Other" category includes mostly energy/greentech investing as well as consumer/retail.
Undergraduate Major & School
Not surprisingly, almost half of the top female investors had engineering or computer science majors and ~40% attended either Stanford or an Ivy League university.
Approximately 55% of the women on the list had an MBA degree with the majority of MBA's from Harvard or Stanford. Several of the other graduate degrees included either masters in engineering or law degrees.
Work Experience Prior to VC/Angel Investing
Close to 40% of the top female investors had some sort of finance background ranging from investment banking to prior investing roles. Operational experience such as product managers and business development positions at large Fortune 500 companies were also very common prior experience. Several of the women also had a combination of either finance/consulting early in their careers followed by startup/operational experience after getting their MBAs.
All of these women have very impressive backgrounds with degrees from top tier universities, grad schools and experience with successful startups and companies. It’s great to see that the next generation of female investors has very strong role models to look up to.

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