The context

The statistics are stark. In 2019:

  • Women-only founding teams received just 2.6% of all venture capital invested in startups.
  • Women make up only 12% of all decision makers at venture capital firms in the United States.
  • When compared to male founders, female founders raise 30% less money after contacting 23% more investors.

But what's it really like for women to start and grow a company? Do women VCs make decisions about funding startups differently than men? What changes to the fund-raising process could make a difference in the success rate of woman-founded/woman-led startups?

In our quest to always be thinking about what's next for founders, our panel will address these questions and more. If you're a founder, learn how to overcome the challenges. If you're an investor or advisor, discover opportunities that others might not see!

Join us on January 21 for a lively, insightful discussion! Get inspired to defy the odds and see more women founders succeed!

January 21 5:00pm - 7:00pm
via Zoom - details provided to registrants on January 19

Registration is required to attend this free, virtual event.


Alexa Binns (Partner, Halogen Ventures) is an investor with a talent for spotting the latest consumer trends and technology. She is on Jesse Draper's team at Halogen Ventures where they invest in the top consumer technology startups with female founders. A few companies you may recognize in their portfolio: TheSkimm, Carbon38, ThisisL which sold to P&G, and Eloquii which sold to Walmart.
Iris Fujiura is the chapter lead for the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay area of Golden Seeds - a national angel investment group that focuses on women-led companies. She heads the leadership team supporting women entrepreneurs by sourcing and selecting deals for investment and providing mentorship and support to female entrepreneurs. Iris retired from a career in aerospace, where she held operational, program management, and production roles in launch vehicles and satellites. Iris has an MBA from MIT's Sloan Fellows program, and a BS in Engineering from Washington State University.
Cindy Padnos is the Founder and Managing Director of Illuminate Ventures a Bay Area and Seattle-based VC firm that invests exclusively in enterprise software start-ups. She is also the author of a series of whitepapers that focus on encouraging diversity in the tech sector. Cindy bleeds B2B/Enterprise Tech – gaining the moniker “Queen B2B” and a place at the table with other top institutional investors in the category.
Carolyn Peer (CEO and Cofounder of Humaxa) is an award-winning Human Capital Management industry leader with an MA in Instructional Technology and a BA in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her company, Humaxa, offers a Machine Learning-powered Digital Assistant that predicts and prevents unwanted employee turnover.
Diane Strutner (CEO and Founder, Datazoom) is an industry expert on efficient, data-driven streaming media. Her company is pioneering a new category of software called Adaptive Video Logistics allowing content distributors to use sub-second data to route digital content.


Shelli Hendricks is founder and president of Blue Horizon Solutions and a BRIIA Mentor. Shelli helps leaders create waves of positive change for future generations through customized instructional design, leadership development and executive coaching.

The Details

A virtual event
Zoom details provided to registrants
Agenda - January 21
Panel discussion
Questions from the audience
Call to action!

What is BRIIA®?

What is BRIIA®?

At BRIIA, we believe that entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our civilization. Without it, we limit our collective progress and fail to solve many of the challenging problems we face. It's not easy, but it is vital that entrepreneurs succeed! BRIIA provides the guidance, tools and resources to fuel their success.

At this event, BRIIA will be launching it's multi-year program - Defy the Odds - to actively support more women founders. Our intent is to do all that we can to increase the number of women-led companies that get funded.

Our new startup accelerator program — The Intelligent Accelerator® — integrates our Mentor Network, 40 courses, and a curated cadre of provisioners into a step-by-step journey. Each founder navigates their unique journey on our online platform. When a Founder completes the Foundation Program, we review their progress and select startups move into our Advanced Programs. Check out our past graduates.

BRIIA also offers a customizable Corporate Entrepreneurship Accelerator to help CEOs de-risk the investments they are making in unproven markets and technologies. With an entrepreneurial mindset and our methodologies and tools, these new initiatives can move forward faster and use data-driven decision making to conquer the unknowns.


If you know a founder or CEO that is making big bets on the future, we should talk! Use our handy referral form, or call or email Les Schmidt: [email protected] 408.242.4986