The conversation around sexual harassment is gaining momentum in Silicon Valley — and so it should. With Uber battling sexual harassment allegations and Binary Capital dealing with its dirty “open secret”, the narrative is taking a rough turn. In light of these recent events, the question becomes: How should women navigate the predatory jungle of Silicon Valley?
Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs are sometimes scolded for being driven by money rather than purpose. SRS Acquiom, which handles M&A deals, is trying to change that by exerting a positive kind of peer pressure on the venture world. The firm partnered with Pledge 1% to give a portion of the M&A escrow money it handles to nonprofits.
While perhaps best known for his role as an investor on the hit show Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec doesn’t always, well, swim with sharks. VentureBeat caught up with him at the Google Garage in Silicon Valley, where he mixed it up with a room full of schoolkids eagerly pitching him their inventions. Instead of seeking investment from sharks like Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban, the kids were participating in Frito-Lay’s Dreamvention contest.
The market is flooded with products tailored to the needs of men: viagra, penis enlargement pills, fitness apps, and more. But a new sector dedicated to women is emerging. Femtech, or female technology, is tickling the curiosity of hungry venture capitalists who are beginning to sniff an opportunity like bloodhounds. Those who think of femtech as a niche market should look at the data: It concerns 49.5 percent of the world’s population.
If you haven’t heard about the Ellen Pao trial, then you’re probably living in a remote silo somewhere in Antarctica. Her sex discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers went viral in 2015 when the court ruled in the firm’s favor. Since then, Pao has been a fervent advocate of diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley, launching Project Include, which is now officially registered as a nonprofit.