If you are an avid reader of Femtech Insider, you’ve probably come across the FemTech Office Hours we recently announced. We love the idea and are incredibly excited to bring investors and early-stage companies together in this first of many “Ask me Anything” session, however we must admit, that we were not the ones, who came up with the idea.
The driving force behind the FemTech Office Hours, which will take place for the first time on June 17th, is Eva de Mol, Partner at CapitalT. Eva is a technology investor passionate about building companies that solve real problems.
Eva, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your fund Capital T? What is your investment focus?
Eva de Mol: CapitalT is people focused venture capital fund investing in technology seed stage companies in Northern Europe.
My expertise is helping scaling companies build cohesive teams. I have a a joint Ph.D. in economics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley Haas Business School, my academic research focused on the relationship between a team’s composition and venture success.
At CapitalT we use team assessment methods to evaluate and support teams in a structured way. I believe venture success is all about the team. In fact, 60% of the new ventures fails due to problems with the team. Especially during the early stage of the venture. A business plan is great to make your projections on, in the end it all comes down to flexibility, resilience and passion of the team.
What makes a great company for you and what are some warning signs? What are some common mistakes you see startups make, when you’re pitched?
Eva de Mol: Not surprisingly, to me one of the key factors is the team. Are team members truly complementary? Do they share a vision and passion for the company? And focus. Building a startup is really hard. Are people resilient? What experience do they have that show that they never give up and keep pushing? Are they capable of thinking truly out of the box? Is the founder capable of directing that focus and creating a cohesive team around him/her? On the one hand you’re expected to make bold projections about the future and aim high, on the other hand you have to be realistic about what you can execute on given the resources that you have. The common mistake I see is that people think a great idea sells itself. That’s not true. In fact, some companies that have a medium idea but a great sales team end up being more successful than those that have the brightest ideas. Summarizing – building a business is so much more than the technology or the idea of the product alone.
You are the initiator behind the upcoming Office Hour for FemTech Founders. What is the idea behind this initiative? And why do you think it’s needed?
Eva de Mol: The FemTech market is very attractive and exciting market! After years of neglect a lot is currently happening. Prominent investors are backing fem tech startups and on the consumer side fem tech is getting traction. Today, as the market balloons to be worth an estimated $48bn by 2025, interest is growing in new areas that go far beyond fertility tracking and into areas such as menopause, sex, therapy and breastfeeding. So that’s all very positive. At the same time, raising funds for fem tech is challenging, due to the same old problems: historically, one of the limiting factors for femtech founders tackling any women’s health problem is the challenge of pitching predominately male venture capitalists. Given the large number of femtech startups successfully raising money it seems that this is slowly changing – we want to accelerate that change.
We recognize the potential of the femtech market and believe that building strong connections can level the playing field for entrepreneurs working in this space. This is why we want to create an informal platform for early stage femtech founders to get advice. The FemTech Office Hours are just that.
If you would like to learn more about the first FemTech Office Hours and find out how you can participate, head on over to our detailed post about the initiative.