Jessica Millstone: Bridging the Venture Capital Funding Gap for Women Founders

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Ladder works is a publishing platform for various picture books and online programs whose mission is to empower more than one million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features our interplanetary journalist Spiffy’s interviews with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders advancing the UN SDGs.

Hi, my name is Spiffy, I’m an interplanetary journalist hanging out on planet Earth. I have another interview for you this week. Today I interview the Managing Director of Copper Wire Ventures, the one and only Jessica Millstone!

Nice : It’s wonderful to meet you, Jessica. I’m curious about the challenges that Copper Wire Ventures is facing. What can you tell me?

Jessica: Thank you so much for inviting me, Spiffy! At Copper Wire Ventures, we try to support and encourage women entrepreneurs by bridging the gap in venture capital funding that women-led technology receives. Currently, companies with female founders only receive about 2% of the venture capital available to start new businesses, and we want to change that!

Nice : What motivated you to do it?

Jessica: I come from a family business that was founded by men and continued to be run by men well into the 21st century. Although my father always encouraged my sister and I to work and eventually take over the business, it was hard for me to imagine a life and career in an industry that had so few female leaders and mentors, so I decided to start my own business. way. I ended up becoming an investor and focusing on women entrepreneurs to try to change that dynamic for other young women, so they can see themselves in the kinds of businesses they want to run one day.

Nice : I like this! Can you tell us how you are working for a fairer world?

Jessica: We focus on meeting and investing in women-led businesses, and try to communicate our organization’s mission and success metrics to other investors with the goal of achieving better mission alignment around investing in female founders within the venture capital industry.

Nice : Tell me about a recent company milestone and its impact on your community.

Jessica: We have shifted to investing as a limited partnership (LP) in larger funds so that we can influence more diversity in their investment decisions, and also to broaden the scope of companies we can support .

Nice : Is there a particular startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to have?

Jessica: I view our fund as a startup in itself, and we take a very product-focused approach to investing where we identified a problem (underfunded women) and honed our connection with our clients (founders) to address it more effectively !

Nice : Is there anything else you would like to tell our audience?

Jessica: Not only are we working to increase venture capital funding opportunities for women founders, but we are also working to encourage more women to become investors themselves. We need to move from a more typical philanthropic mindset to that of an investor, who can really test women’s expectations of themselves and others. However, since women investors are twice as likely to invest in a female founder, it is essential to support this movement by creating more opportunities for women to become venture capitalists!

Nice : It sounds very exciting and I wish you all the best. Thank you for speaking with me today, Jessica, it was an honor!

Jessica Millstone, Ed.M, is an expert in the use of technology at home and in school, as well as an investor in educational technology companies. Before launching copper wire companies, she was Director of Engagement at BrainPOP and a member of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an R+D center of Sesame Workshop. A lifelong tech student, Jessica is dedicated to helping create technology products that better meet the needs of all the kids, families, and schools that use them. (Nominated by Devon Saliga at Beepboop. First published on the Ladderworks website April 15, 2022.)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Artwork of Spiffy by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks Digital Curriculum to help children in K-3 advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy’s Corner here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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