out of the loop in silicon valley

NYTimes. But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.” Another potential backer, reports Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, invited her for a weekend yachting excursion by showing her a picture of himself on the boat — without clothes. When a third financier discovered that her husband was also a biking enthusiast, she says, he spent more time asking if riding affected her husband’s reproductive capabilities than he did focusing on her business plan.

Ultimately, none of the 30 venture firms she pitched financed her company. She finally raised $1.8 million in March 2008 from angel investors including Golden Seeds, a fund that emphasizes investing in start-ups led by women.

On the other hand

She learned how to handle male-dominated pitches early in her career, when Rivals.com was buying another start-up. She was in the conference room, pouring a cup of coffee, when the other company’s executives and lawyers walked in. They proceeded to discuss the lowest bid they would accept, as if she wasn’t there.

“They assumed I was the admin,” or secretary, she says. When the group sat down to negotiate, she adds, “Their faces went white as ghosts.”

Priceless

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