WOMEN READY TO MAKE STRIDES IN VENTURE CAPITAL
A glance through the roster of 27 presenters at the Venture Capital in the Rockies Conference reveals the names of just two women. Only a few more women's names appeared among the member-company sketches, many of which included partners' names, listed for the Venture Capital Association of Colorado.
Gretchen Jahn, CEO of Aegis Analytical Corp., was a presenter. She was asked about the number of women who are CEOs of start-ups or venture capitalists.
She laughed and said, "There aren't many."
Jahn co-founded Aegis in 1996. The company sells software that helps companies better manage capital-intensive or regulated manufacturing processes. For now, Aegis is concentrating on pharmaceutical and biotech companies, with plans to expand to other industries. Jahn, the president and CEO, has been near the high end of the business food chain "since the '70s," with years of experience in software. Co-founder Justin Neway holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and has spent 19 years in the markets Aegis is targeting. He is vice president of marketing and applications.
"I've had more than one meeting with investors where they address all of their comments to Justin," Jahn said. While she has seen great strides by women in the workforce and in management, she's seen little change among women at her level.
"In terms of women actually running companies and receiving venture financing, I've only seen baby steps," she said.
From 1995 to 2000, the percentage of VC-backed companies with women founders has jumped from 3.74 percent to 7.66 percent, according to San Francisco-based research firm...