Berlin Geekettes caught up with author, entrepreneur and ‘women in tech’ expert Pemo Thoeodore to find out her views on the tech scene in the Valley, learn more about her research and to seek advice on how women in Berlin can better support one another.
Interviewed by Jess Erickson
First off, can you please begin by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a media producer & startup coach of Australian origin. I video interview venture capitalists, angels & women founders on the shortfall in funding for women. I failed at raising venture for my last online startup based in London a couple of years ago after 5 years of hard work. All I was left with at that time was my promise to help women raise venture because it had been so tough in Europe. It has been a fabulous journey meeting & interviewing really great people from both sides of the table.
I came across your blog post on Startup Genome. Can you highlight some ‘strands of DNA’ you found through your research?
Women can use their heightened receptivity & ability to grow projects when they are entrepreneurs. It is important that we are authentic & show that power to make a difference doesn’t have to come through acting like men! We can also make an incredible difference to notions of work/life balance as often the pressures that we have are greater than for men. The startup culture was created by men, women need to change it to show that we can be successful & balance it with our personal lives. We may need to develop more ability to think big, be assertive & understand that risk can be an adventure & a huge learning experience.
Why do you think women are less likely to leap into entrepreneurship than men?
It seems that it is more difficult for women to deal with risk for a number of reasons. We are often not given those opportunities as young girls as in sport & adventure etc. We often have commitments to others such as family, children, partner that would impact them if they took huge risks.
I’ve just started on your e-book “Why Are Women Funded Less than Men?”. Who are some of the female entrepreneurs you interviewed for this book? What were some the key findings you pulled from these interviews?
Wendy Lea, CEO Get Satisfaction; Lisa Stone, CEO Blogher; Robin Wolaner, author Naked in the Boardroom; Victoria Ransom, CEO Wildfire App; Julia Hu, CEO Lark; Danae Ringelmann, CEO Indiegogo; Jessica Jackley, CEO Profounder & Kiva; Tereza Nemessanyi, CEO Honestly Now; Indu Navar, CEO Serus Corp; Jennifer Toney, CEO WeMakeitSafer; Jane Wurwand, CEO Dermalogica & FITE ; Shaherose Chairaini, CEO Women2.0; Emily Olsen, CEO Foodzie; Leila Chirayath Janah, CEO Samasource; Susan Coelius Keplinger, CEO Triggit; Marissa Mayer, Google; Penny Herscher, CEO FirstRain.
What are you working on at the moment?
I continue to do what I can for the female startup community as regards funding issues & also now moderate investor panels along with running EZebis media platform. I am also working on another startup the ideas for which came out of this project, more later.
What can Geekettes do to better support the needs of women in tech here in Berlin?
Support each other & help each other up. If one women succeeds & helps another then we all succeed. Mentoring & advising other women is a big help to the community & it has been more difficult for women to find mentors. It’s great that you have set up Berlin Geekettes to support women in Berlin!
CN just posted the top 10 most powerful women in tech.
Anyone missing in this list?
I think there are many women contributing to tech who are not listed. I’m glad to see that CNN at least published a list of women. However I’m not a fan of these sort of things. I would prefer to acknowledge ordinary women who are on the ground right now supporting women in tech. That is a different kind of powerful!
What is the best way to reach you?