Female Founder Office Hours ( 6th edition)November 2021
Collaboration is Queen. At Playfair, we believe in the power of bringing people together to solve issues and make us all stronger. As investors, we recognise the potential for entrepreneurship to improve society, but this will not be fully realised until we achieve real equality in access to startup funding. That’s why we have always been strong advocates of the power of collaboration. We are using this principle to address the continuing headwinds for female founders in tech.
Started by the Playfair Capital team in 2019 and supported by Tech Nation and Microsoft for Startups in 2020, FFOH has already brought together 300 founders for 1,200 one-to-one mentoring and pitch meetings with over 80 investors across three editions to date.
We recognise that there is no single quick fix for redressing the lack of funding for female founders; we need everyone to play their part. That is why we are hosting collaborative office hours with dozens of other VCs, diversity groups and advocates. We hope to build on their great work, helping to connect the dots between founders and investors.
Playfair has committed to running the main initiative three times a year to ensure continued support for female founders. In addition, all investors participating in the initiative have pledged to take on one founder from each edition for ongoing mentoring, giving depth as well as breadth of support.
The problems we’re focussing on are:
A lack of funding and support for female founders in tech
Barriers to accessing investors, particularly outside of London
Our solution has four pillars:
Access. No warm intros needed.
Remote. Geography is not a barrier.
Collaboration. All investors, groups and initiatives working together.
Founder-driven. Ask for advice, feedback, funding, or introductions.
If you would like to dive deeper into our reasons for launching the Female Founder Office Hours initiative and for a wealth of resources for female founders, please visit our dedicated Notion page.
On Thursday 5th November and Thursday 12th November, another 160 female founders had the opportunity to meet over 60 investors from the UK's leading VCs for one hour of remote office hours to discuss their business idea, ask for advice or pitch for investment. In total, Playfair Capital and Tech Nation facilitated 624 office hour meetings.
The next Female Founder Hour Offices event will be held in May 2021 and we will be opening applications in March 2021.
We received so many applications for Female Founder Office Hours that we decided to put on a second event for another 100 female founders, with 30 more VCs joining Playfair Capital and Tech Nation on June 24th.
Across these two events combined there will be:
800 office hour meetings
200 female founders
200 hours of mentorship, support & pitching
60+ VC investors from the UK’s leading funds
Applications are closed for this June edition, and the next Female Founder Office Hours will be held in October with details to be shared in September.
Please visit our Notion page where we are collating all resources for female founders pre- and post- office hours here
Our third, remote edition of our collaborative Female Founder Investor Office Hours builds on the success of our events in February 2020 and November last year.
This time, we're going fully remote to broaden access to female founders across the country, supported by Tech Nation and 30 investors from the UK's leading VCs alongside the Playfair Capital team.
The primary aim of this initiative is mentorship & support, and secondary is fundraising. We hope that with time, the two will go hand-in-hand.
We welcome applications from any UK-based female founder whose business is tech and pre-Series A. We will do our best to accommodate as many founders as possible and provide support to all regardless. Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 24th May.
Our first investor office hours of the year builds on the success of our event in November last year.
As before, the Playfair Capital team will be joined by investors from other funds as we welcome up to 40 female founders to Warner Yard.
To finish the event, we’ve invited a female founder from our portfolio to deliver a keynote presentation on their journey so far – part advice, part inspiration.
Our first ever Female Founder Office Hours event welcomed 45 founders and 11 investors to meet and connect in our Warner Yard office.