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Randy Komisar, Partner Kleiner Perkins talks about Women Entrepreneurs. There’s not enough women in venture capital today & that’s part of the problem. Venture capital tends to be clubby in the sense that you tend to have confidence & trust & perhaps better communications with people that you feel are more alike than you feel are less alike. And that applies across genders too as well. I do think that there is a generation of younger venture capitalists who are male who are particularly more comfortable with heterogeneity including gender heterogeneity.
Also we do have places like Kleiner Perkins where we do have a number of partners who are women partners probably disproportionate for the industry who will help not just with our relationships with women business people but also to establish the right sensibility inside the partnership. So I think that its important for venture capital to be more embracing of heterogeneity not just gender heterogeneity, but all heterogeneity. And I think gender heterogeneity is part of that. From the women entrepreneur’s side my sense is that, I hear this concern from women who I have a lot of confidence in, in this business all the time who tell me that they think that women entrepreneurs aren’t as bold, aren’t as inspirational aren’t as far reaching as their male counterparts. And I don’t think that caution is a good thing when it comes to venture capital. Venture capitalists like bold ideas, they like people who they think are going to have high aspirations & are going to reach for large, disruptive inflexion points in the marketplace. So I think that women should not hold back, they should be as bold & as aspirational as they feel in approaching their businesses. And the venture capital community needs to be more welcoming of differences & heterogeneity.
This interview was originally recorded in July 2010