Guidelines for VCs Establishing Reporting Contacts

In this article, Ginny Fahs (#MovingForward) & Y-vonne Hutchinson, (ReadySet & Project Include founding advisor) outline strategies for VC firms to establish meaningful misconduct reporting processes.

A survivor of harassment or discrimination by a VC firm employee decides to formally report their experience. Who do they reach out to? And what happens next?

Historically, VC firms have not provided formal roadmaps for reporting, and entrepreneurs facing harassment or discrimination have had had two options: keep quiet or tell a reporter, options that are both unfavorable to founders and VCs alike.

A better solution for VC firms is to proactively assign a formal reporting contact, and to design internal mechanisms by which entrepreneurs can report incidents to the firm directly. This article provides actionable guidance on the qualities of a good reporting contact, the ways to set the reporting contact up for success, and best practices for putting reporting contacts in place at VC firms.

Roadmap to Diversity and Inclusion

In this introductory article, Ellen Pao provides guidance on how startups should set targets for their diversity and inclusion effort. Pao lays out a “10–10–5–45” strategy – four diversity and inclusion targets across race and gender that startups should aim to accomplish within 2 years.

First Round – State of Startups 2019

What started as an experiment in 2015 has since become a treasured tradition at First Round. First Round’s State of Startups is now the industry’s largest dataset on what it’s like to run a startup with 3,600+ submissions and 190,000+ data points.

In the fifth edition of this survey, First Round expanded the scope of our survey to cover not just founders but startup employees as well. Where do the founder and employee perspectives diverge and align? Where are leaders making progress — and where are founders falling short? With 950 total submissions, it’s the most detailed look yet into the challenges of operating a startup, plus new perspectives on the truth behind Glassdoor reviews, compensation packages, remote work and more.

VCs, Founders, and the Performance Gender Gap

In this paper, Dr. Raina compares the gender gap in performance between startups initially financed by syndicates led by VCs with only male GPs and startups financed by syndicates led by VCs with female GPs.

The author finds a much larger performance gap among startups financed by syndicates with only male lead GPs and shows that this disparity is driven by differences in VCs’ ability to evaluate female-led startups. The author’s findings imply that VCs contribute to the performance gender gap in startups.

Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

Misogyny is a hot topic, yet it’s often misunderstood. What is misogyny, exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist or increase even when sexist gender roles are waning?

This book is an exploration of misogyny in public life and politics by the moral philosopher and writer Kate Manne. It argues that misogyny should not be understood primarily in terms of the hatred or hostility some men feel toward all or most women. Rather, it’s primarily about controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the “bad” women who challenge male dominance. And it’s compatible with rewarding “the good ones,” and singling out other women to serve as warnings to those who are out of order.

Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

How do venture capital deals come together? This is one of the most frequent questions asked by each generation of new entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, there is little reliable information on the subject.

No one understands this better than Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. The founders and driving force behind the Foundry Group―a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology companies―Brad and Jason have been involved in hundreds of venture capital financings. Their investments range from small startups to large Series A venture financing rounds.

The new edition of Venture Deals continues to show fledgling entrepreneurs the inner-workings of the VC process, from the venture capital term sheet and effective negotiating strategies to the initial seed and the later stages of development.

VC: An American History

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States’ long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship.

Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs―a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not just a model of finance that has proven difficult to replicate in other countries. It is a state of mind exemplified by an appetite for risk-taking, a bold spirit of adventure, and an unbridled quest for improbable wealth through investment in innovation.

Tom Nicholas’ history of the venture capital industry offers readers a ride on the roller coaster of setbacks and success in America’s pursuit of financial gain.

Guidelines for VCs Writing Discrimination & Harassment Policies

In this article, Ginny Fahs (#MovingForward) and Freada Kapor Klein (Kapor Capital & founding advisor at Project Include) provide actionable guidance for VCs and VC firms seeking to develop or improve their harassment and discrimination policies.


ProjectDiane2018 is a biennial demographic study authored by digitalundivided. It reveals a snapshot of the state of Black Women Founders in the United States, and the startups they lead.

Unlocking the American Dream

In this TEDx Talk, Jean Case highlights the importance innovators have played in the history of the United States and examines the state of entrepreneurship today. She notes that funding, mentoring and networking that fuels entrepreneurship presently favors white men, with only 10% of venture capital going to women, and less than 1% to African Americans and most investment going to just three states.

Case argues there is a tremendous opportunity to seize by expanding access to capital by investing in women and entrepreneurs of color and sets forward a clarion call for all to join in on building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that would give everyone an equal chance at unlocking the American Dream.


high-growth startups—across all 50 states and DC—raised venture funding in 2019 to build and grow their businesses.


of all U.S. IPOs from 1974 to 2015 were venture-backed companies, representing 63% of the market capitalization and 85% of R&D.

2.9 million

is the average net jobs created annually between 1980 and 2010 by high-growth startups, which account for ~50% of gross jobs created in the U.S.


U.S. venture firms are active today, managing an aggregate of $444 billion in assets.