Elizabeth Galbut of SoGal Ventures joins Nick to discuss Better Diversity, Better Outcomes. In this episode, we cover:
- Her involvement in creating the first VC investment group at Johns Hopkins
- What the focus is at SoGal and why that creates their edge
- How she and her partner divide responsibilities
- How the establishment has reacted to her and her firm
- We talk about her experience as a design professor and how that impacts her approach
- She gives an example of a design-centric investment
- She discusses her thinking when evaluating an early stage business
- We review their dealflow and sourcing strategy
- and we wrap up w/ Elizabeth’s advice for a younger version of herself if she had the opportunity to give it
- She likes to invest in arbitrage markets– Stanford talent at Baltimore prices.
- This generation of startups can access global markets much earlier than their counterparts of the past.
- Many established VCs would tell her that they don’t hire women and wouldn’t respect their opinions if they did.
- SoGal invests in how the next generation lives, works and stays healthy.
- Authentic community and connection will drive business value creation.
- The best founding teams have a shared north star.
- By investing in more diverse teams they will drive better returns.
- Reasons why VC doesn’t have better gender balance: Biases (unconscious and conscious), Resistance to Change, Network Effects.
- In the $71.4 Trillion Alternative Asset industry, 1.5% of AUM is managed by firms w/ more than 25% women on the management team.
- Empathy will become the valuable currency when computers surpass the knowledge worker
- Design-thinking is evident w/ founders in how well they’ve identified the problem and are building a solution to address it.
- Key things she looks for in founders include level of obsession, what has surprised them, what are the biggest challenges.
- In order to encourage more dealflow, their founders become venture partners and receive a portion of carry in exchange for referring deals.