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HomeEntrepreneurThe Younger Enterprise Capital Associate Blazing A Path For Girls In VC

The Younger Enterprise Capital Associate Blazing A Path For Girls In VC


Whereas girls are nonetheless underrepresented in management roles in enterprise capital corporations, there are indicators of progress. Final December, on the age of simply 29, Annalise Dragic was made a Associate at Sapphire Ventures, making her probably the youngest feminine VC Associate in Europe.

Sapphire has greater than $8.8 billion in property below administration and workplaces in London, Austin, Palo Alto and San Francisco. In early 2020 Dragic was employed to assist construct out the agency’s European presence. Based mostly out of London, she invests in Sequence B by means of pre-IPO B2B firms, with a deal with fintech and B2B SaaS.

All through her profession Dragic, she has been a passionate advocate for getting extra girls into VC and pushing funds to spend money on extra feminine and various founders. Right here she shares the secrets and techniques of her success.

Alison Coleman: What have been your earliest profession ambitions?

Annalise Dragic: “My first ambition was to be a diplomat! From a younger age, I used to be drawn to a profession that will enable me to be a part of a world neighborhood and work towards enhancing the lives of others. I used to be born in London and went on to reside in 4 different nations throughout three continents, which piqued my curiosity in several cultures and worldwide relations. I studied science, expertise and worldwide affairs at Georgetown College, and have become intrigued by profession alternatives in finance as a result of they gave me the power to mix my analytical and significant considering expertise with studying about applied sciences that might change lives throughout the globe.

Coleman: What piqued your curiosity on the earth of VC?

Dragic: I began my profession with a job in funding banking, which was a fantastic alternative to be taught lots, in a short time, particularly for somebody who hadn’t studied finance. I then joined LinkedIn in a technique and analytics position, working throughout their San Francisco, London, and Dublin workplaces. These early profession alternatives fueled my curiosity in how tech companies are valued and what situations create success for scaling. After LinkedIn, I accomplished an MBA at Stanford College and determined to pursue a profession in enterprise capital.

Coleman: You began investing within the European ecosystem in 2017 with Atomico, how straightforward was it to transition to enterprise capital?

Dragic: Enterprise capital is a tough trade to interrupt into. Whereas I nonetheless had a lot to be taught, I discovered that in some ways, enterprise investing was just like the earlier work I had achieved whereas a part of the company growth group at LinkedIn. For anybody who is of course curious, it’s probably the most thrilling skilled setting to immerse your self in.

Coleman: What particular challenges have you ever confronted as a girl in finance, and the way have you ever overcome them?

Dragic: As a girl in finance, there are numerous occasions if you end up the one one within the room. That’s by no means straightforward. Issues are getting higher however I might say working at a agency that helps girls, and searching for out skilled friends who provide the similar help, is important. Sapphire is a enterprise that takes this critically. In our London workplace, for instance, we now have gender parity throughout our funding group, and feminine companions throughout all three of our funding methods; Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Companions and Sapphire Sport. Our COO, CFO and CMO are additionally girls.

Coleman: How essential is it to have good mentors and position fashions on this trade?

Dragic: Mentorship has made a significant distinction in my profession. Should you’re trying to break into the world of VC or startups, discover a mentor who can help you and allow you to be your genuine self. I’m now actively searching for to mentor different girls who’re beginning their careers.

Coleman: As a VC, are you seeing optimistic indicators for girls within the startup and tech sectors?

Dragic: I’m seeing progress on the subject of making range, and notably gender range, however, proper now, solely 12% of Companions at European VCs are girls and that’s removed from adequate. We’re transferring in the proper course, however the ecosystem nonetheless has lots of work to do.

Coleman: What do you take pleasure in most about your position at Sapphire?

Dragic: Once I joined Sapphire again in 2020 to assist launch our London workplace, there have been simply two of us in Europe. Establishing a brand new workplace for such a prestigious agency has been a fantastic expertise. I’m extremely proud that in solely a brief interval we now have grown the workplace to an eight-person group and made a report variety of investments final 12 months.

I additionally take pleasure in partnering with mission-driven entrepreneurs who’re motivated by enhancing the world round them. It’s inspiring to encompass your self with that vitality on daily basis, and it’s great to be a part of a group that’s dedicated to backing the innovation that’s at the moment popping out of Europe.

Coleman: What are your high three ideas for founders searching for funding?

Dragic: My high tip is to take the time to plan for a fundraise. It is very important search out buyers that will likely be a superb match on your firm’s operational and monetary wants.

Additionally it is important to craft a pitch and put together metrics acceptable to your organization’s stage of progress. Founders ought to perceive how potential buyers have helped speed up different companies. This can be assistance on hiring at scale, help with a world growth, or insights on the way to diversify your board. Search for buyers who’ve the expertise and networks that can enable you to understand your imaginative and prescient. Lastly, be assured and keep decided; you’ll get there!

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