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August 15, 2019

Vox: A new and intriguing idea to increase investment in women-led startups

Recode, a section on Vox.com, wrote about the findings from our Flipping the Power Dynamics report (read here), which found that peer-selected investment mitigates bias against female founders:

What if I told you that venture capitalists aren’t soothsaying wise men who are uniquely qualified to predict the future of male and female CEOs alike?

Don’t take my word for it: The folks at Village Capital over the last decade have been running a social science experiment that raises some interesting questions about whether the powers that be in Silicon Valley investing are really that all-knowing.

Village Capital has for a decade run an accelerator program that had a reality show-esque twist at the end: The dozen or so startups end the program by ranking which of the other startups were the most promising — and the two highest-rated companies would get a check from Village Capital’s venture arm. They spend about 12 days over the course of a three-month period getting to know one another as they all tackle a similar problem.

They call it “peer-selected investment” — but that’s just fancy language for the timeworn idea that study group partners probably know who is going to do well on an exam better than the absentminded professor. And what Village Capital has now done is explored how well the 12 or so startups in each cohort did at predicting each other’s future success — and comparing that prediction ability against the panel of experts.

Read the full article on Vox.com.

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