Much has been said and written about the lack of women in the tech sector. Is the problem the old boys network – or that success in technology is seen as a young man’s game? In this series, we speak with some of the top industry women in New York as they discuss the challenges they face, the perceptions that need to be changed and the work that’s being done – or not – to help to promote women in tech.
Today we hear from Miriam Eaves, angel investor and Managing Director of Cargile Group, an advisory firm that assists startups with corporate and business development activities, and growth strategies. Previously, she launched two UK technology firms spun out of the British government and funded by a UK private equity group, into the US market. Prior to that, she was a founding member of the executive teams of two successful venture capital-funded firms: Wit Capital and Consumer Financial Network. Eaves is also a Board Member of WPA, a service and advocacy organization committed to helping women who have histories with the criminal justice system to realize new possibilities for themselves and their families.
What was/is the biggest challenge facing you as a female entrepreneur?
One challenge is financial, specifically in terms of securing investment capital and equity in compensation. The second area of challenges is having female mentors in the form of female CEO and BOD members
What can be done to further promote female entrepreneurship in New York?
A New York City sponsored woman focused angel/early stage fund.
What is being done that you like presently?
There are several great initiatives, such as Golden Seeds, Astia and Springboard, to help female entrepreneurs secure capital. Also, 85 Broads, under the new leadership of Sallie Krawcheck, is providing great programs to females.
Are you involved in any organizations that help to promote female entrepreneurship? Or, do you do anything personally to help promote women in technology?
In 1994, along with several other pioneers, I founded the first women’s digital networking group, Women In New Media. As a NGO, we provided education programs, events offering access to high profile women, “Conversations with” and a scholarship program for female high school students who want to study digital media.
Do you feel investors have a different mindset when it comes to investing in a woman-run company?
I think it has been harder for women to secure funding, for a number of reasons, which could include their networks, questions as to whether they are committed for the tough/long haul, etc. However, I do think this slowly changing.
Do you think that women in top roles at major tech companies are scrutinized more closely than their male counterparts?
I think in general that woman in top roles are scrutinized more closely.
Do you have a hero and if so, who is it?
Some of my heroes are the great queens who defined all odds in very Male worlds such as Eleanor of Acquitaine and Elizabeth I.
Where do you and your company fit into the ecosystem?
As Managing Director of Cargile Partners, I advise young companies on growth and revenue acceleration strategies. My newest engagement is with Kapitall, a disruptive investment destination for independent thinkers. Also, I am a Venture Partner for Castrol Innoventures,. the corporate venture division of Castrol, BP’s $10B lubricant business and an advisor and angel investor to several NYC startups, including, LaneHoney and MealstoHeal, both of which are founded and run by a female CEOs.