Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill turns 20 (and I feel old), we meet the lawyer defending men felled by #MeToo, and a new VC fund will use female entrepreneurs as scouts. I’m on vacation for the rest of the week, but Claire’s got you covered. See you in September!
• Girl scouts. Entrepreneur Sarah Kunst is joining the small but growing ranks of female VCs starting their own funds.
Axios reports that she’s raising $10 million (with $1.7 million already locked in) for Cleo Capital, a new fund that “will provide capital to female entrepreneurs to act as scouts.”
Without any additional detail, it’s hard to know exactly how the Cleo scout model would work, but it’s intriguing. For one thing, scouting could provide more women with a taste of what it takes to make it as an investor, an important step to growing the ranks of women in VC. And, as Axios’s Kia Kokalitcheva, notes, it could “enable a new group of women to earn significant cash if they prove savvy at picking startups to back.”
Kunst has had a fascinating career, so I’m not surprised to see her launching something like this. She’s been an investor, a founder, a board member, a writer, and, according to her LinkedIn page, a part of Sequoia Capital’s own scout program.
She is also, as you may recall, one of the women who came forward to say that she’d been sexually harassed by 500 Startups founder Dave McClure. She and all the other women who spoke up about McClure should be saluted for their courage, and it’s heartening to be covering her in this new context today. Axios
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Repeat cold feet. With the U.S. Open underway, this story looks at the pressure facing the tournament’s 2017 winner Sloane Stephens as she attempts to defend her title. Returning to the podium, notes the Times, isn’t easy: “In the last 19 months, beginning with the Australian Open in January 2017, seven different women have won the last seven Grand Slam titles.” New York Times
• Playing defense. Attorney John Singer has made a name for himself by taking on a particular type of client—Wall Street men felled by the #MeToo movement. On his client list: former BoA managing director Omeed Malik (lost his job after a woman at the bank said he made unwanted advances), former Morgan Stanley employee Harold Ford Jr. (also ousted over allegations of unwanted advances, this time from a non-employee), and former D.E. Shaw Group managing director Dan Michalow (fired this year after an investigation into alleged “abusive and offensive conduct”). WSJ
• Con artist calling. File under “bizarre yet fascinating:” The FBI and NYPD have reportedly opened investigations into a con artist who impersonates powerful female entertainment execs (including former Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal and Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy) in order to scam industry workers. The Hollywood Reporter
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Rachel Whetstone is leaving the top corporate communications job at Facebook to join Netflix, where she will run public relations.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Everything is everything. Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Lauryn Hill released her masterwork, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill? This Atlantic piece looks at Hill’s complicated legacy and the way in which she has accomplished a rare feat, especially for a female artist: “the space to make mistakes—and still be considered great.” The Atlantic
• Disrupting pregnancy. The NYT looks at the booming business of fertility tech—including apps and wearables—quoting both fans and critics, including those who say the technologies still lack “proven data that shows they significantly shorten the time it takes for a woman to become pregnant.” New York Times
• Cat takes on cannabis. Meet Cat Packer, head of the Los Angeles department of cannabis regulation and a former advocate with the Drug Policy Alliance, the woman charged with guiding the city through the transition to a world of legal recreational marijuana. Fast Company
ON MY RADAR
Can Rihanna save New York Fashion Week? Vanity Fair
Don’t blame women for leaving fields like engineering. Blame bad attitudes. Quartz
Crazy Rich Asians has another crazy rich weekend at the box office Slate
Tessa Thompson knows people can’t stop thinking about her The Cut