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  • Title
    Aileen Lee, All Raise
  • Affiliation
    and Steve Case and J.D. Vance, Rise of the Rest

It may be tech’s biggest gender gap: Fewer than 10% of leadership roles in venture capital are held by women, and only 2.2% of VC funding went to female-founded companies in 2018. All Raise, a coalition of women in the VC field, launched last year (sparked by a group email from Cowboy Ventures partner Aileen Lee) with the aim of boosting both those numbers. All Raise gives female founders intensive one-on-one mentoring, while its VC Champions program pairs promising investors with senior partners at established venture firms.


Geographical diversity is another hurdle in tech: Steve Case (below, center), the AOL founder turned investor, says 75% of venture funding goes to firms in California, New York, or Massachusetts. With his partner, author J.D. Vance, Case runs Rise of the Rest, a $150 million fund devoted to companies in less heavily saturated markets. Through a process that includes buzzy bus tours and pitch competitions, Rise of the Rest has invested in about 100 companies in more than 30 states so far—reminding the startup world that a San Francisco Bay view is not a prerequisite
for success.