Start DC The Monthly Edit #1


*Welcome* to the first issue of the Start DC newsletter!

In this issue: why VCs should invest in more women-led start-ups, funding resources, and how to build grit!


A Note from the Founder

Happy October! You made it to cooler weather in DC.

We’re kicking off the new month (and season!) with a brand-new Start DC newsletter! Every first week of the month, we’ll be bringing the best of what we’re reading and writing straight to your inbox. Start-up life is busy, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get news, resources, and inspiration to keep on growing your business.

re: Inspiration, read on for an amazing article on how to build grit—and let us know what keeps you going when the going gets tough. Email your suggestions to and we’ll share a list.

Enjoy those fall colors (+ candy). 🎃

Until next month,

GennaFounder @ Start DC


🔥   Catch up. Negotiation Tips for (Women) Entrepreneurs | Kevin Tien of Himitsu

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Reads for the Month Ahead


1/ Only 8% of US VC firms have women partners. Firms with no female partners are less likely to invest in businesses run or founded by women. “Women-led businesses are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship in the U.S.,” yet VC funding overwhelmingly goes to men. Research suggests VCs themselves may be to blame and recommends steps that firms can take. (Harvard Business Review)


2/ Perseverance is powerful stuff. Here’s how you build it. Turns out that grit—“perseverance and passion for long-term goals”—can be a better predictor of success than intelligence. This article breaks down five steps to increase grit. (Barking Up the Wrong Tree)


3/ DC got 4.6% of the $56.8 billion in VC deals in the US in 2016, up 26% from 2015. This piece by Ebony Pope of Village Capital has great tidbits (i.e. DC is #1 as the best tech city for women for the third year running!). It makes the case for DC entrepreneurs to seek larger-scale, institutional funding and gives two foundational, free resources to get you started. (DC Inno)


4/ Selling a feeling. Have we reached “peak spice”? Pumpkin-flavored coffee sold $32.7 million in sales in 2015 and this gourd craze has fueled everything from pumpkin-flavored cough drops to pumpkin-flavored dog treats. Unlike holidays, this is all about selling warm, cozy fall vibes. (Forbes)


5/ Representation matters. This annual study found that in 2017, men still dominate every media platform—from television to online. “Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story.” (Note to self: Re-read article #2 and keep pushing forward!) (Women’s Media Center)


Resources and events:


Women in Food Deliver. 🍎 Pineapple DC is a community of East Coast-based women in the food industry. They’re hosting a conversation with FreshDirect and lady entrepreneurs from other food businesses.


-Calling all social entrepreneursSalesforce just launched a $50 million impact investing fund for companies doing innovative work in workforce development, equality, sustainability, and the social sector.


KIND Foundation gives away $10,000 each month to individuals and organizations “working to make the world a little kinder.” 💰

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