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Getting More Women to Launch, Fund Businesses in Connecticut

 Start Up
Start Up

Women-founded or co-founded firms in the U.S. raised $25.12 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2021, more than in any prior year, according to PitchBook. The reason? Women founders are raising a greater share through late-stage deals and high-value sectors. More women are writing checks at VC firms. And networks of female founders are thriving in cities like New York.

Yet the investments are just 2.7%, or $3.54 billion, of the total VC funding pie, PitchBook noted. Within that statistic, across the U.S., just 34 Black female founders raised $1 million in VC money in 2018. That number, according to ProjectDiane, shot up to 93 Black women in 2020.

Connecticut saw the launch of a couple of women-owned investment firms and the acquisition of women-founded companies this year -- Mizzen Capital and Greenworks Lending, for instance -- but the majority of women entrepreneurs continue to struggle for funding in a state that has yet to return to its pre-pandemic level workforce.

How do women entrepreneurs navigate the funding environment?


  • Marie Rocha: Founder & General Partner, Realist Ventures
  • Wendy Ward: Founder & CEO, futures Thrive
  • Liddy Karter: Managing Partner, Mizzen Capital
  • Alexandra Cooley: COO & Co-founder, Greenworks Lending from Nuveen
  • Mary Anne Rooke: President and Managing Director, Angel Investor Forum
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Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.