Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher

“I’ve always been interested in media from a very young age!”


Business Insider: ‘Restoring The Shortfall In Venture Funding For Women’

Fred Destin | Dec. 9, 2010

I did an interview recently with Pemo Theodore at Ezebis and she generated a transcript which is a godsend since I am still trying to keep my typing light. So if you will excuse the slightly subpar editing compared to my usual fare, here are some edits from that video: 

On Atlas

“We are very old fashioned in many ways. We invest at Seed or Series A. We like to take a lead role and really partner meaningfully with the companies that we back. We’ll look for high upside, highly scalable, highly ambitious entrepreneurs that we can work with and build businesses with over time. So we’re old fashioned in the way that we believe in real leadership, really owning a decent chunk of a company, really partnering with entrepreneurs and then we try and be useful in the sense that we try and be transparent and honest and fast and have a lot of the brand qualities that I think an entrepreneur is looking for in terms of finding an open minded, evidence driven, pragmatic partner, that’s willing to do some real work with them.” 

We Need More Women In Tech

“We were running a CEO event here recently in Boston and we had Scott Kirsner over talking (among other things) about the necessity of having a more diverse ecosystem in Boston, what Boston could do better; suddenly I semi interrupted him and stood up and said, ‘Listen by the way, there’s 50 of us in the room here and there’s only one woman!’ And it turns out I’d invited her, a newcomer to the scene. Gina Ashe from Krush: she was the only female entrepreneur in the room. There is a long, long way to go, this was striking evidence that it’s rare and continues to be rare, no question!” “If you’re asking how many women we’ve funded, we do have a few. I backed Helene Monat at Adsafe Media whose really been there since the start in helping structure that firm. We have backed Mara Aspinall at ON-Q-ITY here in Boston who is a life science’s business focused on cure for cancer in particular circulating tumor cells in the human body.[…] So we have a few, but just like everybody else I will tell you it remains the minority. It’s true if you look at the venture funds as well as looking at the companies that are backed which I think is part of the problem.

BlogHer interview 2011 with Pemo on her project ‘Why are Women Funded Less than Men?’ 

What inspired you personally to undertake the year long project of interviewing venture capitalists, angel investors and women founders?

Pemo: I had made a personal commitment to help women raise venture capital and even though I failed myself, I decided to do the project. First to learn what the real hurdles were for women, if any and how to succeed from women who had raised venture. I wanted to learn this information myself and speaking to many different people helped me personally to determine the truth of the issue. I doubt if I would have had the time to do this project if I had been successful as it has been very time consuming. The bonus for me personally was meeting and becoming inspired by women from both sides of the table and men who were genuinely interested in changing the gender imbalance.

What was your #1 biggest takeaway ‐ personally and professionally ‐ from your year long project? 

Pemo: I was inspired to try again by deciding to form another startup myself. The people that I met and interviewed confirmed to me that this was the area of business where I needed and wanted to be. They are my kind of people, passionate, smart and creative. The surprising thing that emerged was that I love the venture industry and feel committed to continuing to promote and support that ecosystem, particularly female venture capitalists. It has been proven that the more female VCs there are the more women that will raise venture. It really is a cottage industry and there are many different colorful and interesting characters which appeals to me. 

What do you see as the pro’s and con’s of the fact that women tend to go the route of alternative funding versus getting funded via venture capitalist? 

Pemo: Yes it appears that women raise funding through many other means because there are so many female owned businesses in the US. However I agree with Cindy Gallop, Founder IfWeRanTheWorld that it is a rite of passage for women in general to feel that they can as easily raise venture capital as any male can. Having said that, raising venture is not easy for anyone and 99% of startups do not make the final grade. At present I think women are becoming less intimidated by these odds as more women are successful and also more women are thinking in a grander style and wanting to scale their businesses. These changes are gradual but in almost 2 years I have seen surprising shifts in awareness in the culture. This seems to be a global movement and women are jumping up to be counted. I really believe that world economies will be led out of economic problems by encouraging startups where innovation is most likely to occur. Women led startups now will be major players. 

What is your role within the Startup Genome Compass project?

Pemo: I approached Bjorn Herrmann and Max Marmer of Startup Compass as I was enthusiastic about their project. Data can be helpful when used in such a positive way as they are doing with their project. I was really frustrated about the lack of stats and focus on women led startups particularly about venture funded startups. They agreed to add the gender piece to the project so that we can get some benchmarks and stats and determine if women led companies have any major differences than male ones. We worked together finalizing a summary of my findings and I have been promoting the project ever since, encouraging women led startups to sign up to change the status quo. It can be helpful for a founder to be able to check into their program and through completing the questionnaire get a great overview of their business and what are the next best steps. 

Now that your year‐long study is complete (for now) what is your next big endeavor? Has this next chapter changed for you as a result of working on this project?

Pemo: I want to continue to support entrepreneurs in general to raise investment. I also feel a bit of a mission about humanizing investors particularly for entrepreneurs who are not in the Golden Triangle of the Bay area, NYC and Boston and don’t have access through their networks. I like to bring investors and entrepreneurs together through the power of video and virtual platforms.

Listen to Pemo’s interview with James Walsh on The Celebefex Show on Nov 14, 2017: Celebefex Show #196 with guest Pemo Theodore talking about Silicon Valley startups, venture capital and music (3 of her greatest loves apart from her 3 kids in Oz!)

Mark Suster, Partner GRP Ventures mentioned Pemo’s video project on his blog Both Sides of the Table “Why Aren’t there More Women Entrepreneurs?” & reposted on FastCompany

Startup Events

WITI San Diego April 19, 2012 check out video of panel
List itemWomen Who Tech ‘Funding Your Own Startup panel’ hear podcast of panel
LisWITI Summit Santa Clara June 4, 2012 moderated & organized panel ‘Women, Venture Capital & the Paradigm Shift’ t item
Bay Area Pipeline Fellowship Conference Friday, October 5, 2012 moderated & organized ‘Angel Investing in Action’
Data Week Thursday Oct 3, 2013 moderated & organized panel New Trends in Big Data Investment
Latino Startup Alliance Innovator Summit Dec 5 & 6, 2013

Past Glories

Here are some Irish TV where Pemo was featured as a Life Changing Coach

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