Collaboration is Queen – How Playfair Capital Level the Playing Field

Collaboration is Queen – How Playfair Capital Level the Playing Field

By Playfair Capital

Collaboration is Queen. At Playfair Capital, we believe in the power of bringing people together to solve issues and make us all stronger. As investors, we recognise the potential for entrepreneurship to improve society, but this will not be fully realised until we achieve real equality in access to startup funding. That’s why we have always been strong advocates of the power of collaboration. We are using this principle to address the continuing headwinds for female founders in tech.

Started by the Playfair Capital team in 2019 and supported by Tech Nation and Microsoft for Startups in 2020, Female Founder Office Hours (FFOH) has already brought together 450 founders for 1,800 one-to-one mentoring and pitch meetings with over 100 investors across three editions to date.

We recognise that there is no single quick fix for redressing the lack of funding for female founders; we need everyone to play their part. That is why we are hosting collaborative office hours with dozens of other VCs, diversity groups and advocates. We hope to build on their great work, helping to connect the dots between founders and investors.

Playfair has committed to running the initiative three times a year to ensure continued support for female founders. In addition, all investors participating in the initiative have pledged to take on one founder from each edition for ongoing mentoring, giving depth as well as breadth of support.

The problems we’re focussing on are:

  1. A lack of funding and support for female founders in tech
  1. Barriers to accessing investors, particularly outside of London

Our solution has four pillars:

  1. Access. No warm intros needed.
  1. Remote. Geography is not a barrier.
  1. Collaboration. All investors, groups and initiatives working together.
  1. Founder-driven. Ask for advice, feedback, funding, or introductions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating in many ways, but it has enabled us to accelerate the growth and impact of the event by going fully virtual with Zoom. It simply would not be possible to coordinate 800 in-person meetings with founders and investors across the UK.
If you would like to dive deeper into our reasons for launching the Female Founder Office Hours initiative and for a wealth of resources for female founders, please visit our dedicated Notion page. Included here is our latest blog post with feedback from founders and our plans for 2021.