Growing up, Jesse Draper attended a lot of conferences in the venture capital space with her dad, and these early experiences helped shape the way that she viewed her future and what she wanted to do in her own career. But once she began looking deeper into becoming an entrepreneur herself, the lack of visible female role models really began to dawn on her. She started to push for higher representation of women in all aspects of her work, and this has been a driving force throughout her work and has helped women around the world get the support they need to succeed.
Jesse Draper is founding partner of Halogen Ventures as well as the creator and host of the 2015 Emmy nominated television series, The Valley Girl Show. Draper is a 4th generation venture capitalist focused on early stage investing in female founded consumer technology. Her portfolio includes the Skimm, Laurel & Wolf, Carbon38, HopSkipDrive, The Flex Company & Sugarfina. Draper was a pioneer in digital media and started the initiative to interview at least 50% women in technology on her show.
As a venture capitalist, Draper hears a lot of pitches (around 5,000 a year) and has learned how to bet smart on dreams. In this interview, she breaks down what can make or break a startup when it comes to raising capital.
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“Sometimes you’re betting on a founder with a two or three person team, and sometimes you’re betting on a sole founder. It’s really about the people, so I try to get to know them however I possibly can.” – Jesse Draper
“You should never feel like you’re the smartest person in the room.” – Jesse Draper