How to build a design-first company; Sunshine Contacts; Working more intelligently with Venture Capital investors

Your weekly Newsletter on Women in Tech and Venture Capital

This is Femstreet, a weekly newsletter featuring must-read content by female CEOs, operators and investors. I try to make this one of the best emails you get each Sunday morning. If you enjoy the content, please like it above and share it with friends.

Welcome to issue No. 160 and here’s what you will learn today:

  • How you can build products that solve a real problem and make something a lot of people want.

  • How to build a design-first company.

  • How you can work more intelligently with venture capital investors.

  • Why equal parental leave is important.


Ellen Pao never felt imposter syndrome as Reddit CEO. Meagan Loyst of Lerer Hippeau launched a Slack channel for Gen Z VCs. I feel old. Our portfolio company Spring Health, co-founded by April Koh, raised a $76M Series B led by Tiger Global. Dakota Johnson is here to remind you that sexual wellness is self-care. Must-have desk accessories to maximise productivity. Frameworks that help you adapt to others. DTC beauty startups promote diversity in an industry ‘obsessed with the white millennial’. 15 ways to incorporate gaming into your music strategy. Marissa Mayer’s startup launches its first official product, Sunshine Contacts.VCs weigh in on megadeals, red-hot IPO market, and a reckoning with lack of diversity. Udemy and altMBA co-founders Gagan and Wes return to edtech with a new, stealthy business and a mission to build the first platform for cohort-based courses. Can you be productive while working in pajamas?


Lotti Siniscalco of Emergence Capital has been promoted to Principal.

Abigail Hunter-Syed was promoted to Partner at LDV Capital.

Apple hired Intel’s Barbara Whye as its new head of diversity.

From The Investor

  • No more FAANG but let’s go MT SAAS which stands for Microsoft, Twilio, Salesforce, Adobe, Amazon, and Shopify. Mary D’Onfrio of Bessemer Venture Partners on why cloud computing is the mega-trend of the next decade and MT SAAS is a new basket of top public technology companies.

  • Angela Strange and Seema Amble of a16z on why in a world of increasingly generic product experiences and rising acquisition costs, fintech companies are pursuing a marketing advantage through vertical banking, services tailored to specific customer communities. They also tough on new retailer payment methods and QR codes’ big moment.

Become a Femstreet Member

Our members are entrepreneurs, young professionals and decision-makers working in startups in product, sales, ops & strategy roles, and investors. While this newsletter will always be free, the membership for $100/year includes the following benefits and perks:

  • Private Community Network: Connect with like-minded CEOs, startup operators and investors on Slack, who you can turn to at any time for repeatable, scalable advice at your fingertips. Learn from the best and apply it to your business, hire diverse talent or find a new job.

  • Monthly video networking sessions, Femstreet Circles with industry leaders, in-person meetups, and a member directory.

  • Special offers: Enjoy exclusive savings on events and software tools.

  • An additional weekly Member Briefing with a curation of community-sourced learnings and opportunities.

    Meet female founders and startup operators from top companies at our monthly Meet & Greet on Nov 24th and join the next Femstreet Circle on proactive press outreach and brand narratives on Dec 3rd.

Become A Member

From The Founder and Operator

“Anyone can build products. Not everyone can build products that solve a real problem and land product-market fit.”

  • Sunita Mohanty, Product Lead as part of Facebook's New Product Experimentation, on how you can build products that solve real problems with this lightweight JTBD framework.

Become a Femstreet contributor

You are a startup operator or investor and would like to increase your reach with your blog posts? We’d love to bring your content to our platform. Each month we will publish a select number of articles written by our operator and investor community. Our subscribers include the most important and interesting women in technology and business. Here are some of them. If you want to join this incredible group of Femstreet contributors, please reach out.

Become a Femstreet Contributor


🗓️ December 1
Lift Her Wealth - Let's talk about money.

🗓️ December 2
Role of Platform and Marketing in VC

🗓️ December 3
Work-Bench’s Women in Enterprise Sales Forum

🗓️ December 15
The Debut Sessions LIVE pitch competition
The event will see 4 early-stage tech companies pitch to some of the most recognised VC's / investors in the UK in a 'Dragon's Den' style format. This will be followed by a 30 minute panel discussion and multiple, interactive 'Session Rooms' (including a 'Term Sheet Clinic' and 'Investor Deck Clinic'). The winner of the Main Stage Pitch Competition will receive a Term Sheet from Ascension Ventures for a £100,000 SEIS investment. Apply to Pitch.

And In Case You Missed It

See you next week 👋

Want to promote a job opportunity to the 10k strong Femstreet family? Book your slot here.

Comments, questions, tips? Send me a note

Written by Sarah Nöckel, Early-Stage investor at Northzone. Born in Germany. Based in London. You can find me elsewhere on Twitter and Instagram.