How To Become A VC From Nothing; The Femstreet 2021 Starter Kit; GTM Nirvana; The Side Hustle Stack

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. 162

When I started Femstreet three years ago I had no clue about what it would eventually become. Now we are so much more than just a weekly newsletter. A few weeks ago I sent around our annual subscriber survey to learn more about our audience and what we can improve.

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Let’s get into this week’s issue.


From the Wing to Outdoor Voices to Away, the ranks of powerful women who have been forced to step back at the companies they created continue to grow. Are women in the startup world being unfairly targeted? The Side Hustle Stack. Our friends at All Raise, the nonprofit led by CEO Pam Kostka, has raised $11m to bring it closer to goal of bringing equality to the tech world. Wellness product recommendations we all need. The no-code movement means anyone can be a tech founder. Gitanjali Rao is Time’s first ever kid of the year. The number of Black female founders who have raised more than $1M has nearly tripled since 2018. 55 questions for mission-driven co-founders. How to get a term sheet done in 2-3 days. Nasdaq seeks board-diversity rule that most listed firms don’t meet. Pharrell launches Black Ambition, an accelerator for black and latinx entrepreneurs.


Caitlin Bolnick of Open View is joining CRV in SF.

Molly Alter, formerly Insight Venture Partners, joined Index Ventures in London as a Principal. Welcome!

Emily Man, formerly Point72 Ventures, joined Redpoint Ventures.

From The Investor

How To Become A VC From Nothing 

Shruti Gandhi of Array Ventures immigrated from the very large Mumbai to a small town in upstate NY. She had a 40-hour job as an engineer while in college and then rose up the ranks at IBM before raising her own enterprise SaaS focused fund. She shares her personal story on how to become a VC from nothing and lessons from her career as an engineer, operator, and VC fund manager… Read more.

Augmenting streaming and batch processing workflows

There are an increasing number of applications that require both stream and batch data processing. Priyanka Somrah of Work-Bench went deep on how the tech underpinning these paradigms has evolved over the past few years in order to effectively handle transactional data models as well as support a larger variety of sources…Read more.

Online grocery 2.0 community group-buying

With the addition of community leaders into the supply chain, the unit economics for online groceries are fundamentally changed. The model is a win-win-win proposition for the consumer, community leader and the produce platform itself. Lillian Li of Eight Roads Ventures unpacks how online grocery 2.0 community group-buying works…More here.

Did you see that live stream?

Beyond technology advancements, COVID has rapidly accelerated the adoption of live viewing, as creators look to monetize their talents remotely and consumers seek new and entertaining content. Of the consumers we surveyed, 85% watch live content today, and 70% of those that watch live content say their viewing has increased significantly since the onset of COVID. Ashley Brasier of Lightspeed Venture Partners on why the answer is almost always 'no' and what startups are doing to fix the discovery problem…Read more.

The “$20M to $500M” Question

Some of the most exciting enterprise startups are product-led and bottom-up. Growth investors often get asked how to scale ARR 10x+ beyond the first ~$20M. There's no single right way to scale top-down GTM...but two takeaways: the path from $20 to $500M ARR will be very different than from $0 to $20M & introducing top down sales can't be done in isolation. Sarah Wang of A16z shares more here.

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From The Founder and Operator

B2B GTM Nirvana

First, it's important to listen to your customers. Second, long term investments matter. Perhaps most importantly - mistakes happen. Even the most successful companies only learn about what the best approaches are after launching. Caroline Clark, formerly Sequoia and Atlassian shared a comprehensive guide that can help you figure out your B2B GTM…Get the full deck here.

SaaS marketing org chart

Emily Kramer, formerly Cartea, and Kathleen Estreich, formerly Intercom and Box, share how you can organize your early-stage SaaS marketing organization…here.

A Very Cloudy 2020

“In 2020, with the pandemic, if you're an entrepreneur or a business owner, you have to think about your digital-first strategy.” Michelle Zatlyn of CloudFlare wasn’t known when she arrived in the Bay Area but the company eventually went public in 2019. She got together with Joanne Wilson to discuss her journey as a founder, and the future of cybersecurity in a post covid world…Listen to the full story.

When you are not the default

Just because you tick all the boxes does not guarantee success. But those that succeed often tick a lot of boxes. Investors try to pattern-match and think that correlation is causation, creating funding echo chambers. Founders often try to fit into the checkboxes to get funding. Holly Liu of Kabam shares some of the most common pieces of advice that have become default “checkboxes” with the reasons why this “checkbox” exists, what investors are looking for, along with exceptions to these “checkboxes”…Read more.

Your team is everything

Leaders have to be really, really good listeners. You also have to be a great communicator. And the third one: you must be good at inspiring and motivating people to do their best work and be their best selves. Autodesk CMO Lisa Campbell on leadership, Captain Marvel and being first…More here.

The End-of-Year Checklist

Do you like starting the year with a fresh perspective? Use the last weeks of the year to reflect on you as a manager, actions that most moved the company forward and where you want to double on next year. Katie Harper of Kard published a great checklist that you can get here.

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 7
Fireside Chat: Data for Good with Brex

🗓️ December 15
Pitching Remotely for Latinx Female Founders

🗓️ 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, friends 👋

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.