Overcoming the locker room mentality
Founder, Fundraising Heavy Hitter, Public Speaker and Market Strategist
Be prepared in the pitch room. VC is still driven largely by male perspective and behavior.
The perfect storm of marketing = huge market, working product, enormous need, no conversation.
There is no rest for the weary. An entrepreneur’s working day is 24 hours long.
Lesson: She Works with Rachel Braun Scherl
Step #1 Locker Room: Overcoming the locker room mentality
In 2008, a venture capitalist handed me a business plan. He has never handed me one since, and he had never handed me one before. As is our way, I was reading the business plan aloud to Mary, my business partner, as we were driving to a client meeting. It was in the area of female sexual satisfaction, and we said, “Wow, this category is pretty interesting.” There were 53 active clinical programs, and now there are two. Women don't talk about satisfaction to anybody, not their doctors, not their sisters, not their cousins, not their friends. It's one of the few categories, and we've worked with women from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes. It's one of the very few categories that women don't seem to talk about with other people.
And I want to be very clear we're talking about women 35 plus in committed relationships. So often when I say that people say, "I'm in college, and that's all we do." It's a very different conversation when it's in the context of a committed relationship.
So we're reading about this and we say big market, 40% of women have sexual concerns and difficulties, the market is tiny. ED, which affects 31% of men, is a multi-billion dollar business. This is a huge, huge opportunity. And it was from our standpoint the perfect storm of marketing. So you have a huge opportunity, you have a product that actually works, and that is not irrelevant that's central to the conversation. You have an enormous need, no conversation, and lots of people who have been looking at this.
We were introduced to the company on April 30th and September 2nd, we had a check from venture capitalist of the same year, the two of us, a product, and a business.
And you can imagine having spoken to many entrepreneurs that an entrepreneur's day is 24 hours long. I couldn't have told you when day was or night was. I couldn't distinguish weekdays from weekends.
One of the things that was so astounding to me when we were fundraising was it felt a little bit like stepping back in time. I graduated from Stanford Business School, very egalitarian atmosphere, very egalitarian environment. So I thought, I'm walking into venture capitalists in Silicon Valley talking about a product that, by the way, improves arousal, desire and satisfaction for women of all ages and life stages. Sounds pretty good. The business had a lot of potential.