As it has for most aspects of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shock to the world of venture capital.
In a lecture, Professor of Professional Practice Angela Lee discussed how the pandemic has exacerbated an existing market correction for VC and analyzed opportunities for investors even though she believes the worst of the downturn is yet to come.
“This correction not terrible,” Lee said. “It’s actually a good thing for founders and investors.”
Lee, the faculty director at the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, is also the Founder of 37 Angels, an investing network that has evaluated thousands of startups. She noted that sectors such as digital healthcare, automation, remote learning, and other “future of work” initiatives, might prove to be attractive to both founders and investors during the pandemic economy.
Lee explained why she expects continued consolidation of seed capital during the downturn and a renewed focus on the quality of revenue from firms.
“Since the pandemic, we’re having much more detailed conversations about cash flows,” Lee said.
Lee also provided her views on the relationship between VC and the Black Lives Matter movement which she said has invigorated the discussion about racial and gender diversity among investors and founders.
“It’s important, because even though we’ve been talking about diversity, the numbers have not really changed in terms of dollars going to female founders or those from underrepresented minorities,” Lee said. “We need to work to diversify our pipeline.”
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of business, while bringing historical inequities and injustice into sharp relief.
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