Halogen Ventures’ Jesse Draper on How to Make It as a Woman in VC

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

As the founding partner of Halogen Ventures, Jesse Draper and her team are betting big on early-stage, female-founded companies with billion-dollar potential.

In this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, Draper discusses how she deals with rejection as a VC and how women can gain self confidence as entrepreneurs.

"Don't look at a no as a bad thing. Look at it as a 'no for now’. Or maybe you're not talking to the right person. And also, you can turn it around," Draper said.


Draper’s firm, Halogen Ventures, focuses on investing and growing consumer tech companies led by female and co-ed teams.

Before launching Halogen, Draper had a TV series called "The Valley Girl Show" where she interviewed entrepreneurs including Mark Cuban and Richard Branson. While she did get to talk to some female founders there, she said many were too early in their careers to be featured.

Draper grew up with an investor mindset from an early age. At around 10, her father bought her a share of Mattel because she loved its popular doll product, Barbie.

But even with that early exposure to markets, Draper said she had a difficult time entering the venture capital world as a woman. Networking became important as a way to be taken seriously and make the connections she needed to make.

"You know, this isn't talked about enough: You have to lose a lot of money to make money in VC. And I think people need to understand that you can't go out, raise a fund and invest in, like, five deals," Draper said.

She is a fierce advocate for investing in women and the opportunity for using technology and innovation to solve some of the biggest issues facing women and families today. Halogen Ventures, launched in 2015, now has more than 70 companies in its portfolio, including theSkimm, Babylist, ThirdLove and The Flex Company.

Jesse was listed by “Marie Claire” Magazine as one of the ‘50 Most Connected Women in America’. She is also a regular commentator on Cheddar, CNBC and CNN.

In this episode, Draper gets candid about why she didn’t think she could be a venture capitalist and how she overcame her own struggles with imposter syndrome and she shares her advice for anyone looking to manage burnout: delegate and make time for rest.

Hear more of the Behind Her Empire podcast. Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

‘Completely Unacceptable’: Latino Founders Only Accounted for 2% of All Venture Funding Last Year

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
A coalition of Latino venture capitalists have hit out in response to new data indicating that Latino-founded startups continue to face difficulties raising money, and have called for investors to “commit to meaningfully moving the needle” to address inequities.
Read more Show less

As It Ramps Up in LA, Superpedestrian’s LINK Looks to Chart a Different Path for E-Scooters

Zac Estrada

Zac Estrada is a reporter covering transportation, technology and policy. A former reporter for The Verge and Jalopnik, his work has also appeared in Automobile Magazine, Autoweek, Pacific Standard, Boston.com and BLAC Detroit. A native of Southern California, he is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston. You can find him on Twitter at @zacestrada.

Image courtesy of Superpedestrian

While the electric scooter market might appear flooded based on how many of the vehicles are scattered along sidewalks in major U.S. cities, there is yet another company on the block trying to make the case for alternative mobility solutions across the country, including here in Los Angeles.

Founded in Cambridge, Mass., in 2013, transportation robotics startup Superpedestrian launched its LINK e-scooter network in its hometown (which is also home to Harvard and MIT) in early 2020—just as the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on demand for shared services like ride-sharing, bike-sharing and, of course, e-scooters.

Read more Show less

Snapchat Rolls Out Updates to Its AR Shopping Feature For Both Consumers and Brands

Molly Wright
Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics’ student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA’s Daily Bruin.
Image from Shutterstock

Snap is upping its game when it comes to both augmented reality and ecommerce.

The Santa Monica-based social media giant has launched a series of updates to its Snapchat app’s AR shopping experience, including easier-to-use features for consumers and real-time analytics for brands and retail partners, as reported by Techcrunch and Adweek.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending