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Twenty-four-year-old David Dobrik rose to internet fame with a vlog crew known for comedy videos and then quickly used his cache to launch a buzzy camera app that pulled in more than $20 million from investors.

All that good will evaporated in days after allegations of sexual assault by a member of the Vlog Squad came to light. The situation has raised flags about how well investors vetted the startup's founders — and whether VC firms or brands should prepare for these situations when working with young influencers, who are increasingly creating their own brands and companies.

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For years, study after study has shown women — and especially women of color — are underrepresented in tech conference panels, as keynote speakers and in news coverage.

The pandemic has not helped. Instead, as companies have taken their events virtual the "manel" — or all-male panel — has made a comeback, especially in VC and the tech world.

Frustrated that the trend drowns out important female perspectives, CEO Pam Kostka of All Raise, a nonprofit that advocates for female founders, operators and funders in tech, announced Monday a new "Visionary Voices" speakers bureau. In her blog post, headlined "No more manels, no more excuses," Kostka described the bureau as the creation of the tech industry's largest database of female and non-binary "founders, funders and startup operators" so that event organizers and reporters can more easily find them.

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There's the accelerators and female-founder dinners. Throw in the hyped-up "pledges" rallying public support for inclusion. But, for all the female focused co-working spaces in Los Angeles, the startup scene remains a male-dominated game.

The data tells the story. Female founders received fewer than 10% of venture capital deals in Los Angeles last year, according to an analysis by dot.LA using data provided by PitchBook. When it came to the money, women got even less. Only 2% of the $8 billion in venture capital that poured into Los Angeles companies last year went to female-founded companies. The numbers have moved only a fraction of a percent over the years.

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