Women fight for funding in man’s world of tech startups

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San Francisco

Lauren Foundos has excelled at just about everything she has put her mind to, from college sports and Wall Street trading to her Forte startup that takes workouts online.

Being a woman in the overwhelmingly male world of venture capital was still a barrier — but, like many other female entrepreneurs, she only worked harder to succeed.

“In some cases, before I even spoke, they were asking me if I would step down as chief executive,” Foundos said of encounters with venture capitalists.

Men would speak past her in meetings, discussing whether she could emotionally handle the job as if she wasn’t there, or wondering out loud who would take care of the books.

“When that happens, I tell them I am right here,” Foundos said. “I am the finance guy; I worked at big banks for more than 10 years. I’ve been the best at everything I have ever gone into.”—AFP