The Agenda: Kenya, robots & mini VCs

Weekly notes on women in tech, venture and the startup world (Issue 2)

Did you enjoy the first installment of “The Agenda”? I’ve spent several weeks thinking about creating a way to share all the goodies I discover on women doing #BOSS things across tech–as both founders and funders–but let fear hold me back for while. However, June turned out to be a good month for releasing fears and “saying yes” to all the things that scared me.

In the month of June alone, I published the first issue of “The Agenda”, created a WhatsApp group for female founders in Africa and a second WhatsApp group for women working remotely globally. It took me a moment to “just do it” but it’s done and I’m happy to see so many women coming together to learn and share. Thank you for joining us.

Here’s what’s been captivating me this week:

WHAT KENYA NEEDS

The Financial Times published its “Investing in Kenya” special report. Similar to the “Investing in Senegal” report released in April of this year, the Kenyan version takes a look at booming sectors, the political climate and insight from insiders on the financial growth of the nation. Highlights from the report include a deep dive into what kind of investors the country needs by BASF’s Juliana Rotich and a podcast with OpenWorld founder Dorcas Muthoni discussing starting young as an entrepreneur and avoiding corruption. Here’s the full list of featured articles in the report. (Some articles behind a paywall.)

The Future is...Female in Character

There has been a lot of chatter around gender and racial bias in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Which is expected considering machines can only learn what we teach them and we live in a world full of inequities. As Quartz wrote, “When computers learn human languages, they also learn human prejudices,” and VentureBeat says, “The future of AI may be female, but it isn’t feminist.”

Artificial intelligence and robotics may intend to free us from many human limitations, but it seems that gender stereotypes are not one of them.

From naming conventions for robots and devices to appearance and job loss, the articles make a convincing argument for why more women and people of color need to be encouraged to get involved in the research and development of AI as well as its influence on society.

There are a few communities and organizations working to make sure diverse voices are heard in the sector. If you are working in AI or ML you may be interested in joining Black in AI or Deep Learning Indaba.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of AI and ways to deter bias in machines. Send me a tweet and tell me know what you think. #theagenda

Girls are VCs too

Have you met Taarini Dang? She’s a two time founder, author, Google Female Founders Summit speaker, venture capitalist and...she’s 14! While in the seventh grade, Taarini started her company Million Champs to help one million young entrepreneurs start businesses by 2028, and her venture capital firm, Dang Capital, has already raised $100,000 USD, but she plans to increase fundraising efforts in order to take the fund to $1 million USD. “When I was 8,” she says, “my mom told me that girls with dreams become women with visions.” Taarini’s vision? “I want to change the world.”

Thanks again for joining me. If you know anyone interested in the latest on women doing #BOSS things in tech, venture and the startup world, be sure to share “The Agenda” with them. See you next week.

You shine, we all shine,

Raquel

If you are interested in joining the Female Founders Africa WhatsApp group, let me know.

What's on The Agenda?

Issue 1 of my weekly installment on women in tech, venture and the startup world

Welcome to the first issue of The Agenda, a weekly look at women in tech, venture and the startup world. I may throw in a few woo-woos and feel goods too, just because that’s who I am. I love seeing others win and enjoy sharing the good stuff badass women do.

Speaking of badasses, what do you do when you open Twitter at the beginning of a new day and the first thing in your feed is a photo of [badass] Hollywood Storyteller Ava DuVernay and [badass] VC Fund Founder Arlan Hamilton sharing a moment together??

You put on some Beyonce and settle in knowing it is going to be a good day (and retweet the photo of course!)

Here’s what’s on my agenda this week:

Stacking $GUAP

I’m still working on making sense of crypto, blockchain, bitcoin and how I can use it to empower more women and girls in my community. This week, while doing research, I “discovered” [badass] Tavonia Evans, Founder and CEO of $GUAP, a cryptocurrency token built on ethereum blockchain technology.

Yeah, I know, that’s a mouthful (and a little confusing if this world is new to you), but in short, $GUAP rewards consumers for supporting community businesses, grassroots organizations, and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Shop at one of their network merchants and get $GUAP to save, build and thrive in the future.

Questions? Ask them.

We Want You

The team over at XFactor Ventures is looking for “Badass Female Founders” to join their investment team. Currently a team of nine woman who have founded 12 venture backed companies and raised more than $150M in venture capital, XFactor makes pre-seed and seed stage investments in companies pursuing multi-billion dollar opportunities that have at least one female founder. If you think you are what they need, send a note with a link to your LinkedIn profile, the Crunchbase listing for your company and a brief paragraph explaining why you are THE ONE to hello@xfactor.ventures.

Say Word

Miriam Rivera@miriamulu1

"Venture speak” is foreign for many #Entrepreneurs , particularly for women and people of color. To mentor and help them navigate the startup world and translate their story into language VCs understand, will increase their chances for success. #diversityintech @uluventures

June 25, 2018

Upset in The Bronx

Before I sign off this week, I just want to say congrats to [badass] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old woman who this week won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district, defeating incumbent Democratic Caucus Chair Joseph Crowley. Show her some love.

That’s all on The Agenda this week. See you in a week.

Stay Winning,

Raquel
#theagenda

Have a friend that needs a little sunshine in their life? Share The Agenda. Guaranteed to get you cool points.

Thanks Wole.

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