Some problems are easy to solve, and some others are very hard to solve. Some of the hardest problems to solve are the ones that lie hidden in plain sight and are almost accepted as the status quo. The founder gender gap in the startup ecosystem has been one such hard problem that we at Blume have also seen and contemplated for the last decade or so.
Through our conversations with founders and our observations, we surmised quite a few factors which have hindered the increase in women-led startups. The fact that engineering schools (which tend to be highly entrepreneurial environments) have lesser women, that access to capital, and having supportive environments to startup is tougher for women — all act as impediments to women starting up. However, what seems to hold them back the most, is the fact women often do not have the same access to networks that men have.
Whether the root cause of this is intentional or systemic or unintentional is a conversation for another day and is debatable. But what isn't up for debate is the value of having such networks and their ability to move the needle in entrepreneurial journeys.
Thus, was born ‘Lead Tribe’ - a cohort-based networking and learning program for early-stage women entrepreneurs. You can find our very own “Day 1” memo here
Over two editions of LeadTribe, we are proud to have brought together 50+ founders who are all building path-breaking ventures across Fintech, Enterprise SaaS, Deeptech, Climate-tech, and Edtech to name a few. We were able to create a community of founders who both gave to and took from the network and in effect helped propel each other forward. We were also able to help founders get answers to their most pressing questions about company building from seasoned founders and investors, who have been kind enough to invest their time and efforts towards supporting LeadTribe.
Similar to returning a VC fund, attempts to change the status quo across ecosystems as large and complex as ours is a decade-long pursuit. Our goal with LeadTribe has been and will continue to be helping founders build game-changing startups at the back of strong support networks that in small and big ways increase their likelihood of success
When the time came to think through the third iteration of the program, we wanted to experiment with one aspect of the program. We asked ourselves if we can augment the experience by creating an offline-first program rather than a zoom-first one. Our experience with building community and peer networks among founders has taught us that there are little-to-no substitutes for offline experiences in forging bonds. And that is precisely why we plan to change the format of the third cohort to one that is centered around an in-person “boot camp”. This year’s LeadTribe will run from June 6th to July 8th and will have a mandatory 2-day boot camp from the 23rd(Fri) and 24th of June (Sat). The boot camp will include masterclasses on fundraising, GTM, and hiring as well as interactive workshops on brand and network building, PMF.
Women founders (or co-founders) of early-stage startups (post-launch up to Series A stage) are eligible to apply. Given that our speakers will be India-focused experts, founders based in or solving problems for India will benefit the most.
Can you apply if you have a male co-founder? Yes.
Does having VC funding impact your chances of being selected? No.
Can multiple founders of the same startup join? No.
Can non-founder CXOs apply? No.
Can founders who are not interested in VC funding apply? Yes.
We are happy to announce that applications for Cohort III are now open. The deadline for filling them is the 21st of May, 11:59 pm IST. If you have any questions, feel free to mail us at [email protected].