VC Vets Set To Become Most High-Powered Female Duo In Venture Capital

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Feb. 26 2014, Published 3:52 p.m. ET

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Call them financial powerlifters. Veterans of venture capital, Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad, just announced the creation of their new firm, Aspect Ventures.

Fonstad and Gouw have created $10 billion in public market value and have involved in over 300 deals.

It’s no wonder they wanted to put on their own show; the world of venture capital isn’t known to be women-friendly. The big firms have few women partners, and have weathered claims of sexual harassment. On the receiving end, women entrepreneurs only get 13 percent of venture deals.

Maybe Aspect will be able do things differently. The new company’s website notes that “diversity and a fresh perspective in the boardroom leads to better decisions, and improves outcomes.”

The two women met at Bain Capital 25 years ago, after getting their MBAs at Stanford and Harvard. As well as their business commitments, Fonstad and Gouw are also involved philanthropically.

Observers are optimistic as Fonstad and Gouw become the most high-powered female duo in a venture industry that is still heavily male-dominated.

Edith Dorsen, co-founder and managing director of the Women’s Venture Capital, is impressed that  Aspect Ventures will focus on the value that diversity brings to companies.

“We formed the Women’s Venture Capital Fund a couple of years ago when we saw an inflection point in the number of women entrepreneurs building capital-efficient companies that could scale into venture-worthy businesses. The quantity and quality of deal flow has in fact exceeded our expectations, and we anticipate more and more successful entrepreneurial ventures where women play a leadership role.”

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