female founder office hours

  • We’re are so excited to be participating in nationwide remote Female Founder Office Hours hosted by Playfair Capital and Tech Nation on 5th and 12th November, as one of 60 VCs collaborating to support 200 female founders.

Each founder will have the opportunity to meet four investors for one hour of office hours to discuss their tech business idea, ask for advice (Covid-related or otherwise) and pitch for investment.

To help you make the most out of your time with us I asked our Head of Portfolio, Maria Čoko a few questions…

maria coko female office hours insurtech gateway

What is unique about your fund?

We built Insurtech Gateway, the only FCA authorised independent incubator + fund, so founders from any background could embrace insurtech enabled business models. 

Our specialist incubator supports early-stage tech founders with underwriting capacity, regulation, expert guidance and Pre-seed stage funding.

The Gateway Fund supports the portfolio from Seed stage to Series A and beyond, as they enter a phase of rapid growth and scale-up.

What investments do you enjoy looking at?

I am always excited to meet founders who are building highly scalable businesses in emerging markets.

I particularly enjoy speaking with founders who are collecting unique data that could give us insights into risk or founders that operate in a business space that could need financial protection.

What do you most enjoy discussing with founders?

The key to any startup success during the early-stage is product market fit, so I like to talk to founders about their target customer, distribution and route to market. I then take a deep dive into their business model and understand how they plan to scale at speed. 

What 3 tips will help founders make the most of office hours?

  1. Consider the value your business might have in the insurance space. Reframing your business as an insurtech could unlock new investment, new markets and game-changing products. 
  2. Know your market. We are most interested in underserved markets with high growth potential.
  3. Make your pitch short and sweet to leave time for discussion.

What advice can you give startups navigating Covid-19?

During times of uncertainty focusing on the core priorities and operating in a lean way is key to any business. Start-ups are also best positioned in the market to quickly respond to major changes like Covid-19. It is key to pause and think what potential opportunities these changes are bringing – did it unlock a new target audience, distribution channel or a new customer need? 

If you’re a female founder, please see full details of the initiative and register here. Application deadline 18th of October.