Want more female-led unicorns? Market data democratization can help

Neya Abdi
February 23, 2024
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The theme for International Women’s Day this year is Invest in Women: Accelerate progress

Investing in someone can mean making a financial or time investment through coaching and mentorship. Yet the data shows that female founders often have difficulty getting access to both. 

Only 14 percent of unicorns have at least one female founder 

Only 14 percent of unicorns have at least one female founder. A popular strategy for increasing the number of female-led startups is to increase the number of female investors, yet less than 15% of the people writing the checks are women. Moreover, research shows that having only female investors in a startup’s first founding round can hurt that company’s chances of securing more funding in later rounds. 

Researchers believe it’s due to attribution bias. Put simply, if a woman gets money from a woman, it’s because of her gender. If a woman gets money from a man, it’s because she’s got a business worth investigating.

Obviously, the ideal state is one where all businesses are evaluated based on the strength of their product idea, strategy, and team. But in the meantime, there needs to be some way to level the playing field since both men and women carry this bias. And if there’s one thing that can break unconscious bias, it’s cold, hard numbers. 

Access to real market data can help break through unconscious bias until we reach an ideal state

Heatseeker AI is a female-led startup that cares about real results. Our platform enables anyone to run real market experiments to see what customers are actually willing to buy. In other words, when you go in front of an investor, you can say that you’ve got more than surveys or interviews to back up your idea – you’ve got hard numbers on who clicked a button that said, “Sign up” or “Buy” in the market. 

It can also help founders gain access to capital from investors who typically stay within their niches or market assumptions. 

Consider the possibilities:

  • A clothing retailer can show real market demand to justify their spending on a specific amount of inventory. 
  • An athletic drink beverage can demonstrate why it should introduce their product to a specific geography or customer segment. 
  • A SaaS platform can demonstrate the value of hyperfocusing on a specific niche instead of taking a spray-and-pray approach with a mainstream audience. 

Heatseeker is fortunate to have both women and men among its pre-seed funders

We’re privileged to have the belief of both men and women in Heatseeker’s idea. One of our strongest supporters is Euphemia, whose founder, Dom Pym, has proudly stated that his investments are based on his belief in both the people behind Heatseeker and the product itself. 

“By reducing startup failure rates and expediting product iterations, Heatseeker not only propels company success stories but also enhances the overall resilience and dynamism of the startup ecosystem,” said Pym in a recent article in Forbes.

Cheryl Mack, whose platform Aussie Angels hosts Dom’s syndicate, shared the following praise about the Heatseeker team during our recent webinar, “Learn Angel Investing (and put a real deal through its paces).” 

“At this stage, when you’re investing in founders, I absolutely love a passionate founder. And when you have two passionate founders, you get double the value. Seeing founders come out with that from the get-go on the first meeting, on every meeting, just seeing that passion come through is awesome.” - Cheryl Mack

A large part of this passion comes from our co-founders' vision to turn "heatseeking" into a movement, a goal that resonated with Heatseeker advisor advisor Jason Goecke.

“There’s a cultural movement here. There’s an opportunity here to really push that culture of adaptability, of listening to the customer, infusing everything you do with customer voice in a systemic way that will bring that to every startup as well as large corporations. It’s not just startups. It’s anyone looking to do innovation. There’s a huge TAM in what [Heatseeker's] doing here.” - Jason Goecke

If you’ve got a good idea, we want you to not only get funded, but to grow in a sustainable way. 

The key to getting past the dicey early period of being a startup is to get real data in response to your growth questions. This includes questions like: 

  1. How much should I charge for my product?
  2. Am I currently undercharging for my product?
  3. What’s the best way to talk about my product in a way that ensures language-market fit?
  4. Which feature should I develop next?
  5. Which audience or market segment should I focus on?

In the past, answering these questions required access to expensive market research subscriptions or a network built up through years working in Silicon Valley. Now, you can answer these questions in less than 14 days by running a few test-and-learn experiments.

Investing in female-led startups can accelerate gender equality. 

Backing women-led startups is more than just smart. It's a vote for gender equality.

Recent figures released by WGEA on the gender pay gap in Australia confirm that we as a society still have a long way to go.

Australia’s total remuneration average gender pay gap is 21.7%. For every $1 on average a man makes, women earn 78c. Over the course of a year, that difference adds up to $26,393.

By unlocking funds and know-how, we're not just launching startups but catapulting women to new heights.  

Whether it’s supporting women in terms of business, healthcare, or politics, investing in women means investing in an entire community. 

Heatseeker is privileged to play our small part.

We’re also privileged to include many intelligent and powerful women as our team members, including: 

  • Fiona Triaca & Kate O’Keefe – Our fearless Co-founders 
  • Hayley Kaplan -– Our Project Manager, aka The Glue That Holds Everything Together
  • Sarah Jabari - Our UX/UI Product design superstar
  • Yours truly, Neya Abdi - self-proclaimed Queen of Content   

Here’s how our team members answered, “Why do you love working with Heatseeker and supporting a women-led startup?”

Hayley Kaplan:

“I love being part of Heatseeker because I get to form part of a team filled with amazing women who inspire and empower each other every day. Being part of a women-led startup like Heatseeker not only showcases the incredible talent and fearless leadership of women in tech like Kate and Fi, but we are empowered to bring our entire selves to work and take pride in who we are and what we do.”

Sarah Jabari:

“Being part of Heatseeker gives me the opportunity to work closely with innovators like Kate and Fiona. Our product, an advanced AI tool, is transforming how companies leverage data for growth. It’s exciting to be part of a team that’s not just leading in technology but also advocates for women’s leadership in the tech sector.” 

Happy International Women’s Day! Here’s to accelerating progress. 

Ready to find the heat? Save your spot on our waitlist here.

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