HBS RC Trailblazers Bridging Diversity Gap in Tech and VC 

Networking opportunities are being created for womxn from HBS, Harvard University & MIT

Angel An (MBA ’24), Contributor

Ayushi Sinha (MBA ’24), Contributor

Ayushi Sinha (MBA ’24), Angel An (MBA ’24) and Caroline Frost (MBA ’24), coming to HBS from the VC and tech world, bonded over shared experiences of being one of few women in their organizations. They realized that they learned much from each other and could further share their experiences and learn more from others by leveraging the richness of backgrounds among their RC classmates. That is how the first “Womxn in Tech/VC meet-up” came about. Aided by ‘Partiful’, the event saw more than a hundred students across schools sign up.

“Diverse teams perform better,” they shared. “According to McKinsey & Co, top quartile companies in gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above average profitability. However, diversity has historically been undervalued in the Tech, startup, and VC space. For example, in 2019, only 3.4% of all venture capital funding deployed to women-led startups; in 2021, that number even dropped to 2% 2. These statistics tell us that there is still a long way to go, despite all the initiatives on promoting gender equality in the tech ecosystem.”

Which is why Sinha, An, and Frost are bringing women together from Harvard and MIT, to combine them under a common mission—more diversity in tech and VC. 

“Our mission transcends school boundaries,” noted Sinha. “It is clear there is much work to be done in lifting, learning from, and celebrating women trailblazers in male-dominated fields. Together, as leading women in tech, entrepreneurship, and venture capital, we can change the playing field for many sectors.”

Sinha, An, and Frost hosted their first cross-school mixer in October, sponsored by Contrary (https://contrary.com/). They had 132 womxn from Harvard Business School, Harvard College, and MIT sign up for our event. An remarked, “I strongly believe that supporting women in Tech is not just something nice to do, but a commercial opportunity that most organizations have missed. I am hoping that by creating a community of talented womxn operators and investors, we can feel more confident and become better resourced to achieve our ambitious goals, which will eventually attract the support womxn professionals deserve.” The event saw a great turnout, with attendees sharing their past experiences in tech/VC, future goals, and dreams. 

The events will also be recurring in nature, to ensure a consistent and continuous platform to find like-minded people, create genuine connections and share ideas, thoughts, and challenges. Reach out to Sinha, An, and Frost on slack or email to learn more about how you can participate!

Angel An is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, an MBA Associate at Primary VC, and a scout at Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab. Angel is passionate about helping minorities succeed in business. Previously, as a VC investor at Morgan Stanley, she invested in ~30 startups led by multicultural and women entrepreneurs and coached 23 of them to raise a total of $60MM+ external funding from investors like SoftBank, LightSpeed, and NEA. In her free time, Angel manages ACE Women’s Collective, a 1.5K-member non-profit community to help women in finance advance their careers, and advises two fashion eCommerce companies, Bloomchic and C4S4.xyz.

Ayushi Sinha is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School and invests in early-stage startups at Bain Capital Ventures & Contrary Capital as a Scout. Previously, she worked as a Product Manager at Nines, building ML for radiology, and as a Software Engineer & PM at Microsoft. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Computer Science from Princeton University, where she co-founded Princeton’s first student-led VC, Prospect Student Ventures, to invest in student founders and teach core concepts of venture capital, and the startup WellPower, a vertically integrated Uber for water filtration and distribution in East Africa. In her free time, she makes one friend a week at friendaweek.substack.com and designs South Asian-inspired athleisure at Yustha Yoga.