Episode 35: Renata George

Angel and Venture Capital Basics

renata george

A med-school dropout turned entrepreneur, author, angel investor, and venture capitalist, Renata George is doing her damnedest to pave the way for women in the VC industry. Born in Poland, George spent most of her life in Russia and studied in the U.K. She launched a media business in the former USSR and had a successful exit, making it possible for her to become an angel investor and venture capitalist herself.

On a “short trip” to the U.S. in 2012, George woke to a Twitter message informing her she had been named on Forbes’ list of female angel investors to watch. She’s been here ever since. 

On this episode of SheVentures, George breaks down the stats in her uber data-driven approach and reveals the mistakes female entrepreneurs are making when raising capital. 


Key Moments

  • 5:25 — Despite being born in Poland, George undertook most of her studies in  Russia and the U.K. Listen as she discusses how her internationally diverse environment affected her outlook in later life.
  • 9:45 — George describes her first business out of college — print magazines — and how she made it so profitable that at the time, it was in print in 39 out of 80 states in the former Soviet Union (now Russia). 
  • 13:17 — “All of a sudden, in 2012, I woke up to a Twitter message saying that I was mentioned in Forbes on a list of women angel investors to watch.” Find out how this catapulted George’s career in the U.S.
  • 17:19 — As a “startup judge” at SXSW, George gives her dos and don’ts for female entrepreneurs and dispels common misconceptions about female founders.
  • 21:50 — Is it better to say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” when pitching and thrown a curveball? George reveals how to handle spontaneous situations in front of an investor.
  • 26:01 — Female venture capitalists are few and far between in the U.S. Find out why George decided to interview 100 of them for her book, Women Who Venture: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See. She took a deep dive into the data and explains how the media often misconstrues the numbers for a good story.
  • 35:14 — “It’s not because companies really discriminate against women.” What does George mean?
  • 38:05 — A lover of data, George gives the mathematical reasoning behind why only 2 percent of venture capital went to women in 2017. 
  • 42:15 — She shares the stories of the female venture capitalists she featured in her book and how we can learn from them. Spoiler: We need to get better at networking
  • 46:10 — Many entrepreneurs are introverts. So what are some ways you can get better at self-promotion?