Lisa Burton Ph.D. is the Vice President of HearstLab, where she provides investment and support for early-stage, women-led startups that innovate across media, data and technology. At the Lab, she identifies prospective startups to invest in and supports the portfolio companies in residence, including advising on data science and product.
Lisa built data science teams at multiple startups before founding a startup that leveraged social media data to help brands understand and connect with their customers online. She holds a Ph.D. and master's degree (S.M.) from MIT and B.S. from Duke, all in Mechanical Engineering. Lisa volunteers to support women in business and STEM through WiTNY, Pipeline Angels, NYU Summer Launchpad, Springboard Enterprises and NUMA. She is an Advisory Board Member of Duke University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and serves on the NYU Innovation Fund’s Investment Review Board. Lisa has received a number of awards recognizing her work in engineering and entrepreneurship including the ASME Kate Gleason Award for distinguished female leaders, the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, and the MIT Luis de Florez Award for Outstanding Ingenuity and Creativity.
Equity. Diversity. Inclusion. Underrepresentation.
Powerful words that if heard often enough might inspire change.
Sometimes, however, when words fail to inspire
us to action, numbers can be more compelling. Here are some you should know:
Women-Led Startups Received just 2.3% of VC Funding in 2020, according to The Harvard Business Review
In 2020 Black and Latinx founders raised just 2.6 percent of the total VC funding for U.S. startups, according to Crunchbase data, a slight increase from the 2.3% of all US venture dollars they raised in 2019.
Clearly there is a problem. Everyone knows it. But there seems to be no consensus about how to fix it.
While we do not expect to solve the problem of underfunded underrepresented founders in one afternoon, we do expect to discuss some concrete steps and plans that might move us closer to a place we all agree we need to go.