There are very real differences in how women and men (and VCs) view entrepreneurship, underscores a new survey

In the increasingly crowded world of venture capital, many more firms are producing research as a way to differentiate themselves from the pack. Earlier this year, for example,  Wing,  a venture firm that focuses primarily on enterprise startups, published a state of the industrial IoT market . The consumer-tech investment firm Goodwater Capital  is becoming known for its occasional equity research report on a still-private company . Now Illuminate Ventures , a nine-year-old, woman-led, early-stage venture firm that’s focused on enterprise cloud and mobile computing startups, has produced some thought-provoking research of its own around how women and male founders view entrepreneurship, from why they do it to how much support they receive from family members. First, a little about Illuminate’s methodologies. According to firm founder Cindy Padnos, the firm initially reached out to 1,200 tech founders and venture capitalists who Illuminate presented with a litany of questions about entrepreneurship and motivations and challenges that people face in starting companies. In the end, says Padnos, Illuminate had a response rate of just more than 30 percent, or slightly over 400 completed responses, which it used SurveyMonkey tools to collect. Roughly half the responses came from partner-level VCs at 150 different venture firms; the other half came from U.S.-based founders who raised venture funding in 2017. So what did they have to say? A lot. If we’re being honest, the survey was so wide-ranging as to be a bit overwhelming. (You can check out the full paper here .) In the meantime, some of the most interesting takeaways can be grouped into a couple of different categories. One of these seems to disprove old myths. Among them: The belief that entrepreneurs launch companies chiefly for financial gain is seemingly a myth. Only 15 percent of male founders and 2 percent of the female founders who responded to the survey said that money is their primary motivation.

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There are very real differences in how women and men (and VCs) view entrepreneurship, underscores a new survey

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