[00:00] Transitioning from the oil and gas industry into investment
[04:04] Starting VC fund Curate Capital after leaving Hilcorp
[08:06] Inspiring diverse investments in female-owned businesses
[15:46] Understanding the barriers to entry for female VC investors
[21:43] Building a better investment community in Houston, TX
What pushed you to leave your career in oil and gas?
After over a decade of employment in the oil and gas industry, and 12 years in Hilcorp, Carrie found herself looking for something new and wanting to take advantage of the time and money she had to help other women. Using her Instagram prominence and her connections to the women that followed her and became friends with her over the years, Carrie was able to take the dive into angel investing. Seeing the opportunity to help underfunded projects by women, Curate Capital was born.
“I was doing a little online influencing, doing brand deals, travel partnerships, fashion partnerships, all that sort of fun stuff. But at the same time, I was pondering in the back of my mind: What's next? What do I really want to do with my time and my money?”
What are some of the stats for women founders and VC investments?
Although nearly half of founders across numerous industries are women, Carrie explains that several studies indicate that female-run businesses receive only 2% of all VC dollars in America. While this stat is shocking to some, Carrie understands the opportunity this statistic presents to bridge the gap and diversify investments. Curate Capital focuses solely on businesses for women by women.
“I don't need you to understand the ins and outs of the business, I need you to invest in me because I do understand these women. I understand them personally, I understand their business, because oftentimes, I am the target customer, the target demographic.”
What do you think some of the challenges are for women in VC as investors?
Barriers to entry for female venture capitalist investors absolutely still exist, and Carrie aims to tackle these challenges in everything she does. When women don’t understand the concepts and definitions behind venture capitalist concepts, it prevents them from evaluating risk and understanding their desired role as an investor. Breaking down these barriers means educating and encouraging women to learn about VC investing and accredited investing.
“I very intentionally set my minimum investment as low as practically possible, and I worked hard to educate women who followed me online, or are my friends in real life: What does it mean to be an accredited investor? Let's just break down the barriers to understanding.”
Is there anything else that we can be doing to encourage investment diversity when building this community in Houston?
Considering Houston is one of the most diverse communities in the country, Curate Capital and Softeq both aim to diversify VC investing opportunities for everyone. Carrie believes that the sky is really the limit for investment diversity, especially when VC funds work together. When resources, mentorship, and education continue to become available for founders and investors, one project’s success can deeply influence success for other projects in the community.
“It's not just the capital, but also the resources, mentorship, guidance. Some of these women have great ideas, but they maybe don't know how to build a team, or they don't know what to do on the tech side. I think what you're doing is really empowering them with information.”