Venture Capital Funders and Female Founders

Hosted by the 100WF Connecticut Education Committee
Female founders receive less than 3% of US venture capital funding. Hear what it takes for a start-up’s founder to catch the eye of a fund and secure the money she needs.

Get an insider’s view of venture capital investing from both sides of the table. Learn the criteria that venture capitalists use as yardsticks when evaluating startups for potential funding. Re-live the ups and downs of soliciting capital to launch and grow a fledgling business.

Should female founders primarily target those venture capital funds that support women entrepreneurs or should they compete with everyone in the broader market?

Amanda Eilian, Co-Founder of Able Partners, a venture capital fund focused on funding early stage startups in the healthy living and lifestyle space, and Karen Behnke, founder of Juice Beauty, maker of organic skin care and makeup products, share their perspectives.

Please send your questions to by Tuesday, June 2, 2020 or you may submit them during the webinar.

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4 June 2020

11:00 PM N. America West Coast
1:00 PM Cayman
2:00 PM N. America East Coast
7:00 PM London

The program will begin promptly at 2:00 PM EST time. Latecomers may not be able to enter.

Karen Behnke
Juice Beauty

Amanda Eilian
__able Partners

Chelsea Graves
Portfolio Advisors, 100 Women in Finance
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Karen Behnke
Founder & CEO, Juice Beauty

Karen Behnke has enjoyed a long and successful entrepreneurial career in the Healthy Lifestyles sector of business. Her consistent goal is to equally marry her passion for helping people enjoy healthier lifestyles with her skill at building financially successful businesses that are mission driven. Juice Beauty (as noted by Forbes, Cosmo, ELLE, etc) is the “OG” - original green - brand and leading the way in the clean beauty products sector. The Company philosophy centers around strong commitments to vegan, cruelty free, sustainability, certified organic ingredients, wellness and their unique Farm to Beauty approach. A lifelong environmentalist, Karen developed a keen interest in personal care products upon becoming pregnant with her first child at the age of 40. She was astounded to learn that, although the skin can absorb what is placed on it, there were very few available healthy personal care products that worked well. Karen subsequently bought the name “Juice Beauty” and launched the Company from scratch. Juice Beauty specializes in antioxidant rich skincare and plant-based makeup and has been cleaning up the beauty space since 2005. Prior to Juice Beauty, from 1996-2003, Karen led the Healthy Lifestyles investment strategy for two private equity firms, including a firm that was the majority shareholder of 24 Hour Fitness. Karen joined the Board of Directors and was an Operating Executive for 24 Hour Fitness during a seven year growth period, from $75 mm to over $1 billion in revenue. From 1983-1996, Karen founded PacifiCare Wellness Company (formerly known as Execu-Fit Health Programs) in San Francisco, one of the first corporate wellness companies in the country. The company delivered worksite medical fitness screenings, health risk appraisals, and fitness programs, for major corporations. The wellness company grew to provide services to over 2 million members in six states. Karen sold the Company to PacifiCare Health Systems (now United Healthcare) in 1991 becoming the parent company’s 2nd female executive during a 5-year growth phase from $1 to $5 billion in revenue. Karen completed Harvard/MIT’s multi-year Executive Business Summer School “Giants” program; graduated from Western Michigan University, and has received many awards throughout her career including Goldman Sachs 100 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs (2019 & 2018); Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (2011) ; the “Top Eco-Leader” named by Glamour Magazine (2009); San Francisco Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (1987); the San Francisco Examiner’s Top 39 Movers and Shakers; and the WMU Distinguished Alumni Award. Karen S. Behnke, Juice Beauty Founder & CEO She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Cardiologist Howard Luria, and their very active son and daughter (and Labradoodle). For relaxation and fun, Karen & Howard participate in triathlons and spend time managing the Juice Beauty organic Farm in Sonoma County California. Healthy and organic living is a part of every aspect of her Marin County home, Juice Beauty’s sustainable headquarters, and the Juice Beauty Sonoma Farm all outfitted with organic food, organic linens, no VOC paints, recycled wood, blue jean insulation and more. Karen’s home, the Juice Beauty farm and all three family cars are solar powered. Karen leads the company with the solid commitment to organic ingredients and sustainable living to protect humans, animals and the planet. Juice Beauty’s skincare and makeup products retail at ULTA Beauty’s 1200 stores, Sephora Canada, Bloomingdale’s, Blue Mercuy, Dillard’s, Pharmaca, and Credo.

Amanda Eilian
General Partner and co-founder, __able Partners

Amanda Eilian is a General Partner and co-founder of __able Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage companies in the Positive Living space. With over 40 companies in the portfolio, and more than 75% with female founders, __able’s investments include Juice Beauty, Goop, The Wing, Daily Harvest, and Bulletproof. Amanda was also the co-founder of Videolicious, an enterprise software video creation platform backed by Amazon, and served as its President from 2007 to 2019 when it was acquired by a multinational strategic buyer. Amanda was instrumental in the launch and growth of Videolicious to over 5 million users in 103 countries, including Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Walmart, SAP, Verizon and GE. Prior to forming Videolicious, Amanda was a founding partner of Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) that completed a $265 million initial public offering and became Two Harbors Investment Corp., a billion dollar REIT (NYSE: TWO). Amanda began her career in private equity and mergers and acquisitions. 
Amanda is a Truman Scholar and received her MBA from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with Honors in Economics. Amanda serves on the Board of Directors of Juice Beauty and was one of the original investors serving on multiple Board committees and serving as a key strategic advisor to the Founder. Amanda is also on the Board of the Melanoma Research Alliance as well as a member of the Tech:NYC Leadership Council. Amanda resides in New York City with her husband and four children.
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