December 31, 2019 6:12 pm

Mavatar CEO hosts the launch of “How Women Invest” for How Women Lead organization

On December 8, 2019, Mavatar CEO Susan Akbarpour held a brunch for over 60 of successful entrepreneurs, investors and top executives to introduce them to a new initiative from How Women Lead, a community of executive women that provides a platform for thought leadership, collaboration and support, at her home in Atherton, CA.

The event featured a roster of women leaders who gathered to discuss the shift toward women leadership in the workplace, which has begun in the state of California with the Senate Bill 826 and will soon find its way to venture capital industry.

Julie and Susan emphasizing on “How Women Lead Credo”: 1) Be fierce advocates for each other2) Say Yes to helping each other 3) Reinforce her voice 4) Be unabashedly visible
Skyler Fernandez, Founder & General Partner of VU Venture Partners and Venture University, elaborate on his famous “Missing middle” theory and how it affects female entrepreneurs and investors.

The event featured speakers Hannah KainCarol SandsSheryl RootDr. Jaleh DaiJulie Castro AbramsSkyler Fernandes and Susan Akbarpour reflecting their experiences of female leadership.

Julie Castro Abrams, the Founder, as well as other board members who were the drivers of the California Senate Bill 826 that expanded women’s role on public boards, and Susan Akbarpour, who has also recently joined How Women Lead’s board, share their experiences with attendees.

Susan put her favorite and 4th pillar of “How Women Lead”’s credo — to be “unabashedly visible” — into the practice at the event and encouraged the attendees to stand up tall and introduce themselves emphasizing on their leadership roles, success history and what made them unique and indispensable in their career path.

The group also explored the future of venture investing and how important is raising the anemic investment in women founders from just 2.2%. This is an especially pertinent subject, given that, women are expected to control US $72 trillion by 2020, 32% of all wealth and up from US$51 trillion in 2015.

How Women Invest the new initiative of the organization will design the opportunities for women to have a role in this future and connect women who want to boldly use their capital for good to entrepreneurs and investment opportunities. The event participants discussed how investment allows women to quickly become decision makers that corporate governance has to pay attention to.

Skyler Fernandez, Founder & General Partner of VU Venture Partners and Venture University, elaborate on his famous “missing middle” theory and how it affects female entrepreneurs and investors.

Carol Sands, Founder & Managing General Partner, The Angels’ Forum; The Halo Fund, the Chair of the Global Women’s Leadership Network sharing her experience as an investor with attendees
Tiba Aynechi and Sheryl Root at How Women Lead event
Left to Right: Tiba Aynechi, Ph.D. Partner, Novo Ventures, Member Board Of Directors at: Aristea Therapeutics, Mirum Pharmaceuticals, MDLIVE, Inc. , Nkarta Therapeutics, Inc., Spruce Biosciences , Avalyn Pharmaceuticals Cianna Medical, Inc . iRhythm Technologies, Inc.; Sheryl Root Director/Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Chairman of the Advisory Board for Women in Technology International (WITI), a member of the Board of Advisors for the Stanford Business School Sloan Program, and a board member of Netswitch Technology Management.
Dr. Jaleh Daei at How Women Lead event
Dr. Jaleh Daei, investor, board director/advisor and noted academic biologist who has served administrations of three US Presidents, worked in 8 countries and has received numerous awards. Her board service include: Manna Tree Partners, SnapDNA, A6, Nokia Innovent, Investigen, Linkore, LightFull Foods, White House Fellows, Asia Society; UN-World Food Program; Filoli, Commonwealth Club, Assoc. of Women in Sci (President), Council of Scientific Society Presidents (Chairman), US Space Foundation (1st woman, treasurer, life director) & CRDF Global. Currently, she is Partner at Aurora Equity & Founder/Chair of AgFood Tech @ Band of Angels.
(Left to Right) Azadeh Yazdan Intel Corporation, Director of Business Development, AI Products; Linda Mazaheri, Senior Director Sales Americas West at Cree; Parisa Jamasbi, Engineering Manager at Paypal & Founder of Caffeinated Coffee Co
Parisa Jamasbi, Linda Reddick, CFO of Mavatar Technologies Inc. and Maya Adam
(Left to Right) Parisa Jamasbi, Linda Reddick, CFO of Mavatar Technologies Inc. Former CFO of Aquantia and Centillium Communications, Inc., Maya Adam, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine

Hannah Kain, one of the organization’s founding board members and Watermark board of directors at the event, said: “2020 will be an important year for women. It is the 100 year anniversary of the 19th amendment. It is also a year where we expect so many more board positions to be filled by women. It is critical that we work together in associations like How Women Lead to support each other as well as the women coming up behind us. I am so grateful to female business leaders, such as our host Susan Akbarpour, and How Women Lead CEO, Julie Abrams, for leading the way.”

Dr. Jaleh Daie said: “After almost three decades of my outspoken advocacy for women in STEM, Women on Boards and women in the venture capital world, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Diversity is now universally accepted as essential and not simply a women’s Issue. Thank you Susan and Julie for your thoughtful work. I am fortunate to know exceptional women like you.”

Susan Akbarpour, Nilo Aalaei, Dena Aalaei at How Women Lead event

Susan Akbarpour with Nilo Aalaei, her Daughter in Law and Dena Aalaei, her daughter

To find out more about How Women Lead and their many events in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country, visit their website and follow the organization on LinkedIn.

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