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May 26, 2013

Female tech entrepreneurs flourish outside of Silicon Valley


L.A., they say, has that potential. The market is less established and thus easier to break into than Silicon Valley, where longtime connections and name recognition matter a lot more.

Los Angeles “doesn’t feel as much of a boys’ club,” said Jaclyn Shanfeld, co-founder and chief executive of Santa Monica-based Shop Hers, an online marketplace where users can buy and sell pre-owned luxury items. “Everyone is in the same position where we grow a community together, and nobody is so evolved and too good for it yet.”

To support one another, women have banded together, organizing regular tech salons, lectures, dinners and cocktail hours designed to bolster the female entrepreneur community. Some of the events are opportunities to hang out and discuss a variety of topics. Others are focused on a particular theme or concern, such as a recent panel dedicated to developing digital content for mothers.

“Half of the eyeballs on the Internet are women,” said Eva Ho, who recently started an early-stage technology fund called Susa Ventures in Los Angeles. “We need women building products for women. A lot of things come from the male perspective, especially in tech.”

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