Premiere Workshop at This Years EBAN Congress: Pregancy, Parenthood and Terms Sheets

This year during the 2024 EBAN Annual Congress, in accordance with our EBAN Gender Community, we have showcased the premier workshop on Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Term Sheets: A New Paradigm for Investors. This session brought together our vice president, Selma Prodanovic, Daniela Haunstein from invest.austria, Ekaterina Gianelli and Lucanus Polagnoli from Calm/Storm, and Ana Pashalishvili from UNWomen for an in depth panel discussion dispelling the presumptions we have on parenting as an entrepreneur.

Here are the main takeaways presented in this workshop:

Pregnancy bias and what the challenges women have to confront as startup founders

The discussion started with the acknowledgment that in the startup world, angel investors need to be prepared to deal with situations for unexpected life altering events within the startups they are currently working with. These life changing events should also take into account the potential parental dynamics founders would be put under when having to balance their work and family life. Especially when it comes to pregnancy, the panel has agreed that it is integral for a startup founder to have a discussion with potential or current investors on including different forms of compensation, such as maternity leave, within the term sheets. These discussions are important and dispelling potential issues since due to the amount of pressure founders are facing, they often omit their pregnancy for fear that they may lose investments because of it. This bias extends further beyond founders as the panel talked about the persistent stigma that women would no longer be capable of providing the same professional output when they start building a family, when in fact it has clearly not been the case. Having these honest conversations with your startups will build further trust between the two parties. For founders it is also important for them to do their own due diligence with their investors to ensure that inherit biases such as the one mentioned are not ingrained in their way of thinking.

How parenthood affects the dynamics of an entrepreneur 

It is important to also take into consideration the entire family unit when discussing this issue. Though the focus is mainly given to the member of the family that is carrying the child to term, the panel gave key insights on the importance of managing professional and personal worklife balance. Though perceived by different cultures, the delegation of responsibility is a key factor in how a founder can help reduce biases within investors. Audience members during the workshop would give examples of how their country tackles paternity leave and how these programs affect this critical part of the child’s development cycle.

Tackling issues that are not usually discussed between investors and startups founders

This participatory collaboration between audience members and the panel gave way to a lot of excellent examples of good and bad practices seen within the different countries around Europe. The goal of this session was to start the discussion on these key issues and to start understanding what are some of the best practices we can take from different countries to apply to our own way of investing. Though there is no one solution as this topic ranges from a myriad of different issues, it is important to develop different tools so that you can manage them if/when they occur.

This insightful session brought together topics that are not properly discussed within the Angel Investment ecosystem. This marks the beginning in a movement spearheaded by the EBAN Gender community to tackle gender disparity within the industry and go over issues that are not often recognised. These efforts will continue to be showcased in the upcoming sessions and European Angel Investor Summit for which it has become a core pillar within the topics taking place during the event.

If you would like to participate in these sessions make sure you join us at the European Angel Investment Summit in Brussels, Belgium on October 15 – 16, in which gender will once again be a core topic throughout the entire event.

 

Sign Up To The Summit Here



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