My guest for Episode 57 of The Startup Playbook Podcast, is Rachael Neumann, the new Venture Partner and Head of Australia at 500 Startups.
If you are connected to the startup ecosystem, I am sure you have read the accounts of the sexual harassment scandal sweeping the startup world over the last few months, thanks to some courageous women sharing their story and shining a light on this issue.
These accounts led Uber’s Founder and CEO Travis Kalancik to resign and one of the bigger pieces to come out recently was a New York Times article that named several influential VC’s such as Chris Sacca from Lowercase Capital and Dave McClure from 500 Startups. Following subsequent revelations of sexual harassment by Dave against a 500 Startups entrepreneur, he has since resigned his post as general partner. All of this was against the backdrop of Dave McClure being in Melbourne just a few weeks ago to officially launch the 500 Startups Melbourne program which was part funded by the Victorian State government’s $60M ecosystem development fund – LaunchVic.
Caught in the middle of this firestorm was Rachael Neumann, the new Venture Partner and Head of 500 Startups in Australia who I had arranged a podcast interview with on the 29th of June, the day before the New York Times article was published
As a result, this podcast is split into 2 parts; the first one covering Rachael’s background as the former Head of Eventbrite in Australia where we talk about her experiences and insights into launching into new markets, the importance of having a mindset of abundance and why you shouldn’t build with a focus on being acquired.
The second part of the interview was recorded a few days ago over Skype, so please excuse the audio quality). In this part of the interview we cover what’s happened since the New York Times article was published, how much was shared internally at 500 Startups before the revelations came out, the KPI’s for the future program and Rachael and 500 Startups’s plan and next steps in building a safer and more inclusive ecosystem.
If you want to jump to part 2 of the interview, skip to the 47:51 mark.