Elicia McDonald (Fowler, 2006)

Old Girl, 2006 Vice Captain and future parent, Elicia McDonald (Fowler, 2006), is leading the way for women in the male-dominated industry of venture capital.

Elicia is a Partner at one of Australia’s largest Venture Capital funds, AirTree Ventures. In an industry heavily dominated by men, she is one of the few female Partners leading investments into technology startups.

Venture capital is a relatively new funding method in Australia and until recently, it has been dominated by the people (predominately white men) who set up their own funds. Now, as the sector is maturing and the leadership at the funds is becoming more diverse, the way funds are invested will also begin to change.

Historically, Elicia says, there has been a drastic difference between the percentage of venture capital dollars invested in businesses founded by women compared to those founded by men. Increasing the number of women investors is one part of the solution to try to improve this. In an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Elicia stated that “greater diversity strengthens venture capital and by extension the startup sector in Australia”.

In her Team biography on the AirTree website, Elicia says that she is “interested in companies that are transforming the human experience in what are traditionally considered ‘boring’ industries. There’s still a massive opportunity to improve the eldercare sector. I’d love to talk to founders wanting to make a positive impact in this space.”

Elicia wanted to share her story to inspire any current students or those at university studying business or finance to consider the venture capital sector because “I’d really love to see more young women in my industry.”

You can read more about Elicia and her role in venture capital sector via the links below:

AirTree Venture

Pioneer Australian VC AirTree just promoted two women to partners.(StartUpDaily)

Female VC partners emerge to ride the tech wave. (Australian Financial Review)

VC firms lift their game on diversity as new appointments make their mark. (Sydney Morning Herald)