Patent News

Jul. 21, 2016

Bloomberg Technology: Patents, Not Sexism, May Be Reason Women Lag in Venture Capital, by Laura Colby

This post originally appeared in Bloomberg Technology on July 21, 2016.

While women own more than a third of all businesses in the U.S., companies run by them get only about 3 percent of venture capital funding. Is that one more example of sexism in Silicon Valley?

Maybe not, according to a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which found that the lack of funding may be partly explained by what it calls a gender patent gap.

For entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, patents are a bellwether of innovation. If a firm has a patent-worthy invention, it’s far more likely to get financing. Managers of startups reported that more than three-quarters of venture capital investors consider whether a firm has patents when deciding whether to fund it, according to the study.