Back to my women in venture capital focus for a moment, as I want to promote the efforts of two colleagues to create very professional and useful venues for people who happen to be women (as opposed to women who need to make a big deal out of it) to connect around issues that matter to us in health care and finance.
Amy Belt, currently a Vice President at Advanced Technology Ventures (and a fellow UC Berkeley grad, Go Bears!), is in the throes of organizing a conference for women in medical technology. The conference, which is in the formation stage but is likely to occur in September of 2011 in Northern CA, will be focused around key issues in the med tech sector in the post-health care reform era. I like her focus here, which will be, essentially, “alright already, med tech people; stop talking about the damn lemon and let’s get to figuring how we make lemonade.”
The planned conference will be targeted towards women (VCs, entrepreneurs, representatives of the med tech industry and other healthcare executives with an interest in medtech) but not about women, which is an important distinction in my view. In other words, much like the Women’s Private Equity Conference, most everyone in the room will have lipstick in their purse but will be there for serious professional discourse, not to compare colors. Amy is welcoming input on ideas for panel topics and also creating a list of people interested in attending. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And speaking of good conferences, on Wednesday I saw Beth Falk, who produces the conference, and she told me that their 2nd Annual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit will be held in New York on November 4-5, 2010. Last year at this conference there were over 250 senior women executives in private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, and real estate investing from both the LP and GP side.
I have been three times to the Half Moon Bay version of this conference called the Women in Private Equity Conference, and it is one of the best things I attend all year. Lots of serious, professional women gathered to discuss issues of the day and network and hear high-value content.
I have to say, it is refreshing to go to a meeting such as this where you are not the only one who forgot to show up in a gray suit and red tie. It is also refreshing to attend an event that is intended to enrich the knowledge and careers of women attendees by bringing new speakers and topics to the fore, rather than rehashing the same old thing. I don’t think that this creativity is specifically the result of the audience being female. Rather, I think it is because it is different people organizing, different people setting the agenda and different people speaking than the usual fare. As such, you get to hear different perspectives, which is great. Plus, social activities occur in the spa rather than the golf course, which is good for me since my only useful golf skills are driving the little cart or coming in under par when there is a windmill or castle drawbridge between me and the hole.