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Closing the VC Gender Gap, an interview with Jon Avidor & David P.A. Mullings

“The world is majority minority and 50% of the wealth that is about to be transferred to Millennials is going to females. The world mostly ignored solving problems for us but we are the largest potential group of producers and consumers so supporting them to design solutions to real problems means that a wider cross-section […]


“The world is majority minority and 50% of the wealth that is about to be transferred to Millennials is going to females. The world mostly ignored solving problems for us but we are the largest potential group of producers and consumers so supporting them to design solutions to real problems means that a wider cross-section of the world population will benefit.”

As part of my series about “the five things we need to do to close the VC gender gap” I had the pleasure of interviewing David P.A. Mullings. David P.A. Mullings is Founder, President and C.E.O. of Blue Mahoe Partners, Inc., a private investment firm based in Florida. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with experience in the finance industry in Jamaica and the USA, most recently serving as Investor Relations Specialist for Left Brain Capital Management, a long-biased hedge fund ranked among the top 10 best performing funds worldwide by Opalesque in September 2017. He is a Mentor for the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean and Founder Institute Jamaica.


Thank you so much for joining us, let’s jump right in. According to this article in Fortune, only 2.2% of VC dollars went to women in 2018. Can you share with our readers what you or your firm is doing to help close the VC gender gap?

We involved women in our early-stage investment team and currently serve as advisors to a few startup founders, two of which are female, and we focus on giving them access to our personal network, not just mentoring them. Our plan is to make direct investments into these companies, GGWP and Pocmi, provide coaching and expand our involvement with more accelerators and incubators.

Can you recommend 5 things that need to be done on a broader societal level to close the VC gender gap, and explain?

First, investors need to be willing to give female general partners capital to invest. There are far too few women in decision-making roles at VC firms and the easiest way to change that is by supporting women-founded investment firms. Second, work environments and workplace culture needs to be more inclusive of women, especially the way that they are treated. Third, parents need to raise their daughters to not be afraid to ask for what they are worth. Fourth, companies need to promote more women into leadership positions so that more are available as mentors and potential high quality founders. Last, equal pay for equal work would dramatically raise the available capital to be invested in female-founded companies since investors are most likely to invest in founders that are like them.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I enjoyed the film Pay It Forward and think that if each person tried to be nice to each person that they met each day then the ripple effect would be profound.

Who’s a female entrepreneur/ VC you respect and why?

Oprah Winfrey is my first choice because she has faced multiple types of discrimination, overcame poverty and refused to let anyone or any circumstance hold her back. Her mindset and tenacity is a great example for us all.

What do you think is the purpose and real impact of VC funds who focalize their work in women and minorities?

The world is majority minority and 50% of the wealth that is about to be transferred to Millennials is going to females. The world mostly ignored solving problems for us but we are the largest potential group of producers and consumers so supporting them to design solutions to real problems means that a wider cross-section of the world population will benefit.

Can you share with us an anecdote about the real impact you’ve had in this field?

Earlier this year I was in Jamaica with Paul C. Brunson for his speaking engagement. Paul had thanked me from the stage even though I asked him not to and the first 3 women that stood to ask him questions started out by pointing out that they knew me and that I had helped them in some way. When people lined up to speak with Paul later, a few of the women reminded me of a time that they heard me speak and how it positively impacted them. Paul was moved by just how many people I’ve had a positive effect on in Jamaica by giving back regularly through my time and sharing knowledge.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Robert Frederick Smith is my first choice because I have been following his story closely since first hearing about Vista Equity Partners years ago and having worked in the private equity space. I love learning from people who operate in a similar space as me and have been extremely successful while being willing to give away some of that wealth they have created.

About the author:

Jon Avidor is an attorney, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Since 2005, he has worked with innovators and investors in Silicon Valley, New York and Tel Aviv. He is best known for founding the referrals-only law boutique Avidor.Law, and for representing clients in high-profile M&A transactions with LinkedIn, PayPal, Intel, Bayer and others. As an attorney, Jon has executed hundreds of early-stage financings and has advised on mergers ranging in size from $15M to $2BN. He also co-founded World Trade Ventures, an early-stage VC fund in New York, and The Urban Resource Project, a non-profit organization attacking poverty through technology. Jon is a licensed attorney in New York and California, and he previously practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and Goodwin in Silicon Valley. He holds a JD-MBA cum laude from Northwestern University and a BA from the University of California at Davis.

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