For people outside of the tech industry, the name Kerry Rupp might not mean anything. But for those within — especially in Austin — her name carries quite a bit of panache.
Rupp, a general partner of the women-led local VC firm True Wealth Ventures, has more than 20 years of experience developing young companies. She and True Wealth’s founding general partner, Sara Brand, are committed to supporting and growing the number of Texas-based, women-led companies.
So when Rupp requested to join a Facebook group called Female Founders ATX, it was kind of a big deal.
“I almost fell out of my chair,” said the group’s founding member Laurie Felker Jones. “I felt like Oprah had joined my group.”
Rupp entered the group just a few weeks after Felker Jones launched it in the summer of 2017. While members initially only trickled in, today it is more than 340 members strong.
This is a group for founders to talk shop and discuss challenges, commiserate and share tips that are specific to growth-oriented female founders in the startup space.”
“This is a group for founders to talk shop and discuss challenges, commiserate and share tips that are specific to growth-oriented female founders in the startup space,” said Felker Jones, founder of Juicebox Hero.
Discussion topics have included accelerator application advice, promo code sharing, demo pitch tips, how to approach mentor meetings or networking meetups, conferences, vendor suggestions and more.
One member even posted a recording of a practice pitch she filmed in her living room to collect feedback for an upcoming demo.
“I wanted to make this space available to serve female founders who are in tech-enabled verticals and that includes investors, cultural leaders and vendors,” Felker Jones said.
And having direct insight from someone of Rupp’s background has been invaluable.
“Kerry is a great example of a VC who is incredibly transparent and a great leader,” said Felker Jones. “Her transparency is very welcomed in an industry that can feel cagey. She brings a different style, and it’s refreshing to have her candor.”
If you’re interested in joining the closed group, you can submit a request via Facebook, where you’ll be asked to respond to three questions about your startup, standpoint and a few details about yourself. For vendors and individuals who don’t identify as a female founder, there is also the Female Founders & Friends ATX+ group.
“I just get so filled up from the group,” said Felker Jones. “It’s nice to have a refuge and space created by us and for us.”