May 21, 2020

Announcing a National Partnership with All Raise

All Raise CEO and team



We are thrilled to announce a National Partnership with All Raise, a new nonprofit organization on a mission to accelerate the success of female founders and funders to build a more prosperous, equitable future.

This partnership solidifies our commitment to work closely with All Raise to develop programming that delivers on their vision: to realize a world where the venture-backed tech ecosystem is driven by a diverse group of leaders.

M12 is deeply committed to realizing greater gender equity amongst the funded startup community and hosted our second Female Founders Competition Finals in March. We’ll soon be announcing the four winners of our joint investment of $6 million in partnership with Mayfield and Melinda Gates’s Pivotal Ventures. But in an environment where companies with at least one female founder received only 12% of all U.S. venture capital funding in 2019, we need to join forces with partners like All Raise to collectively enact cultural change in the tech industry.

Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Business Development Peggy Johnson joined All Raise CEO Pam Kostka and team
Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Business Development Peggy Johnson joined by All Raise CEO Pam Kostka & team

This pandemic has taught us a few really important lessons about where and how we work:

As part of our National Partnership, we are welcoming All Raise into M12’s San Francisco headquarters. Of course, it’s a bit of an interesting time to reference office space. But this pandemic has taught us a few really important lessons about where and how we work:

  1. Space is a commodity. The resilience of individuals who have been working productively through stay-at-home mandates demonstrates that many jobs can be done regardless of location.
  2. Space is a stimulus. While digital tools help bridge remote locations, co-location is an important lever for creative collaboration and our innately human need for connection.

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to heading back into the workplace, where we’ll share a floor of our office with the All Raise team. We want the inclusive ambitions of All Raise to be a persistent reminder in our work.

“We want the inclusive ambitions of All Raise to be a persistent reminder in our work.”

As the economic future becomes increasingly uncertain, nonprofits face an upsized risk of financial insecurity.

We’re specifically calling out the office space element of our partnership as a call-to-action for corporations who find themselves thinking differently about space. As the economic future becomes increasingly uncertain, nonprofits face an upsized risk of financial insecurity. Space is often a donation-in-kind that can support organizations in doing important work, eliminating the burden of an operational cost.

The World Bank recently published “Gender Equality: Why it Matters, Especially in a Time of Crisis,” explaining that women will be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pam Kostka, CEO of All Raise said there has never been a more important time to create a more diverse and equitable tech industry. She believes this crisis presents “an opportunity to change behavior, do things differently, and equalize the playing field.” We need to stop relying on pattern recognition in order to expand opportunities to found, fund, and build the next generation of startups. When the investors and architects of our tech products become more reflective of the population, we will all be better served.

That’s why we’re digging in quickly to kick off the Action Plan Series — a set of webinars for the All Raise community curated by M12. Initially, we’re hosting three webinars to empower founders with tactical checklists for advancing crisis preparedness while fundraising, business development, and board planning. Here’s what to expect:

Priyanka Mitra with the M12 and All Raise logos

Remote Pitching during COVID for Founders – Thursday, May 28 from 9–10am PT

From articulating your company’s realities in the economic landscape to relaying your intention for the call, this session will equip you with strategies for navigating COVID in remote investor conversations. In this webinar, Priyanka Mitra, a Principal at M12, will cover best practices for projecting confidence while pitching over a video confidence call, as well as some logistical matters to consider before dialing in. Prior to M12, Priyanka was an investor at Tola Capital focused on B2B enterprise software and SaaS venture and growth-stage investing. Priyanka was previously at Kaiser Permanente where she was focused on corporate venture capital investing and strategic enterprise growth and was a researcher at Bridgewater Associates — a Connecticut-based global macroeconomic hedge fund.


Elisa Garcia Anzano with the M12 and All Raise logos

Business Development Strategies for Founders – Friday, June 5 from 9–10am PT

In the current economic climate, startups need to get creative about the ways in which they’re pulling in new business. Whether it’s traditional, in-person meetings that are no longer on the books for your B2B business, or events that have been cancelled for the foreseeable future for your B2C partnership kickoff, many of the typical levers for business development are no longer on the table. Tune into this session for tried-and-true advice from Elisa Garcia Anzano on generating more profit and attracting more customers to your business with competitive landscape awareness, innovation practices, and intentional networking. Elisa leads the Quantum Startup program at Microsoft, coordinating partnerships between quantum startups and the corporation to provide early adopter access, GTM opportunities, and mentorship. Prior to joining M12, she led strategic enterprise deals for Office 365 with major large-cap technology corporations and has executed over 150 business development deals working across Microsoft Madrid, Redmond, and San Francisco.


Tamara Steffens with the M12 and All Raise logos

Why You Need More Operators on Your Board – Thursday, June 11 from 9–10am PT

Tamara Steffens is an experienced operator and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley at both startups and large tech companies. With roles at Accompli (now Outlook mobile), Path, and Boingo under her belt, Tamara is a serial entrepreneur who found herself leading Business Development for Microsoft’s Office 365 organization. Drawn back to working with founders, Tamara joined M12 as a Managing Director. She leads investing and VC partnerships for North America and sits on several boards of successful B2B companies. In this session, Tamara will share lessons learned building a career in Silicon Valley, and making the transition to investing. From financial vehicle awareness to understanding employee incentives, Tamara will examine the specific startup experiences that have proven most useful in her role as an investor sitting on multiple boards.


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