Meet Claudia Reuter: Mom, Startup CEO, and Techstars Managing Director
Welcome to the forty three percent. I'm Claudia Reuter. On this podcast. You're gonna hear from CEO's from authors. From doctors from artists all women who have managed to thrive at work and at home. I dropped out of the workforce. After I had our first child who is now fifteen and I stayed out of the workforce formally for almost seven years. So when I made a decision to go back into the workforce, I didn't in the rather unconventional way. I did it by starting a company and by going on to raise capital for that company. There's a stat out there that basically says that all companies that attempt to raise venture capital funding only two percents succeed. And of that two percent only one per cent are companies that have a female CEO. So that's one percent of the two percent. And I haven't found any stats on what that one percent really looks like in regards to their personal situations and family lives. When you are trying to raise venture capital. It's important of the very first thing that you get if if you get interest, you get a term sheet that term chief as they just sets the guidelines for your ability to negotiate the deal like how much money you're gonna get and how much of your company are you going to give up a majority of the company, but there's all sorts of complexities around term sheets. And so I had been fundraising for a few months, and I was incredibly lucky I got a term sheet, and I was incredibly energized thinking, okay, I finally have it. I have the term sheet. This is the end I'm gonna we're gonna some minor negotiations that I'm gonna go through. And then that'll be it out get the funding. I'll be able to grow my company and the catch was that at this point. I still at home with my kids, and they were seven and five years old, and they are in bunches wonderful boys, which is code for might break. Something might start wrestle. Might cert- screaming at any minute at anytime. And even lead on at this point that I'm in a situation where that that chaos could happen because I know if I do that's going to this going to lower my negotiation ability. I have to just be I'm good, I got this. If you invest in my company, I'm a grown up. I got got this stuff under control. And so that meant that I had to put them in front of the TV, everyone just be quiet. Monty has call to make remember going upstairs and thinking, okay, I'm going to get through this negotiate this it's gonna be awesome. And I go into the place that of course, people go, which is my son's bedroom. Closet because it was the only place I knew like just the way the house echoed. I was it was gonna be quiet. And so I went into the closet, and I'm sitting on the floor. And all of a sudden, everyone starts getting on the call, which is great. We've got the investors jumping on the lawyer jumping on mentor executive jumping on and also nicer picturing where they all are. I'm like, oh my God. They're like. Can these amazing offices were driving their fancy cars, and they have admins outside their door. Meanwhile, I have kids who could like literally all hell could break loose like any minute. And I'm sitting in the closet floor realizing like I'm sitting with a bus year toys and there's dust bunnies. And I'm picking lint off my yoga pants, and I'm just thinking God. I hope I don't like convey any of this to the people on the other side of the call. So anyway, I ended up getting through this call it doesn't quite go. The way that I hope nothing was simple as it could've gone ended up getting through the call on realizing that I was going to go need to find other investors. I was gonna need to keep plugging away. But ultimately made it through this process, and you know, the rest of sort of history. This story while it's unique in the business world, it is not unique in the world of the forty three percent. In this show. We move past the lean in or lean out debate to look at the much more complex journeys of women as they balanced family and career whether it's a normal maternity leave. No maternity leave a few years out like me or some combination. There of you'll meet women who have navigated these challenges in all sorts of different ways. Join us each week to hear inspiring conversations with inspiring women.