By Meredith Somers | MIT Ideas Made to Matter | January 13, 2021
In 2018, Jasmine Edwards founded i-Subz, an online marketplace that matched schools and substitute teachers. She won her first $3,000 that same year during a Black Girl Ventures pitch competition in Atlanta and received her first “real investment with a term sheet” from Camelback Ventures — $40,000 during her fellowship with the firm in 2019.
By February 2020, Edwards was shutting down the startup and ceasing all operations, though the LLC remains active.
“We had to because i-Subz did not get the funding,” Edwards said during a panel discussion presented by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. “The substitutes were there; there were plenty of people to hire. And the customers were there, which were the schools. But the funding was not.”
Edwards’ story is a familiar one, specifically for female entrepreneurs. Female founders in the U.S. get less than 3% of venture capital dollars. A study by Digitalundivided, a nonprofit that helps Black and Latin American communities through female entrepreneurship, found that in the U.S., Black and Latina women received 0.64% of venture capital funds between 2018 and 2019.
Despite the inequalities, female-founded startups still perform better in some areas than male-founded startups.