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Chris Dixon

(Founder Stories) Foodspotting's Soraya Darabi On Women In Tech

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Let’s face it, the tech industry is dominated by male geeks and alpha dog VCs. It’s not easy being a female founder in that environment. But as Foodspotting co-founder Soraya Darabi tells Chris Dixon in Part II of her Founder Stories interview, “If you are smart and articulate and know your product, nobody can argue with that.” And, she adds in the video above, “It’s probably a lot easier . . . now than it was ten years ago.”

Dixon thinks the problem is that VCs keep looking for the same patterns, They think the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg will be a young, male, alpha geek. He also notes that pitching your startup idea in the country-club atmosphere of many VC firms can be both intimidating and counterproductive. “I am not sure presenting well to 40 grumpy people correlates to building a great product,” he quips.

But gender issues is not all the two talked about. In the first video below, Dixon puts Darabi through a rapid-fire Q&A, asking her what she would do if her company folded (“I’d go to culinary school”), what advice she has for other startup founders, who are her female mentors, and—my favorite question—”Can you beat people up?” (It turns out she can). And Dixon let’s loose that he was actually a philosophy major in college, which he describes as “the best seven years of my life.” (Insert your own joke here).

Be sure to watch Part I of this interview, where Darabi discusses how Foodspotting began and her previous job as social media manager of the New York Times. The full interview is also in the second video below, and you can catch up with more episodes of Founder Stories on iTunes.