Exclusive: We don’t hear about Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg making many angel investments but we’ve learned that the executive has backed new startup called Levo League along with co-founder and former CEO of Ning Gina Bianchini. The site’s main aim is to create a medium to help young female professionals break through the glass ceiling.
Only launched in July, Levo League produces “smart content for smart women.” The Levo League offers career advice from how to negotiate a raise or conduct a meeting, to how to dress for an interview. It ultimately aims to host generation-defining discussions of critical issues relevant to women in the workplace.
Sample content includes “Bridging the Gap Between Interns and Managers,” to profiles on women leaders, to Finding the Balance and Finding The Voice in the Workplace. The site is part informative content and part community and support network. And the startup just launched a more personalized professional platform, where users can find mentorship, career opportunities and more.
The site was co-founded by Caroline Ghosn (Ghosn is the daughter of Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn) and Amanda Pouchot, who met while consulting at McKinsey & Company. Both felt that there was a lack of personal and professional support available to young women. Thus the idea for Levo League was born. Their mission is to create a trusted brand and community to help young professionals break through the glass ceiling without compromising their identities as women.
Pouchot explains, “We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to awaken the fullest potential of Generation Y’s women. There exists a need for tactical advice, communal support, and access to job opportunities that align with our values, and, for the first time in history, we have resources and technology that can make it happen on a generational scale.”
As you may know, Sandberg, who was also a consultant at McKinsey previously, is the COO of Facebook, and was previously Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and served as Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. She is indisputably an amazing role model for young women. And as Kara Swisher writes, Sandberg has been “vocal” on issues of women in the workplace. If you haven’t watched her inspiring talk at TED, you should.
Ghosn says of Sandberg’s involvement: “Sheryl is charismatic, sharp as a tack, and approachable – she’s the kind of person who brings an energy to the room that makes every person in it feel heard and comfortable. We at Levo understand the tremendous importance of younger women having referential examples that they can aspire to, and we can’t think of anyone better suited to set an example than Sheryl. We are so thankful for her support, and intend to live up to the expectations associated with it.”
As we mentioned above, Bianchini is also a major investor for the startup. Bianchini, who recently founded Mightybell, was also the co-founder and former CEO of Ning, and a former EIR at Andreessen Horowitz.
Like Sandberg, Bianchini hasn’t made many public angel investments, so it’s interesting to see her backing the startup. It’s unclear if Sandberg will continue to make angel investments but we look forward to seeing what both she and Bianchini put their weight behind in the future.
UPDATE: As with many startups, there was a rift between the original founding team of the predecessor to the Levo League, a similar concept called Pretty Young Professionals, Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavoulacos. You can read their version of events here.
The Levo League is a career community for Gen Y women. Levo, the Latin root for “elevate,” meets the pressing need for resources enabling women to successfully navigate the first ten years of their careers. The Levo League has already attracted the support of leading women including Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe, Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mightybell, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. In addition, Levo has formalized a partnership with Fortune Most Powerful Women and has been...