“Starting a business is a privilege,” says Burton O’Toole, who worked at various startups before launching and then selling AdMass, her own marketing technology company. The company gave her access to the HearstLab program in 2016, but she soon found herself preferring the investment aspect, and a year later she became VP of HearstLab. “Enabling some of the smartest women to do what they love is great,” she says. But besides being a fan of women, Burton O’Toole loves his job because it’s a great market opportunity.
“Studies show that teams led by women make two and a half times more profit than teams led by men,” she says, adding that women and people of color tend to create more diverse teams and therefore extract benefit from different points of view and points of view. She also explains that companies with female founders are more likely to be acquired or go public sooner. “Despite these results, only 2.3% of venture funding comes from teams founded by women. It still surprises me that more and more investors are not taking this data more seriously,” she says.
Burton O’Toole, who received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 2007 before earning her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering, has been a data nerd for as long as she can remember. In high school, she wanted to be an actuary. “Ten years ago, I could not imagine this work; I love the idea of doing something else in 10 years that I can’t imagine now,” she says.
Burton O’Toole says that when starting a business, “women generally want all their ducks to be in order before they go into action. They say: “I will do it when I get a promotion, when I have enough money, I will finish this project.” But there is only one good way. Take the jump.”