News & Events


Recent articles, interviews and podcasts featuring Illuminate Ventures, our research, investment philosophy and focus areas:

VC on VC Podcast: B2B AI Investing Viewpoints

Carnegie Mellon CONNECTS: The Rise of GenAI and Recent Trends in Venture Capital

Astella Around the World: Podcast with Illuminate Ventures

CIO Exchange Podcast: Investing One Step Ahead - with Guest Cindy Padnos

Michigan Mpods: Interview with Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

Longbow's On Point: Early Stage Venture Capital Trends with Nadine Terman & Cindy Padnos

Passing the Mic Podcast: VC Exchange with Cindy Padnos

Women in Private Equity Video Interview: Viewing Seed Stage Investment Opportunity Through a Different Lens

Fireside with a VC Podcast: Investing in B2B/Enterprise software startups, building a seed-stage VC firm, and enabling diversity in the high tech ecosystem 

Dreammakers Podcast: Opening the Door Wider: Cindy Padnos, Founder & Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures

The Orbit Shift Podcast: The Founder's Guide to Building an Effective  Startup Board with Cindy Padnos

PEAK Video Voices: Insights on Founding a Venture Capital Firm and Establishing Unique Investment Strategies

The Backstory of Allocadia and Illuminate: From Initial Investment to Acquisition by BrandMaker

Women's PE Briefs: In the Spotlight - Behind the Scenes Story of Coupang and Illuminate Ventures

The Backstory of Coupang and Illuminate: From First Investment in CalmSea to IPO

INC: MBA Students Are Clear: 85 Percent Considering Entrepreneurship After Graduatio

The Sure Shot Entrepreneur Podcast: Innovate Continuously to Remain Competitiv‪e

Institutional Investor: Venture Capital (Still) Has a Gender Problem

Poets & Quants: Study: 85% Of MBAs Interested In Entrepreneurship

Women 2.0: New Report Showcases How Female and Male MBAs Perceive Entrepreneurship and VC

Medium Post: Illuminate’s New Research Reinforces Our Conviction in Hands-On Learning for Future Entrepreneurs

The Intelligent Investor, Silicon Valley (book): Practical advice for investors and entrepreneurs. (Illuminate one of 50 leading investors featured)

SaaS District - Video Series for Entrepreneurs: Seed Stage Investment Market & Key Metrics for SaaS Founders

20 Minute Leaders: Interview with Cindy Padnos, Founder & Managing Partner, Illuminate Ventures

MBA News: More Students Considering Entrepreneurship

Startup Mindset Academy - Investor Video Interview Series: Introducing Illuminate Ventures

The Founder Formula Podcast: Episode 17 - Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

Carnegie Mellon CONNECTS Series: How COVID Impacts The Future of Work: Which B2B Software Segments will Accelerate?

Stanford GSB Cases E-695 and E-696: Women in Venture Capital - Aileen Lee (Cowboy Ventures) and Cindy Padnos (Illuminate Ventures)

Unicorn Nest: Interview with Cindy Padnos (Illuminate Ventures): We invest in teams and companies that are further along

Forbes: Diversity In Venture Capital: In the U.S., It May Be Getting Worse

GeekWire: Should gender diversity on corporate boards be legally required? Women VCs, tech execs weigh in

Tech Talk with Anu: Video interview with Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

Carnegie Mellon CONNECTS: The Mismatch Between How VCs and Entrepreneurs Think (Video)

Financial Times: Female Tech Entrepreneurs are Given Less Space to Fail

TechCrunch: There are very real differences in how women and men (and VCs) view entrepreneurship, underscores a new survey

Entrepreneur: The Surprising Differences Between Men's and Women's Motives and Obstacles in Becoming Entrepreneurs

CMU Webinar: Overcoming Entrepreneurial Barriers: With Cindy Padnos and Shanna Tellerman

All About Alpha: Illuminating Gender Differences in Entrepreneurship M.R. Asks 3 Questions- Cindy Padnos, founder Illuminate Ventures

Women 2.0: Important Findings about Founders and VCs' Show Big Changes and Big Gaps

Entrepreneur: How the Founder of Modsy and Her Mentor Are Building a 'Power Squad' to Help Women in Business

SaaStr - The Twenty Minute VC Podcast: The Unwavering Power of Predictable Revenue - Interview with Cindy Padnos

Forbes: Ten Female Founded Venture Capital Funds You Should Have in Your Network

Smart Company: Networking is key to better funding outcomes

Preqin: Special Report Women in Alternative Assets

Inc. com: Why Middle America Can Be Better For Entrepreneurs than Silicon Valley

Carnegie Mellon Today: Illuminating Presence

New York Times: Influential Women in Silicon Valley

Stanford Technology Ventures – Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series, Cindy Padnos Interview: An Enterprising Approach to Investment 


Upcoming and Recent Illuminate Speaking/Judging Events

Michigan Ross Innovation Summit, Panel Moderator: Founding and Building a Venture-class startup

Wharton Seattle Alumni Club, Panelist: AI Innovations and Investments

SuperVenture US West, Panelist: The Future of Enterprise Technology

The Bridge Funding Global, Presenter: Annual Conference

Women's Venture Capital Summit: Exit This Way - Opportunities for Getting the Most Value Out of Your Portfolio

JP Morgan, Panelist: Women and Diverse Business Leaders' Conference

The Wharton School Executive MBA Program, Speaker: Can Anyone be a VC and Build a VC Firm?

UCLA Easton Technology Management Workshop, Speaker: Product Market Fit in B2B Demystified

Canadian Women's Network, Founders and Funders event

VMworldExecutive Summit, Transformation Driven by Imagination - Luminary VC Panel - with partners from Greylock, Illuminate and Sequoia

Carnegie Mellon CONNECTS, Speaker: Today's MBA Student is Tomorrow's Entrepreneur

French American Chamber of Commerce, Panelist: What are the Tech & VC trends?

BRIIA B2B Accelerator Annual State of the Startup, Panelist: Addressing the Gender Gap

SuperTechnology North America, Panelist: Creating Diversity - Using new approaches to create diversity

Comeback Capital, Judge: Live Pitch: Midwest Startups Compete for Coastal Investment

Carnegie Mellon CONNECTS Series, Keynote Speaker: How COVID Impacts The Future of Work: Which B2B Software Segments will Accelerate?

SaaStr LAUNCH Accelerator, Startup judge and advisor

Startup Haven, Speaker: Networking event for venture-scale founders

Foster School of Business, Judge: Entrepreneurial Influence and MBA Pitch

Epic Events, Panelist and Judge: State of Female Founders Investor Panel + Pitch

Enterprise, Co-sponsor: Invitation-only gathering of top Enterprise CEOs and investors

Berkeley-Haas, Judge: National VCIC competition Venture Capital Investment Competition 

Early Growth Financial Services, Meet the VC: Interactive session

Stanford/NVCA VC Symposium, Panelist: Secrets of Successful Boards

Enterprise Retreat, Panel Moderator: CXOs speak out - CIO Intel, CRO Pepsico, CIO Verizon

SXSW, Entrepreneurship Track Panelist: Turning the Tables: Entrepreneur to Investor

SuperRetun West, Panelist: Future hot sectors in Venture Capital

SaaStr, Speaker: Tackling the biggest success attributes and barriers for entrepreneurs

Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMOE), Judge: Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Startup Finals

Vanderbilt Darden School of Business, Guest Lecturer: Venture Capital

UC Berkeley HaaS School of Business, Fireside Chat: The Current State of Tech Entrepreneurship

TechCrunch Disrupt, Female Founders Office Hours

StartOut, Panelist: Meet the VC Partners from DCM, DFJ, Felicis and Illuminate

100 Women in Finance, Panelist: AI in Finance and Beyond: Applications, Opportunities, and Ethics

NTT Innovation Institute, Speaker: Trends in Enterprise Tech

FairFunders, Webinar speaker: Founder Access to VCs

VC Taskforce, Panelist: Women's Fundraising Roundtable

SuperReturn, Panelist: Venture Capital Trends

Tepper Fireside Chat, Speaker: Tech and Entrepreneurship Trends

Ladies Who Launch, Moderator: Finance Hustle Panel

NVCA, Panelist: Successful Fundraiser's Philosophy

Board Leadership Forum/Nat'l Assoc. of Corporate Directors, Panelist: Innovation and Strategy as Part of a Board's DNA

Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business, Speaker: Koeze Business Ethics Initiative

RAISE, Panelist: Starting a New VC Firm From Scratch

Stanford GSB, Speaker: Women and Venture Capital

Women’s Private Equity Summit, Panelist: Current State and Ongoing Evolution in Venture Capital  Investing

Archived News

VentureBeat: The top 5 trends cloud-focused VCs are most excited about

Preqin: Women in Venture Capital Report

Ladders: 85% of MBA Students Consider This as a Career Option

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper Magazine: Nothing Ventured - Nothing Gained

San Jose Business Journal: To Pitch or Not to Pitch – Startup founders weigh VC funds vs. bootstrapping

UC Davis Graduate School of Management: Women Who Count – Cindy Padnos on Impact Through Investing 5 Best-Kept Secrets about Enterprise Software

Women 2.0: Yes, There Is Such a Thing as Raising Too Much Capital

PE HUB: Facebook-Blind – VCs Missed Opportunities in B2B Cloud Investments

Silicon Valley Business Journal: Why Hiring More Women Can Make you Money

Venture Beat: Forget Facebook! Meet 12 investors on the hunt for the next Microsoft The Enterprise Cloud’s Silver Lining

Peninsula Press: Back to Basics – VC’s remind today’s generation of entrepreneurs what it takes to succeed

Inc.: Insider’s Guide to Silicon Valley Investors

Fortune: Fast Forwarding Women in Tech

Gust: Investor Videos –Cindy Padnos Interview – Recommendations for Start-up Entrepreneurs

The Network: The Cloud and the Changing Role of the Investor

Forbes: Run 100% of a Business in the Cloud?

CloudTweaks: On the Verge: 100% Cloud Fueled Ventures

San Francisco Magazine: The Smart Money

Washington Post: Five myths about entrepreneurs

New York Times: Women and Technology and Myth

Announcement of Illuminate Ventures I Final Close  (link to our own release here):

     – VentureBeat: Women-led VC firm Illuminate raises $20M fund

     – Dow Jones VentureWire: Illuminate Ventures Closes $20M Micro VC Fund

     – Strictly VC: In VC, Going it Alone, with Plenty of Company

     – VatorNews: Illuminate Ventures raises $20M for new fund

     – Women 2.0: Female-led micro VC firm Illuminate Ventures announces $20M fund

Reuters: The Great Debate – Why aren’t there more foreign female entrepreneurs?

Inc.: The Case Against the All-Male Start-up

The Ideas Project: Cindy Padnos Video-Investors Can Benefit By Backing Women Entrepreneurs

San Francisco Business Times: Most Influential Women in the Bay Area Business Named

Vator News Innovation Series: Today’s Entrepreneur

MediaPost: Do We Need More Women in Technology?

Insider: The Age of the Female -Centric Start-up

Huffington Post: Women Entrepreneurs on the Rise

Business Standard: Enterprise knows no gender

Forbes: High-Performance Women in High Tech

The Ideas Project: The Women Of Technology: Making It To The Top

Financial Times: Geeky world of IT loses its appeal as a career choice

WOMEN 2.0: 5 Female Angels and Investors to Watch

VatorNews Today’s Entrepreneur: Cindy Padnos Profile

The Wall Street Journal: Making Strides at Start-Ups Meet Tomorrow’s High-Performance Companies

Venture Beat: FailCon: How to fail gracefully with a startup

Mashable/Business: Why We Need to Reframe the “Women in Tech” Debate

PEHub: A VC Firm By Women, For Women — And Men Too (requires subscription)

The Wall Street Journal: Daily VC Dispatch Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures, on Venture Chemistry (video interview)

New York Times: Female Entrepreneurs on the Rise

San Jose Mercury News: Cassidy: A wave of women entrepreneurs may be coming

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: The New Entrepreneur – Why Venture Capital Firms Need More Women Partners

Palo Alto Weekly: What Ceiling? How To Write A Winning Business Plan

New York Times: Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley

Fast Company: The Most Influential Women in Technology

Forbes: We Need More Female Venture Capitalists

Fortune: How to build a startup: her best advice

Reuters Venture Capital Journal (VCJ): Women in VC (Requires subscription)

Fast Company: Startups: An “Alpha Male Pissing-Contest?”

New York Entrepreneur Week: Why Men Get VC Money and Women Don’t ….and How that is Changing

New York Times: The Art of Running a Small Business

BusinessWeek Online: Addressing the Dearth of Female Entrepreneurs  See page 2

TechCrunch: Silicon Valley You’ve got a Gender Problem

NBC Bay Area Editorial: Bay Area Boys Club

TechCrunch: A Fix for Discrimination – Follow the Indian Trail

Prior Events

KMTV Game Changers Silicon Valley Interview Series: Why More VC Money is going into Fewer Deals

SuperInvestor US Video Interview with Cindy Padnos and Eric Benhamou: What are the hallmarks of the next tech unicorn?

Inc.: What Entrepreneurs Really Want From VCs

MiBiz: Q&A with Cindy Padnos

She Started it Documentary: Watch the film trailer

Carnegie Mellon University, Masters in Engineering Management, Commencement Address

Women's Startup Lab, Guest Speaker

PartnerConnect, Panelist: From Pre-Seed to Post-Seed and Everything in Between

Salesforce Ventures, Mentor: Dreamforce Female Founders Breakfast

The Wall Street Journal Women in the Economy, Co-chair: Entrepreneurship Task Force

Harvard Business School Alumni Angel Association, Webinar Panelist: SaaS Investing Overview with partners from Emergence Capital, Pivot North, Costanoa and Illuminate Ventures 

University of Michigan College of Engineering, Keynote Speaker: Commencement Address

DataWeek, Panelist: Ask an Investor – Emerging Markets in Big Data

SuperInvestor US 2015, Panelist: Next Generation Venture Capital 

Women 2.0 Founder Meet-up, Speaker: Building your startup

PITME Labs, Mentor: Startup Demo Day

Forté Forum, Moderator: MBA Alumnae Panel

The App Retreat, The App Economy

B2B Startup Weekend, Judge: 54 hour startup competition

TiECon, Panelist: How to get seed funding for your startup? 

IBM SmartCamp, Judge: Global Startup Competition Finals

Girls Rising, Panelist and Pitch Judge

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Panelist: The Keys to Creating Innovative Products

Alchemist Accelerator, Judge and mentor

Department of Homeland Security IT Security Entrepreneurs’ Forum (ITSEF), Panelist: Results that Matter – Women IT Entrepreneurs

Pipeline Fellowship, Panelist: Structuring the Deal

Carnegie Mellon University – Silicon Valley,  Keynote: Commencement Address

G8 Tech Conference and DNA Summit, Panelist: Innovation Lab in the Sky

Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing, Panelist: Why Investing in Women Founders and Entrepreneurs Makes Business Sense

85 Broads 2020 Vision, Guest Speaker: Opportunistic Investing for the Next Decade

The National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, Panelist: Early-stage Capital in the United States

Astia Entrepreneur Program in Silicon Valley, Panelist: Own Your Financials

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Featured Speaker: James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series 

Vator Splash, Judge: Early-stage Pitch Competition

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, US Department of State Delegate: Women and the Economy Summit

Intuit Apps Showcase, Panelist and Competition Judge: Applications for SMBs