Silicon Valley *Is* a Meritocracy


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the negotiating position tips in your favor. Once you get there, trust me, VCs will run after you.

One final point: can all businesses get there? No. Some businesses simply do not fit the venture model, and they will never be fundable. But you can build those businesses as self-financed businesses and become very successful outside of the venture capital ecosystem. There is nothing wrong with that success or the wealth you create as an outcome based on that success.

Also, some ventures in cleantech and biotech are just not conducive to bootstrapping. The capital requirements are high. But entrepreneurs in those segments face challenges irrespective of demographics.

So, please, entrepreneurs, do not get hung up on the excuses that certain pundits are coming up with based on age, gender, or ethnicity.

The game we play is largely a numbers game. If enough women, black, or older entrepreneurs were coming up with big ideas like those generated by Facebook, Google, or Apple and doing the groundwork to get these ideas validated, well, by hook or by crook, Silicon Valley would not reject them.

Whatever Silicon Valley is, it is not stupid.

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Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million (1M/1M), a global virtual incubator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Follow @sramana

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