Why I Am Joining StandUp Ventures / Lauren Epstein

StandUp Ventures
3 min readSep 23, 2021
Lauren Epstein, StandUp Ventures Principal

I could not be prouder to announce that I have joined StandUp Ventures as a Principal. My decision to join this dynamic team at a time that coincided with the launch of StandUp Ventures Fund II was a no brainer. It is a great fit, both professionally and personally.

I consider myself to be very fortunate. My career to date has given me the opportunity to learn in a variety of roles — from a political researcher and speech-writer, to a corporate litigation lawyer, to a venture investor. In all these arenas, I have been privileged to work in fast-paced, dynamic environments with smart, talented people passionately pursuing a particular point of view or, to put it in investing-ese, a thesis.

Similar to the wider variety of my career, my time in the technology investing landscape has provided opportunities for me to work in diverse sectors from angel and seed investing at a family office to investing out of an institutional venture capital fund from Series A to Series E.

No matter at what investment stage, I am passionate about two things — supporting exceptional founders and helping build a vibrant Canadian technology ecosystem. Joining StandUp undoubtedly allows me to pursue both goals.

StandUp is a returns-based fund with a differentiated investment thesis: investing in dynamic, early-stage companies with female founders will yield above average venture-grade outcomes.

Focusing on fierce female founders building breakthrough companies not only allows me to work with phenomenal entrepreneurs, but also serves to help build an ecosystem that supports people of all backgrounds to take the bold step to found companies that will grow and contribute to our technology economy.

We all know that women-led ventures receive a shockingly low amount of funding relative to all-male founding teams. If we assume that all start-ups (regardless of the identity of their founder(s)) perform based on a common standard distribution of outcomes, then, from a venture capital perspective, under-investing in female-led ventures is leaving money on the table. In other words, hand-picking amazing female-led companies with exciting potential is capitalizing on low-hanging fruit and will lead to outsized venture returns.

For me, StandUp’s thesis is about creating strong returns by investing in great companies that might be overlooked or underestimated because they have female founders. I have seen first-hand the sizeable missed opportunities that can result from the biases that exist.

StandUp is the answer to that and its portfolio is already proving the thesis. I am impressed both by the portfolio of investments to date and by StandUp’s founders, many of whom I am already lucky to call friends.

As a bonus, by joining StandUp I will have the opportunity to work with Michelle McBane. Throughout the last few years, I have been fortunate to get to know Michelle, an experienced and extremely talented venture investor and a real powerhouse. She is highly respected and well-liked in the community as well as having a well-deserved reputation for being serious about investing in great companies. The opportunity to work closely with Michelle is incredibly exciting. I know I will learn a lot from her.

Venture is a business that rewards thinking differently. I am so pleased to be joining a fund that stands defiantly with its differentiated approach, harnessing the power of its investment thesis to invest in high-potential, seed-stage companies led by women and ultimately facilitating the founding and growth of more exceptional Canadian companies.

— Lauren



StandUp Ventures

A Seed Stage fund that invests in B2B Enterprise and Health Technology companies with at least one female founder.