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Episode Info:

Barbara Piette

Knightsbridge Advisers

Managing Principal

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-piette-7681b010/

Barbara joined Knightsbridge after spending more than twenty years as a venture capitalist, holding partner positions with both Charles River Ventures and Schroder Ventures. At Knightsbridge, Barbara is actively involved in all aspects of portfolio management, including all investment due diligence and decision-making processes. In addition to Knightsbridge, Barbara works as an advisor with five emerging venture capital firms: Tera Ventures, focused on born-global digital startups; Hyperplane VC, focused on AI; the Material Impact Fund, focused on materials; _Underscore, focused on the cloud; and Will Ventures, focused on sports technology, as well as several early stage technology companies spanning industry sectors such as robotics, blockchain enterprise software, and cybersecurity.

 

As General Partner of Charles River Ventures from 1986 to 1992, Barbara was responsible for a successful portfolio of health care, technology, and consumer companies and served on the boards of several companies. From 1992 to 1999, she invested with a life sciences focus as a Partner of Schroder Ventures, co-founding the SV Life Sciences funds and serving on the boards of eight companies. From 2000 to 2006, she was President of Blackwood Capital, investing in and advising private and public companies.

 

Barbara received an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and holds a BS summa cum laude from Boston College where she graduated first in her class. She serves as an Overseer of Boston Children’s Hospital and as a Board member of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. She serves on the Board of the Alliance for Advancement and Diversity in the Sciences, is a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum, and previously served on the boards of the Koch Center for Cancer Research at MIT and the Harvard Business School Association of Boston.  She has been an annual judge for the HBS New Ventures Competition for over twenty years.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Serving on 16 corporate boards and 2 non-profit boards, including the time she served on the FAO Schwarz board and what she sat next to
  • Why she feels diversity is important
  • Being the only woman on many boards and the question she was asked most often from male board members
  • Some overwhelming stats on what women on boards do for company culture and profit
  • Why a diverse culture should be created on day one
  • Why it’s easier than ever to start a company
  • Why keeping the conversation going is vital and how to create more awareness  
  • What the problem in placing women on boards comes down to and how to change that
  • Ways to get involved right now and why communication and mentorship is key

Read more »

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