Updates & Newsletters

Our CEO, Allison Byers, personally writes the Scroobious newsletter every month with her thoughts at the top, company updates and events, the Morse Minute, and our featured founder to round it out.

Identity as an investment risk, venture policy initiatives, and more.

4/30/2024: Last week I guest lectured for a capstone MBA class at California Lutheran University, which utilizes the Scroobious pitch framework as the basis for creating a new venture pitch. As I reflected on my professional journey in preparation, I realized that I've been pitching my entire career.

During both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I worked in labs and internships for class credit after convincing my professors that experiential learning was critical. Professionally, I've created new roles by pitching the value I'd bring.

Feelings of inadequacy, April events, and more.

3/31/2024: In this month's newsletter, I want to shed light on a concerning trend I've observed: a growing number of women founders have confided in me about their feelings of inadequacy following difficult investor meetings. They often internalize these encounters as personal failures, believing they need to refine their pitches or storytelling techniques.

An Urgent Problem, the 2023 Community Report, and more.

2/28/2024: I'm about to present a stark picture, but keep reading, because inspiration and motivation soon follow. Come along on this quick newsletter journey. 

Venture funding has consistently been one of our nation's most inequitably distributed resources, persisting throughout the industry's existence. The strides made by women and minority founders following George Floyd's murder and the diversity commitments during COVID-19 have been obliterated in the past two years.

2023 Wrap Up

2023 Highlights: Paving the Way for Transparency and Inclusion.

1/31/2024: Happy New Year! Larry David would have a conniption about that greeting at the end of January, but, this is the first newsletter of 2024 and I truly do hope you have had a wonderful start to the year. 

From launching our investor marketplace to helping write and pass a landmark California law requiring public disclosure of investment diversity metrics, to witnessing investor discovery of founders on our platform result in funding, 2023 was full of value-building momentum!  

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year, our "moat", and more.

12/31/2023: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2023 is authentic, which has always been a guiding principle here at Scroobious. In the article, it states that brands, social media influencers, and celebrities aspire to be authentic as it is the gold standard for building trust. The key to authenticity, in my opinion, is how you behave in addition to what you say. Just as data speaks the truth, actions and behaviors showcase whether a person is truly authentic or whether they are virtue signaling

Scroobious' new hire, Banyan trees, and more.

11/30/2023: Some things fall under the kismet category, and this is one of them. Erica first learned about our work two years ago when she was on the founding team of Dough, which supported women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs and has since been acquired. Her passion for promoting diversity in entrepreneurship by using technology and data to solve hard problems has only grown, especially in the face of recent challenges to equality efforts. The stars aligned, and we could not be more excited to have her on board. You can expect EVEN BIGGER things from us in 2024.

Company updates, passing of Bill 54, and supporting the Jewish community.

10/31/2023: This month has been full of progress and exciting updates on the Scroobious front. However, there's another important topic I must address in this month's newsletter. If anything I've ever written has resonated with you, please take a moment to read this.

Welcome our City Leads, getting funded, and October events.

09/30/23: Last month we announced the launch of our Scroobious Ambassador Program. We've been receiving applications from incredible people across the nation, and we're thrilled to welcome our inaugural round of City Leads!

COI Ladder Institute, corporate partnerships, and the Scroobious Ambassador Program.

08/31/23: First of all, this monthly newsletter now has over 3,000 subscribers! Holy cow! I don't know about you, but I sure am glad our kids' school started up again yesterday. While it's always bittersweet to say goodbye to summer, it's comforting to welcome back our old friends: schedule and routine.

Remembering Marc, opening up investor access, and Pipstant.

 07/25/23: I had already written this month's newsletter, which you can find below, when I learned that my friend Marc Ward passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack over the weekend. Marc was an incredibly bright light and those of us lucky to have known him are all in shock and completely devastated. 

Senate Bill 54, our advocacy efforts, and ramping up the investor portal.

6/29/23: In last month's newsletter, I shared the exciting news that we soft-launched our investor portal to help early-stage investors discover the hundreds of diverse founders in our community. We have been slowly inviting and onboarding folks from our waitlist of 100+ and it has honestly been an incredible experience.

Investor portal soft launch, investor waitlist, and more.

5/31/23: There are few things more exciting to an entrepreneur than seeing your vision come to life. We founders take on the challenge of bringing a new thing into the world that didn't exist before. Visions of a future state exist in our minds and we manifest them into solutions others can use. It's daunting and thrilling and painful and exhilarating and unbearable and fulfilling all at the same time. 


Entrepreneurship as a career, angels everywhere, and a big Scroobious announcement!

4/27/23: We work with dozens of university programs at Scroobious. While chatting with an entrepreneurship professor earlier this week, I found myself wishing I had taken some entrepreneurship courses while I was at business school. Entrepreneurship wasn't explicitly taught back then, and it wasn't even on my radar at the time. 

A new sponsor, reflection on SVB, and more.

3/31/23: To say this has been a difficult month in startup-land would be an understatement. We have all been challenged in different ways by the sudden closure of SVB, but for underrepresented founders and emerging fund managers, this cut deep both financially and emotionally. We feel the loss of community and support for diversity, equity, and inclusion that SVB provided.

Community report release, upcoming events, and more.

2/27/23: We recently released our 2022 Community Report, which highlights the diversity and success of those who have allowed us to be a part of their journey including founders, ecosystem partners, and sponsors. 2022 was a huge year for Scroobious and I'm so proud of our team and all of the incredible entrepreneurs in our community. 


Truth in data, calling shit out, & a bunch of workshops.

1/30/23: The 2022 funding numbers are out and it's the same tune: enraging yet expected. Women received just 1.9% of VC dollars. This is the lowest percentage since 2012. Black women, who start businesses faster than any other segment, receive less than 0.35% of all VC funding.


2022 Scroobious reflection & highlights.

12/16/22: Being a startup founder is a life in flux no matter what you're working on, but working as a female founder on a startup that focuses on helping other diverse-led startups takes it to a whole new level. I am humbled every day by the ambition and determination of the hundreds of founders in our community.


Tumultuous times, spotlight on ethics, & a wave of innovation.

11/18/22: Between the layoffs and the news cycle, workers are increasingly concerned about employer ethics. These are exactly the conditions that will catalyze a new cycle of innovation, and this time around the innovators are diverse and they care about more than just making money.


New Head of Product, Pitch Studio series, Merck EIR position, and so many events!

10/19/22: We have a lot of exciting news to share! Help us welcome our incredible new Head of Product, sign up for our new Pitch Studio series, and catch us in Cambridge where Allison is the EIR for the new Merck Digital Sciences Studio!


Speaking out, a Morse minute, and the importance of separating what is a good business idea from the person executing the idea. 

8/30/22: Social media was full of reactions to the news of a16z writing a $350M check to Adam Neumann. Our CEO contributed with this tweet and this LinkedIn post, which attracted domestic and international media attention. 


3 free pitch workshops, the Morse Minute, and a video about the name Scroobious.

7/31/22: Fall fundraising season is going to be in full swing before we know it and I'm predicting a very active one with an unprecedented amount of capital in the system needing to be deployed. We've got you with 3 free pitch workshops and the all-new Morse minute all about SAFEs.


Another "atypical" update.

6/28/22: Our May newsletter followed the devastating mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and I wrote about the dangers of having those in power lack parity with those they are supposed to represent. I also wrote that my preamble wasn't typical of our monthly update content. Yet, here I am again, writing the Scroobious update following a Supreme Court ruling that grants more rights to guns than to women.


A different type of update.

5/27/22: We're all deeply impacted by what happened at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, and at other tragedies that have come before. It didn't feel right to start with anything else. Please take a minute to read this newsletter and the call to action at the end of the intro.

5 huge updates including our custom platform launch!

4/28/22: There are more than 1,000 newsletter subscribers; amazing!! Big updates this month include our custom platform launch, new pricing, redesigned website, Tech Lead search, and an incredible new corporate sponsor.


Give yourself a break, v1 platform launch, know about the mom tax, and sign up for new workshops!

3/21/22: Listen to this fun Boston Speaks Up podcast, read about the mom tax and how the great resignation is really ⅓ of working moms being forced out of jobs, and smile at meeting zoom friends in person.


Rise of the emerging angel, v1 release, new workshops, and eliminating the fax.

1/25/22: I got into angel investing to vote with my dollars and fund who and what I want to see succeed. If you are one of the millions of emerging angels like me, join our waitlist to be the first to know when we launch our investor portal to access amazing diverse founders outside your network in a way that is fun and efficient.


Two stories of moral resolve to start your holiday break.

12/21/21: Here we are at winter break, and while the ground felt a bit firmer for a while, it is suddenly shaky and many have lost their footing with the newest variant just as we did last holiday season. I have kept this month's update short and I challenge you to read it through as there are two stories of moral resolve that may provide some sense of stability.


A new team member, calling out VCs, and new founder workshops!

11/22/21: A VC recently presented data at a preseed conference showing 94% of VC $ is going into later stages. Women & minorities get ~2% and have been historically overlooked specifically at early rounds. This means the recent influx of capital is going to the same homogenous group of founders who have been traditionally funded. We need more public discourse here.


True diversity means the equal representation of everyone to the exclusion of no one.

10/20/21: It's not for us to say how a founder identifies as underrepresented in the startup/fundraising landscape. You also don't have to identify as underrepresented to work with us. We would never turn a founder away if they can benefit from our program or community. True diversity means equal representation for everyone without the exclusion of any profile. 


Founders & investors have a symbiotic relationship but imbalanced power dynamic

9/20/21: Underestimated founders are conditioned over the course of our careers to defer to others. This is in full force when we're pitching for investment and further tips an already imbalanced power dynamic. The next time you're in a pitch meeting, be you founder or investor, stop and ask yourself if you're cognizant of your own mindset.


Poster session for startups, founderUP initiative, and a guide to entity formation

8/20/21: We're asking for your help planning a new type of startup event, we've launched a new founderUP initiative to get resources to underserved entrepreneurs, and we released a free guide to business entity formation in partnership with Northeastern.


Ocean + sparklers = mental health

7/15/21: Founders - know that your startup is not your entire life. If you feel like it is, please step back and take a broader perspective of who you are, where you've been, and where you're going. Keeping life perspective is part of keeping your sanity intact, which is definitely critical for running a successful company!


Screw-bee-us; am I saying it right?

6/16/21: June is a Scroobious month. In the U.S., we observe Juneteenth as well as celebrate those in the LGBTQ+ community. Equality is front and center both in the recognition of past, and sometimes current, atrocities and the joy in progress made.


NEW founders, investors, partners, and team members.

5/19/21: We've welcomed new founders, new investors, new partners, new team members, released new product updates, held new pitch workshops, and awarded new grants from our sponsors to underserved founders covering their Pitch it Plan™ membership!


Supporting Black parent entrepreneurs, welcoming new advisors, & lots of events!

4/13/21: Proud to announce our partnership with the ParentPreneur Foundation, two new advisors, job openings, and as the title says, lots of upcoming events!


Easy ways to help a female founder RIGHT NOW!

3/17/21: You don't need a specific month to support women, but if it helps spur you to action, then, by all means, act now! In particular, support a female founder. An investment check is likely the most helpful thing you can do, but if that's not an option, read for some other meaningful ideas.


1,200 women entrepreneurs

2/16/21: I was invited to speak as the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Empower Hour guest this past Wednesday, February 10th. It's still slightly unbelievable to me that OVER 1,200 PEOPLE registered for the event and NEARLY 500 watched live! This is a positive signal that we will see an upwell in women's entrepreneurship.


Book feature, speaker sessions, masterclass, mentorship - whew!

1/13/21: I wrote a LinkedIn post about the need for all of us to take time to process our reactions to recent and ongoing events. Humans process visual information quickly and we retain it, which is why pitch videos are so much more powerful than static decks, and we are being flooded by images and videos of what transpired.


Please welcome a new team member!

12/17/20: One of the hardest challenges a non-technical founder faces is recruiting a technical partner who aligns with your mission, is skilled, is up for the start-up challenge, and whom you enjoy working with. Read on to meet our incredible new team member! Together, we are going to grow Scroobious and affect systemic change in how cold sourcing is conducted.


Business Insider + pre-seed raise

11/12/20: Our founders have closed rounds and been accepted to MassChallenge and Y Combinator after going through our Pitch Learning Program. We're THRILLED that our vetted pitch deck framework was published in Business Insider! We're now raising a pre-seed round to keep this train moving at high speed. 


Podcasts and pitches and panels, oh my!

10/13/20: People invest in people, but the character of those pictured above cannot be communicated in a static pitch deck. A pitch video instantly humanizes in a way a deck never can. This message is clearly resonating as evidenced by Scroobious' growing waitlist and continued involvement in media, speaking, and events.


...and we're live!

9/9/20: Founders and investors alike are coping with existential challenges and everyone has a new appreciation for the human aspect of making it through the day. Scroobious' human-first approach to addressing the funding gap has never felt more relevant. Visionary Voices, live Pitch Learning Program, and another strong female founder you should know.


What does Scroobious mean, anyway?

7/24/20: We've started to slowly onboard beta users. Make sure you're on the waitlist to save a spot! Plus, meet our featured founder, Anna Western, who is helping you visually organize the internet.


Invest in Black founders

6/18/20: We are excited to have our June newsletter guest-written by Joel Francois and Philip Toussaint, two of our beta founders. In their dual narrative they tell the truth of what it's like to be a Black founder trying to launch a company and secure funding in 2020.


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