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Fontstad and Gouw, Two Well-Known Women VCs, Start New Silicon Valley Firm

It's a welcome thing, to be sure, in a landscape largely dominated by men.

Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw — who recently left Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Accel Partners, respectively — are launching a new venture firm called Aspect Ventures.

While forming new VC investment companies in Silicon Valley isn’t rare, one being led by two well-known women investors certainly is. Aspect, they said, will “provide a diverse, fresh perspective in the technology entrepreneurial community.” It will focus on the emerging mobile market, they added.

“We have started Aspect to focus at looking at things in a different way and in a more extended way,” said Gouw, about the wide-ranging plan to stick with entrepreneurs over the course of a startup’s long-term history. “Not the hot flavor of the month.”

It’s a welcome thing, to be sure, in a landscape largely dominated by men — the lack of gender and racial diversity among VCs and entrepreneurs and even on tech boards has become a hot-button issue in Silicon Valley. (As well it should be, by the way.)

Both Fonstad the Gouw are experienced VCs, with a half-dozen IPOs, including Trulia and NetZero, more than two dozen M&A transactions and 80 investments to their credit.

The pair met in their first post-grad jobs at Bain & Company. Since then, Fonstad has focused her career on enterprise and health care IT, while Gouw, who is an engineer, has been more aimed at the consumer and social arenas.

There are few women-led VCs in tech. Most recently, former Kleiner Perkins partner Aileen Lee left to start Cowboy Ventures, with an investment from the firm and others.

“Mobile is the biggest use case for a lot of arenas,” said Gouw of Aspect’s focus. “It is a trend that is really overarching the tech stack.”

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