Aileen Lee

Aileen Lee (born 1970) is a U.S. seed investor. A venture capital investor, she is the founder of Cowboy Ventures.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Lee coined the often-used Silicon Valley term unicorn in a TechCrunch article "Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning from Billion-Dollar Startups" as profiled in a New York Times article. A unicorn is generally defined as a privately held startup that has a $1 billion valuation – something rare (like a unicorn).[11]

Aileen Lee
Aileen Lee 2014
Aileen Lee Backstage at Tech Crunch 2013
Born1970 (age 48–49)[1]
NationalityUnited States
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard Business School
Known forFounder and Managing Partner of Cowboy Ventures


Lee earned her bachelor's degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1992. After MIT, she worked as a financial analyst for two years at Morgan Stanley.[12] She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997.[1]


Lee joined Kleiner Perkins in 1999 and was the founding CEO of RMG Networks, a company backed by KPCB. Lee worked at Kleiner Perkins for 13 years and left in 2012.[13]

In 2012, she left KPCB to start seed-stage venture firm, Cowboy Ventures.[14] In 2017, Lee added Ted Wang to the firm as a general partner.[15][16]

Cowboy Ventures is one of the first female-led venture capital firms.[17] Over the past six years, Cowboy Ventures has received three large funds, the most recent reaching $95 million.[18][19]

Through Cowboy Ventures, Lee has made investments in many early-stage companies, including August,[20] Dollar Shave Club,[20] Accompany[14] and Tally Technologies.[21][22][23] She is a public advocate of increasing the number of female founders and investors in the Silicon Valley.[24]


In 2018, Lee co-founded All Raise, a nonprofit organization which seeks to increase the amount of funding that female investors receive.[19] The organization was founded as a collective by more than than 30 venture capitalists who advocate for increasing the presence of women in venture capital.[25] Lee described the organization's importance in saying “We believe that by improving the success of women in the venture-backed tech ecosystem, we can build a more accessible community that reflects the diversity of the world around us.”[26]

Awards and Recognition

Lee was invited to speak at the 2018 Code Conference put on by Recode and additionally at the 2018 GeekWire Summit.[27][28] She also spoke at the 2019 Silicon Slopes Tech Summit.[29] and is recognized as a speaker for the organization Lesbians Who Tech and the Female Founders Conference.[30][31]

Lee has appeared on Forbes' list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (position #93)[32] and its The Top Women Investors On Midas In 2018 list (position #97).[33]

Personal Life

Lee grew up in New Jersey and is the daughter of Cantonese immigrants.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Executive profile". Boardroom Insiders. 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  2. ^ Lee, Aileen (2 November 2013). "Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups". TechCrunch. AOL.
  3. ^ Schubarth, Cromwell (13 January 2014). "VC Aileen Lee on rarity of $1B tech 'unicorns,' diversity". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  4. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia (10 April 2012). "Brit Morin Engages $1.25M From Marissa Mayer, Aileen Lee, Founders Fund And More To Launch Her First App, Weduary". TechCrunch. AOL.
  5. ^ "Aileen Lee".
  6. ^ Kolodny, Lora (17 December 2013). "VC in 2014: Kleiner Perkins' Aileen Lee on How Venture Needs to Deliver Better Returns". WSJ.
  7. ^ Perez, Sarah (30 July 2012). "Aileen Lee Almost Done Raising $40 Million For New Seed Called "Cowboy Ventures"". TechCrunch. AOL.
  8. ^ Taylor, Colleen (6 April 2012). "VC Giants, Thinking Smaller: Why Kleiner Perkins' Aileen Lee Is Getting Into Seed Funding". TechCrunch. AOL.
  9. ^ Ryan Lawler (September 26, 2014). "Aileen Lee's Cowboy Ventures Is Raising A $55 Million Second Fund". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Jonathan Krim (March 1, 2015). "Working Their Way Around Male VC Dominance". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 27, 2015. “Can we give this to VC firms for free?” quipped Aileen Lee, a prominent venture capitalist who two years ago left her full time work at Kleiner Perkins to co-found her own VC firm, Cowboy Ventures.
  11. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (5 July 2015). "Unicorn: A Fitting Label for Its Time and Place". NYTimes. The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b Bryant, Adam (2015-12-03). "Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures: Aim to See Beneath the Surface". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  13. ^ "Recode: Women in tech are held to tougher standards than men — and that has to change, investor Aileen Lee says".
  14. ^ a b Loizos, Connie. "VC Aileen Lee just offered some very specific advice to female founders looking for funding". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  15. ^ "Pando: Aileen Lee on hiring Ted Wang and making VC more "human"".
  16. ^ "Crunchbase: Cowboy Ventures Closes Capital For $95 Million Third Fund".
  17. ^ "Fast Company: Tech's Actual Gender Numbers Are Vague And Grim. A Small Tweak Could Change That".
  18. ^ "TechCrunch: Cowboy Ventures just rounded up $95 million for its third fund".
  19. ^ a b "Pitchbook: Q&A: Aileen Lee on Cowboy Ventures' latest fund, getting women on her cap table and what keeps her motivated".
  20. ^ a b "VC Corner: Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  21. ^ Kolodny, Lora. "Tally raises $15 million for app to make credit cards less expensive, easier to manage". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  22. ^ "San Francisco-based credit card management app Tally raises $15 million - Silicon Valley Business Journal". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  23. ^ "Aileen Lee".
  24. ^ Loizos, Connie. "VC Aileen Lee just offered some very specific advice to female founders looking for funding". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  25. ^ "Fast Company: This is how we get more women in venture capital".
  26. ^ "TechCrunch: All Raise wants to increase the amount of venture funding female founders receive".
  27. ^ "TechCrunch: Cowboy Ventures' Aileen Lee says enough with favoring the 'good guys'".
  28. ^ "GeekWire: Silicon Valley VC Aileen Lee offers advice to Seattle: Make technology more equitable".
  29. ^ "Nasdaq: Silicon Slopes: Aileen Lee, Cowboy Ventures Founding Partner". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Lesbians Who Tech Speakers".
  31. ^ "Female Founders Conference Speakers".
  32. ^ "Forbes: For The World's Most Powerful Women, Is Power In Peril?".
  33. ^ "Forbes: Meet The Top Women Investors On Midas In 2018".

External links

2009 Birthday Honours

The Queen's Birthday Honours 2009 were appointments by some of the 16 Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to recognise and reward good works by citizens of those countries. The Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the Queen's Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June.

The Queen's Birthday Honours were announced on 12 June 2009 in the United Kingdom, on 8 June 2009 in Australia, on 1 June 2009 in New Zealand, and on 15 June 2009 in The Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Belize, and Antigua & Barbuda.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by the country (in order of precedence) whose ministers advised The Queen on the appointments, then by honour with grades i.e. Knight/Dame Grand Cross, Knight/Dame Commander etc. and then divisions i.e. Civil, Diplomatic and Military as appropriate.

A Person of Interest (novel)

A Person of Interest is a 2008 novel written by the American writer Susan Choi. The novel takes its title from the law enforcement term "person of interest", and draws inspiration from the activities of Theodore Kaczynski.

Academy Award for Best Actress

The Academy Award for Best Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actor winner.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Janet Gaynor receiving the award for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise. Currently, nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy. In the first three years of the awards, actresses were nominated as the best in their categories. At that time, all of their work during the qualifying period (as many as three films, in some cases) was listed after the award. However, during the 3rd ceremony held in 1930, only one of those films was cited in each winner's final award, even though each of the acting winners had two films following their names on the ballots.The following year, this unwieldy and confusing system was replaced by the current system in which an actress is nominated for a specific performance in a single film. Starting with the 9th ceremony held in 1937, the category was officially limited to five nominations per year. One actress has been nominated posthumously, Jeanne Eagels. Since its inception, the award has been given to 76 actresses. Katharine Hepburn has won the most awards in this category, with four Oscars. With 17 nominations, Meryl Streep is the most nominated in this category, resulting in two wins. As of the 2019 ceremony, Olivia Colman is the most recent winner in this category for her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite.

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Carol Wuornos Pralle (; born Aileen Carol Pittman; February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) was an American serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990 by shooting them at point-blank range. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and was executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.

The 2003 film Monster starred Charlize Theron as Wuornos. It chronicles Wuornos' story from childhood until her first murder conviction. The film earned Theron an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs include stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, heart arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, carditis, aortic aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, thromboembolic disease, and venous thrombosis.The underlying mechanisms vary depending on the disease. Coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease involve atherosclerosis. This may be caused by high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes mellitus, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol consumption, among others. High blood pressure is estimated to account for approximately 13% of CVD deaths, while tobacco accounts for 9%, diabetes 6%, lack of exercise 6% and obesity 5%. Rheumatic heart disease may follow untreated strep throat.It is estimated that up to 90% of CVD may be preventable. Prevention of CVD involves improving risk factors through: healthy eating, exercise, avoidance of tobacco smoke and limiting alcohol intake. Treating risk factors, such as high blood pressure, blood lipids and diabetes is also beneficial. Treating people who have strep throat with antibiotics can decrease the risk of rheumatic heart disease. The use of aspirin in people, who are otherwise healthy, is of unclear benefit.Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. This is true in all areas of the world except Africa. Together CVD resulted in 17.9 million deaths (32.1%) in 2015, up from 12.3 million (25.8%) in 1990. Deaths, at a given age, from CVD are more common and have been increasing in much of the developing world, while rates have declined in most of the developed world since the 1970s. Coronary artery disease and stroke account for 80% of CVD deaths in males and 75% of CVD deaths in females. Most cardiovascular disease affects older adults. In the United States 11% of people between 20 and 40 have CVD, while 37% between 40 and 60, 71% of people between 60 and 80, and 85% of people over 80 have CVD. The average age of death from coronary artery disease in the developed world is around 80 while it is around 68 in the developing world. Diagnosis of disease typically occurs seven to ten years earlier in men as compared to women.


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MIT Sloan School of Management

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Pao v. Kleiner Perkins

Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC and DOES 1-20 is a lawsuit filed in 2012 in San Francisco County Superior Court under the law of California by executive Ellen Pao for gender discrimination against her employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Overlapping with a number of condemning studies on the representation of women in venture capital, the case was followed closely by reporters, advocacy groups and Silicon Valley executives. Given the tendency for similar cases to reach settlements out of court, coverage of Pao v. Kleiner Perkins described it as a landmark trial once it began in February 2015. On March 27, 2015 the jury found in favor of Kleiner Perkins on all counts.

RMG Networks

RMG Networks, formerly Symon Communications, is a digital signage company headquartered in Texas. It provides digital signage media hardware, software and services to nearly 72% of the Fortune 100. RMG Networks provides data visualization for a variety of application areas including contact centers, supply chain operations and internal communication to leading industries including financial services, healthcare, hospitality, higher education, government, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, transportation and utilities.

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Startup company

A startup or start up is a company initiated by individual founders or entrepreneurs to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. More specifically, a startup is a newly emerged business venture that aims to develop a viable business model to meet a marketplace need or problem. Founders design startups to effectively develop and validate a scalable business model. Hence, the concepts of startups and entrepreneurship are similar. However, entrepreneurship refers all new businesses, including self-employment and businesses that never intend to grow big or become registered, while startups refer to new businesses that intend to grow beyond the solo founder, have employees, and intend to grow large. Start ups face high uncertainty and do have high rates of failure, but the minority that go on to be successful companies have the potential to become large and influential. Some startups become unicorns, i.e. privately held startup companies valued at over $1 billion.

Tally Technologies

Tally Technologies, Inc. (or simply Tally) is a San Francisco, California-based American financial services company founded by Jason Brown and Jasper Platz in 2015.The company's smartphone app helps its users pay down their credit card debt based on an analysis of their personal financial profiles and a new line of credit it provides with a lower interest rate. The app also manages credit card payments, allowing its users to avoid credit card late fees.Tally earns revenue by charging interest when a user carries a balance. The company does not charge annual, balance transfer, late, prepayment or insufficient funds fees, and generates revenue only when it charges a lower APR than its users' credit cards.

Unicorn (finance)

A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. A decacorn is a word used for those companies over $10 billion, while hectocorn is the appropriate term for such a company valued over $100 billion. According to TechCrunch, there were 279 unicorns as of March 2018. The largest unicorns included Ant Financial, Didi Chuxing, Uber, Airbnb, Stripe, Palantir, and Pinterest. Dropbox is the most recent decacorn that turned into a public company on March 23, 2018.

Women in venture capital

Women in venture capital or VC are investors who provide venture capital funding to startups. Women make up a small (usually less than 10%) fraction of the venture capital private equity workforce. A widely used source for tracking the number of women in venture capital is the Midas List which has been published by Forbes since 2001.

One of the first women to make the list, Annette Campbell-White, has been cited as an example of discrimination in venture capital. She was mentioned in the Midas List for three consecutive years, from 2005-2007. She claimed that a number of firms in the 1980s ignored her senior management experience in Hambrecht & Quist. In addition to finding that women make up the majority of early technology adopters, Harvard Business School Professor Paul Gompers has stated that female venture capitalists consistently perform as well as males at large firms that have more than one woman.Questions about how to increase the number of VC opportunities for women have been brought to the forefront by several events. One of them is a lawsuit by Ellen Pao against her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Another is Elephant in the Valley, a survey aiming to expose discrimination started by several women in business including Tracy Vassallo, a former partner of the same firm. Expressing criticism of existing funds, a number of women since 2007 have begun to start their own.

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