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Women in vc & b7 Work Out with ICW

Updated: Feb 16

Women in VC alongside Portal Innovations

Earlier this month, ICW hosted Women in VC alongside Portal Innovations for a group workout, discussion, and an evening of fun! After the event, Savin Hill Site Director Ian Kilpatrick caught up with Marian Nakada of Breaking 7% to discuss the importance of these kinds of events.

Ian: Tell me about "Women in VC" - why the group was formed, who it's made of, what you do together?

Marian: Breaking 7% was created in Boston ~10 years ago as a grassroots effort to give women in VC an opportunity to network and build deeper relationships. It has grown recently to include women in BD roles. We share "asks'' at each event to increase our deal flow & partnerships, advance talent development and share information access within the network. At the time the group was formed there were only 7% women in partner roles in the VC industry - thus our name Breaking 7% or B7. The group now has monthly events and has spread to NYC and San Fran.

Group weight training at ICW gym

Ian: How did this event come to be?

Marian: Sarah Reed and I had wanted to expose women in VC (B7) to ICW for a while - and after attending a Portal Innovations / ICW event I realized that hosting at [the Savin Hill location] would be a great opportunity for the B7 group to 1) see a new exciting location 2) see and workout at the gorgeous gym that ICW manages and learn about their mission 3) hear more about Portal Innovations 4) network on the gorgeous roof deck. We pulled it all together and believe that the multiple value propositions for people to attend led to its success.

ICW coach working with client

Ian: Why do you think collaborations like this are important?

Marian: There are so many opportunities for philanthropy - some of them involve time, some money - ICW is unique in that it involves both - but also is about relationships about personal change and mindset about race and racial inequities. Being able to share ICW and what it does to my professional VC network was an opportunity I had to make happen because I wanted them to see what I see in ICW and spread the word!

Ian: At ICW we often talk about the 2-way impact of our model - could you speak to the impact of this event on Women in VC and the impact on ICW from your perspective?

Marian: Hoping that the ICW team had an opportunity to meet and network with women in VC and share their excitement about the organization. Hope they realize that the attendees valued the opportunity to make the trek to [the Savin Hill location] and spend time learning more about the organization. Hoping that some will train or encourage their firms to host corporate trainings. I know that they benefited from understanding how the ICW model works in a unique way to address the problem of systemic incarceration and racial bias.

Two women working out together

Ian and Marian are working on new ways for Breaking 7% and ICW to collaborate in the future. If you or your organization would like to get involved with InnerCity Weightlifting for a group workout or another innovative group outing please contact!

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