Halogen Ventures founding partner Jesse Draper was in the midst of planning a private dinner party with Silicon Valley Bank when the financial institution failed on March 9.
Draper’s event, at which she and one of her SVB contacts planned to bring together two dozen first-time female venture investors, was exactly the sort of party that lubricated venture capital’s startup-creation machine, and the kind the bank was famous for helping arrange. SVB served not only as a place for startups and VC firms to keep their money, but also as a creditor, investor, customer, personal financial adviser, recruiter and matchmaker for the people and companies that make up the startup industry. Although signs of trouble had been mounting for a year, SVB’s sudden failure felt like an acute trauma to industry insiders. But maybe the party that the entire industry had been having since Draper was a teenager was also finally waning. “Someone just threw a bomb into tech,” she says. “What are we supposed to do now?”