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How Staci LaToison Is Changing the VC Game for Women Entrepreneurs

How Staci LaToison Is Changing the VC Game for Women Entrepreneurs
Photo Courtesy: Staci LaToison

By: Maria Williams 

When Staci LaToison graduated college as a young, single mom, her career ambitions seemed out of reach. But inspired by a friend’s high-flying executive mom, Staci set her sights on the male-dominated oil and gas industry.

She landed an internship that turned into a 22-year career at Chevron, including overseas posts in China and Angola. “It builds your confidence. I’m overseeing billions of dollars,” she said.

However, Staci wanted more diverse leadership in the industry. In 22 years, she had yet to see a woman of color in a C-suite role until attending an external corporate conference where the keynote speech was given by the Vice President of PepsiCo, who happened to be Puerto Rican like her. “It meant a lot,” Staci said. “I wish that earlier in my career, I knew that was possible.”

The Lack of VC Funding for Women-Led Startups

When Staci attended an executive women’s conference where Serena Williams was the keynote speaker, the stats about venture capital funding for women floored her. Just a dismal 2% of VC funds go to women or underrepresented founders.

“I felt like I needed to do something,” she said. She had the skills to oversee multi-billion-dollar energy projects. Why not bring them to investing?

Staci dove into Columbia Business School’s venture capital and private equity program to upgrade her skills. “It was me tapping into my 17-year-old self who wanted to go to an Ivy League School,” she said.

Soon after, she left her oil and gas career to launch Dream Big Ventures, LLC, making angel investments in women-owned firms. “I invested in a women-owned bank, a women-owned winery, and a wide variety of women-led and diverse-led startups from FinTech, AI, Food and AgTech, HealthTech, FemTech, B2B SaaS, CPG, Cybersecurity, etc,” she said. Her goal: become the first Latina in Texas to raise a VC fund.

Uplifting Women Entrepreneurs

In addition to her VC firm, Staci delivers workshops for corporate clients and government agencies, and her podcast, Her Money Moves, explores inspiring journeys, practical tips, and strategies to empower women and their financial futures. We know that when women are empowered in leadership, that we drive progress in our industries, uplift our communities, and propel the global economy forward. “I interview powerhouse women like the Co-Founder of Angel Investors who managed $150 Billion in transactions, a bestselling author who sold her business for a Billion dollars, two Venture Capitalists who raised $100 million funds, the Creative Director of Augmented Reality at SnapChat and many more,” she said. “You’re hearing from extraordinary women CEOs and influential business leaders who are making an impact,” Staci said. The goal: empower women to dream bigger.

An attendee at Staci’s Los Angeles event said she turned her life around based on Staci’s advice. “I left my job, I’m making 50% more, and I just bought my first home,” the woman said.

“When I hear testimonials like this, it not only touches my heart, but it reaffirms that every day I am truly living out my purpose,” Staci said.

Balancing Business and Family

Work-life balance is tough as a startup founder, but for Staci, family always comes first. She cherishes dropping her daughter off at school each morning. “My schedule revolves around her, unless I’m traveling for work,” she said.

Staci’s commitment to empowering future generations is exemplified by her daughter, who says her Mom is her role model, even dressing up like her on career days at school. Staci actively involves her daughter in women in business awards ceremonies, empowering luncheons, roundtables, and pitch competitions, instilling in her the ethos that “if you see her, you can be her,” encouraging early learning about business, entrepreneurship and investing. “Sofia is learning the ropes to one day become a future CEO.”

How Staci LaToison Is Changing the VC Game for Women Entrepreneurs

Photo Courtesy: Staci LaToison

Keeping Childlike Wonder

Children have a unique way of reminding us of the magic in life,” Staci observed. “As children, we had such a beautiful, creative imagination. As adults, we tend to lose that.”

She wants to recapture innovation and wonder in her business. “Through the investments I’m making, I want to leave a lasting legacy,” she said.

What’s Next for Dream Big Ventures

This drive led Staci to recently launch Dreaming Bigger, a new membership platform. “Whatever your goal is, your dream, we’re going to help you get there and achieve things you never thought possible,” she said.

Drawing from her own remarkable journey—speaking engagements at SXSW, ringing the bell at Nasdaq, White House visits, and NYSE appearances—Staci firmly believes that “anything is possible when you dream bigger.”

Staci is primed to inspire a new generation of women founders. She urges entrepreneurs not to let obstacles like lack of funding stop them from pursuing their dreams.

“Some days it feels like a roller coaster ride,” Staci said of building a business, “but the entrepreneurial journey is fulfilling in ways a corporate career could never match.”

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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