Alpha Girls: Women Upstarts in Silicon Valley

In her new book, Alpha Girls, award-winning journalist Julian Guthrie tells the unforgettable story of four different women who, through grit and ingenuity, became stars in the cutthroat, high-stakes, male-dominated world of venture capital in Silicon Valley, and helped build some of the foremost companies of our time.

Guthrie takes readers behind the closed doors of venture capital, an industry that transforms economies and shapes how we live. Through their experiences juggling work and family, the featured leaders and others continued to shape the tech landscape we know today while overcoming unequal pay, actual punches, betrayals, and the sexist attitudes prevalent in Silicon Valley and in male-dominated industries everywhere. Despite the setbacks, they would rise again to rewrite the rules for an industry they love, paving the way for the next generation of women along the way.

Join Guthrie for a powerful live conversation featuring Magdalena Yesil, one of the “alpha girls” in the book, and Meaghan Rose, a rising startup founder. The discussion will be led by Will Hearst of Journal of Alta California. They’ll explore the world of tech, startups, venture capital and work culture—and how it has and hasn’t changed.

Alpha Girls: Magdalena Yesil, Sonja Hoel Perkins + Julian Guthrie

Julian Guthrie is an award-winning journalist and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her new book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime, tells the unforgettable story of four women who came to California to try to make it in a world stacked against them.

Magdalena Yesil is a serial entrepreneur and investor of many of the world’s top technology companies, including Salesforce, where she was the first investor and founding board member and served on the board of the company post its IPO.

Sonja Hoel Perkins is the Managing Director of The Perkins Fund, Founder of Broadway Angels, and Founder of Project Glimmer. Considered one of the best performing and most senior professionals in venture capital, she invests broadly in all stages and areas of information technology including Internet, mobile, security, data, communications, consumer and software.

AIWA-SF Gala Keynote: Magdalena Yesil

The Armenian International Women’s Association is a dynamic global 501(c)3 dedicated to empowerment, education and enrichment. Through many projects and initiatives, AIWA is dedicated to inspiring, empowering and connecting Armenian women worldwide.

TurkishWIN (Turkish Women's International Network)

Live Event with Magdalena Yesil at San Francisco on January 23rd.

Advice for Pitching

A first pitch meeting is like a blind date: a little awkward, high stress, and all about landing a second one.

Dreamforce Talk Power Up:

How You Win in the New Economy

Pioneering Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Magdalena Yeşil came to the United States in 1976 with two suitcases and $43, blind to the challenges she would face as a woman and immigrant in Silicon Valley. She is the first investor and founding board member of Salesforce and has served on the company's board from inception to post-IPO. Currently she is on her fourth startup Informed that introduces technology to the auto financing industry to take the pain out of the car dealership experience. Magdalena will share her learnings using anecdotes, both as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. She will discuss topics such as:

  • Owning career choices while managing risk
  • Getting credit for your work
  • Managing sexual dynamics in the workplace
  • Venture capitalists or customers, where to focus when growing a company
  • Recruiting allies in the movement toward a supportive workplace for everyone

California Institute of Integral Studies:

Smart Women in the New Economy A Conversation with Magdalena Yesil

Pioneering Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Magdalena Yesil came to the United States in 1976 with two suitcases and $43, blind to the challenges she would face as a woman and immigrant in Silicon Valley. Today, she is best known as the first investor and a founding board member of Salesforce, the now-multibillion dollar company that ushered in the era of cloud-based computing.

In her new book, Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy, Magdalena urges women to look beyond the alarming gender statistics of the workplace and feel confident entering tech or any field prepared to deal with the challenges. She shares what she experienced as a woman in Silicon Valley with surprising candor and heart, relying not just on her insight but that of more than a dozen top women entrepreneurs to offer pragmatic, incisive, and full of highly actionable advice.

Magdelana is joined by Sara Salazar for a conversation about her life and the lessons she learned breaking glass ceilings to rise to the top in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Computer Chronicles:

Episode 1407

A look at early online shopping options including Amazon, Cybercash,, Net Radio, Verisign and Cybergold. Featured guests are Jeff Bezos, Jerry Kaplan, and Magdalena Yeşil.