When it comes to starting and growing a company, there’s one thing that — for most companies — means life or death.

Venture capital.

Sure, bootstrapping combined with scrappiness can lead to profitability (heck, that’s what we’ve done here at The Hustle), but bootstrapping isn’t always an option.

And for those who want to, raising money can be a brutal process.

You’ve gotta have an in-depth slide deck, dozens of industry stats, proof of a sustainable and scalable business model, and answers to questions you haven’t yet considered.

Given how difficult the process is, it’s shocking to me that $85 billion in VC funding was distributed last year.

And here’s a fact that’s even more shocking: of that $85 billion, only 2% of it went to an all-female founding team.

So when you hear that a pair of female founders scrounged up tens of millions of dollars in funding, you gotta ask… how did they pull it off?

That’s the question I posed to Alex Friedman and Jordana Kier, the founders of LOLA.

LOLA is a subscription startup that delivers feminine care products to women across the United States. And yes, by “feminine care products”, we mean tampons.

Suffice to say that period products are a taboo topic in most industries. But let’s dig a bit deeper.

Fewer than 9% of decision makers at VC firms are women.

So that means that when Alex and Jordana wanted to raise VC money for their company, they were facing a group of mostly male VCs.

They weren’t just up against horrible odds with a product that makes some people uncomfortable… these founders had to explain how their product works.

I’ll give you a second to picture that conversation in your head.

But — and this is the most shocking part of this story — they succeeded.

Alex and Jordana have raised over $35m to fund LOLA’s domination of the feminine hygiene subscription market.

And at Hustle Con East this December, Alex will host a breakout session explaining her fundraising tactics.

Hustle Con East is a one-day conference where founders of fast-growing, innovative startups share their stories, tactics, and tips on starting and growing a company.

And if founders who are going against the odds, with a product that their investors cannot identify with are able to bring in over $35m in funding… imagine what they can teach you!

Interested? Then check out Hustle Con East on December 6, 2018 in New York City.