Andrew Mitchell is the founder and managing partner at Brand Foundry Ventures, a consumer venture capital firm with a stake in LOLA, the maker of a 100% cotton tampon. A male venture capitalist investing in the most taboo subject for an entirely female market--makes Andrew a unicorn in the industry and a venture capitalist worth asking for insights on funding, market size and yes, investing in women.

What's the biggest mistake startups make when they start fundraising?

Investors are strategic capital! Starting with that premise, I can't stress enough, how important it is for startup founders to do their homework on venture capital firms as well as individual partners at those firms and their investment activity in the startup's space. Most entrepreneurs spend too much time trying to woo a top tier fund only to fall short (because they failed to thoroughly do their research before they took the meeting). And here's another reason for startups to do their due diligence: the Internet has exposed deal flow. There is no proprietary deal flow for VC funds anymore. All we have got going for us is the work we've done, how we've treated the founders we've invested in (or met with) and our social currency as good and resourceful human beings.

Your thoughts on investors who don't "get" a startup product, service or market?

My general rule is if someone doesn't get it right away, then they never will. Trying to convince someone will be a fool's error 90% of the time. I think most professional seed investors know in the first meeting if they would pursue this deal or not.

As it relates to market size, it's a great question and one often asked, especially when it comes to the "female" market. Entrepreneurs are building new products that today's customer actually cares about, and they are doing it quicker and providing an experience unmatched by Fortune 500 companies. They are essentially the research and development labs for those Fortune 500 companies. So the exit play is not to IPO but to be acquired. For a startup that might mean a $100 to $250 million dollar exit, rather than a billion dollar exit. For a firm like mine that is ok. Startups building a brand often have real business models, where cash flow can be used to help grow the business (and not just VC money) and this is a good business model for startups in the consumer sector.

You've invested in LOLA. When it comes to the female feminine products market, why is there so much innovation happening? What are some of the reasons for the interest on the part of VCs?

It's part of a larger consumer trend. More and more people are starting to pay attention to the ingredients being used in everyday products, so it's no surprise women have started to question the feminine care market, which has historically provided very little transparency into the ingredients in its products. And we're confident that awareness and education around the ingredients in traditional feminine care products will impact women's buying behavior for the long-term. LOLA saw an opportunity to address modern women's preferences from a product, convenience, and brand voice perspective. Our decision to invest in LOLA stemmed from our confidence that LOLA's brand proposition was highly innovative and would be a huge game-changer for women. We saw an opportunity to disrupt the $15 billion feminine care market and thought that the straightforward and relatable brand voice would resonate well with potential customers, which it has.