Eve Burton, chairwoman at HearstLab, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Powerlist 2024: Eve Burton

Eve Burton, the chairwoman of HearstLab, the corporate venture capital accelerator of US-based media and business services corporation Hearst, sees herself as more than a corporate investor.

“I see my job as more than just being an investor. I am an advocate for women in business and building HearstLab has been a scalable and sustainable way to do that,” says Burton.

“When I first learned that only 2% of VC goes to women founders, I thought we must do better. So, as part of a 137-year-old global, diversified information, services and media company, I believe Hearst could be the perfect partner to amplify the voices of female entrepreneurs,” she says.

Burton believes empowering women founders will ensure that more unique products and services will make it to market. “At HearstLab, we believe that women who have access to and control of capital will lead to good things happening at a global scale,” she says.

Founded in 2016, the accelerator invests in women-led startups focusing primarily on B2B enterprise technology, data analytics, media, healthcare, finance and transportation sectors. HearstLab has more than 70 companies in its portfolio, including GlossGenius, a series C company on Fast Co’s most innovative companies in retail; Wellthy, which recently closed a series B round; and Highlight, a company on Inc’s Top 250 Female Founders list and which recently closed a series A.

Burton says that HearstLab’s hands- on approach to startup collaboration has ensured the continual financial success of its portfolio companies. “HearstLab is a unique ecosystem. Beyond just a cash investment, our team acts as an extension of our startups to provide support ranging from business
and technology development to sales assistance and legal help, to fundraising,” she says.

“We also have a community of 200 women executives from across Hearst’s global ecosystem that volunteer their time to scout for companies and advise our startups once we have invested,” Burton says.

“Beyond just a cash investment, our team acts as an extension of our startups to provide support ranging from business and technology development to sales assistance and legal help, to fundraising”

A number of HearstLab’s portfolio companies have hit major business milestones this year.

“It has been a highlight of the year seeing some of our portfolio companies starting to have interesting exit opportunities, as well as land strategic commercial deals across and beyond the Hearst ecosystem,” says Burton.

HearstLab typically invests in North American startups, but Burton says the unit is looking to expand internationally. “This past year, we have seen the appetite from our international counterparts to expand our mission outside the US. Accelerating our growth not only in the US but internationally has been one of our successes of the year,” says Burton.

The accelerator has approximately 10 full-time staff members, alongside the 200 scout members who are full-time employees for Hearst. In addition, all the CEOs of the Lab portfolio companies are women. These companies have been chosen from more than 9,000 companies since HearstLab began.

Burton says that HearstLab’s unique culture and exciting mission have led to its high employee retention rates. “Everything we do is tied to Hearst’s strong mission. We try to treat HearstLab as a startup that is an exciting place to work because you are doing something different every day, while working to close the VC gap for women founders. This creates a lot of energy and commitment for the team,” she says.

Burton joined Hearst more than 20 years ago, and co-founded HearstLab in 2016. She secured the firm’s first $250,000 investment nearly eight years ago. Since then, HearstLab has deployed more than $85m.

Burton is a First Amendment lawyer by background, focusing on protecting freedom of the press. Her career has spanned working for the New York Daily News, as well as serving as chief counsel at CNN. Today she serves as an executive vice president and the chief legal officer of Hearst, as well as being a member of Hearst’s board of directors.

She attended Columbia Law School and completed her Fulbright scholarship at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.