Informative Forbes article about men investing in women-founded ventures

June 18, 2016 Comments Off on Informative Forbes article about men investing in women-founded ventures

I wish my schedule had permitted me to join my Astia Angels colleagues at this year’s United State of Women (#StateofWomen) event in Washington. Convened by the White House, it brought people from all walks of life together to share ideas about advancing gender equality, a mission that’s very important to me. I’m also a firm believer in using entrepreneurship as a vehicle for making this happen.

Geri Stengel has just written a very informative article on the significant role that male angel investors can play in helping support women-led ventures. This is particularly urgent given that the vast majority of angel and venture investments continue to omit companies founded and/or led by women.

Forbes

 

This gap was a big reason why I joined Astia Angels. I’ve long believed in – and witnessed first-hand – the power of diverse leadership teams. To support our quest to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, we draw on a diverse, far-reaching collection of highly talented investors, each with their own unique background, perspective, and relationships. If you’d like to learn more about Astia Angels including our investment philosophy, portfolio, and even becoming a member, please get in touch: I’m always happy to answer questions.

Seven easy ways to scare off an angel investor

April 22, 2016 Comments Off on Seven easy ways to scare off an angel investor

I’ve been an angel investor for nearly two decades. While the investment climate is highly dynamic, what’s unchanged is that pitching to angels is always a challenge – we’re often skittish and faddish at the same time (just like venture capitalists, by the way).

During the past 20 years, I’ve read and heard more presentations than I can keep track of. There are probably 500 ways to chase away potential investors (and probably 5,000 articles and blog posts about what not to do), but in my experience, here are seven of the most effective ways to guarantee a ‘no’.

  1. Insist that there’s no competition
  2. Ask for nice, even, round numbers – with no logical linkage to your budget or sales projections
  3. Make overly optimistic behavioral assumptions for your customers
  4. Casually describe all of your hobbies and side-projects

  5. Paper over intellectual property and regulatory issues

  6. Point out that you’re building a business to hand down to your children

  7. Counter an investment offer with non-standard terms

I’ll be describing these observations in future posts, so stay tuned if you’d like to learn more.

Excellent infographic showcasing major crowd funding platforms

October 11, 2015 Comments Off on Excellent infographic showcasing major crowd funding platforms

I recently had the pleasure of hosting an angel investing training event for existing, new, and prospective members of Astia Angels as part of our portfolio gathering. We had a fantastic collection of panelists and speakers, including Trish Costello from Portfolia. Trish has very impressive experience in all aspects of angel investing and venture capital, and is now leading Portfolia.

Portfolia is a collaborative investing platform designed for affluent women. It features thematic micro-investing funds enabling women to invest on their terms in companies they believe in. Portfolia’s Rising Tide Fund is a ‘learn-by-investing’ fund that lets women invest $10,000 into between six and nine companies over one year while learning the process of entrepreneurial investing.

Portfolia aims to prepare and focus one million affluent US women investors in five years.  When women green light the companies, teams and products they want to see succeed, we’ll see positive disruption in the marketplace.

As part of her talk to our group, Trish presented a tremendously useful graphic that helped clarify the major players in the highly complex and dynamic world of crowd funding. These platforms are disrupting banking, venture capital, and angel investing, so it’s important to understand the entire landscape. Trish has graciously permitted me to display it here. Click on the thumbnail to view the full image.

crowd funding

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