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.
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.
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’.
- Insist that there’s no competition
- Ask for nice, even, round numbers – with no logical linkage to your budget or sales projections
- Make overly optimistic behavioral assumptions for your customers
Casually describe all of your hobbies and side-projects
Paper over intellectual property and regulatory issues
Point out that you’re building a business to hand down to your children
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.
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.
July 11, 2015 Comments Off on Poshly – one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Big Data Companies – is growing
I’ve long been a fan of practical usages of Big Data: applications that aggregate raw information – and lots of it – to address real-world business challenges. I’ve already written about Poshly (disclosure: I’m an investor), and I continue to be impressed with their progress.
Poshly is expanding their team by hiring a lead front-end engineer and deployment specialist, so if you – or someone you know – is interested in joining a winning team in a hot space, I encourage you to check out these opportunities.
February 17, 2015 Comments Off on Fast Company names Poshly one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Big Data
I blogged about Poshly some time ago. One reason that I invested in them was that they’re a great example of employing Big Data to answer real-world questions, rather than just vacuuming up a bunch of information and trying to find a use for it.
Bradley Falk, Poshly’s CTO and co-founder states:
The great thing about beauty and personal care data is discovering how unique everyone is. We can create a portrait of a user in near realtime and discover how the small details can vary so much. We can react to trends, interests and sentiment to create value for both the consumer and the industry while protecting the user’s personal information.
As I’ve watched Poshly’s meteoric growth, I’ve been interested about the approach they would follow to maintain scalability. According to Matthew Drescher, Poshly’s Head of Data Engineering:
We are aggressively utilizing high performance, distributed in-memory computing techniques to vectorize our data, perform in-place analytics, and paint a landscape of insights for our customers to enjoy.
With the quality of data Poshly gathers, it is possible to take a very geometric approach to generating insights. It’s less like scraping through a haystack in search for a diamond than it is trying to realize the maximum realistic photo resolution.
If you’re interested in all things Big Data, stay tuned for a series of blog posts I’ll be writing on critical algorithms that should be part of your toolkit.
March 9, 2014 Comments Off on I’m hosting a prospective member virtual event for Astia Angels on March 24
How often do you get the chance to do the right thing, make great connections, and profit from the experience – all at the same time?
Astia Angels, launched in early 2013, is an international network of male and female accredited investors that puts capital to work in women-led, high-growth ventures. All Astia Angels members are highly involved throughout the investment process and make independent investment decisions. Astia Angels holds regular in-person pitch meetings in Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston and in London in 2015. Astia Angels also participate on virtual presentations and national phone calls. Astia Angels is a program of Astia.
Members of Astia Angels:
- Get early exposure to community-screened, high potential companies
- Participate in an organized process that ensures the wise and effective use of their time
- Profit from Astia’s proven, proprietary process that produces high-quality deal flow
- Engage in post-investment programs that contribute to the success of the portfolio companies
- Network with the Global Astia Community, including invitation-only events and programs
- Join a growing movement to increase the funding for women-led, high-growth companies
Want to learn more? Sign up for the Astia Angels virtual meeting that we’re holding on March 24 at 4 pm PT, 7 pm ET.