Calling All Angels: How Women Can Close the Angel Investment Gap

Sponsored by Pipeline Fellowship.

You’re familiar with the gender pay gap. But have you heard? There’s an angel gap, too.

Angel investing, that is.

Angel investors are individuals that provide startup capital to entrepreneurs, often taking a personal interest the business’ success. But despite women now controlling over 51% of the wealth in the United States, the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research has reported that only 19% of angel investors in the U.S. in 2013 were women.

How can we close that gap? By challenging ourselves and other women to step up and invest! But why should this matter?

Why Close the Gap?

According to MIT, about half of all small businesses in the U.S. are founded by women, but in the tech industry only 7% of the startups that attract VC funding are led by female founders.

While women entrepreneurs have a tougher time connecting with venture capital, closing the angel investment gap can help close the funding gap faced by female founders. Geri Stengel of ForbesWoman writes “Women are not only more likely than men to invest in women-led companies, some will sit on the boards of the companies they invest in, according to the Kauffman (Institute).” 

As school counselor and property manager-turned-angel investor, Karen Bairley Kruger observes, “Women are hugely underrepresented in all sectors of business – from entrepreneurs to CEOs to board membership.” This is why bringing more women to the table as investors is critical.

It’s a high-risk way to invest, and a high-reward one. Research sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation found that angel investors reap, on average, a return of 2.6 times their investment within 3.5 years. They’re often driven not just by the pursuit of profit, but also by the satisfaction of having a personal connection to the success of a fledgling business. And according to a white paper by Illuminate Ventures, venture-backed high tech companies led by women are good custodians of the funding they receive. They use their capital more efficiently and make higher annual revenues than those led by male counterparts. 

One woman who is out to close these gaps is Natalia Oberti Noguera. She is founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an organization that teaches women how to get started as angel investors, and connects women entrepreneurs to capital. It’s a powerful win-win. “We’re changing the face of angel investing,” she says.

Pipeline Fellowship graduates in New York City in 2013.
Pipeline Fellowship graduates in NEW York City in 2013.

Pipeline Fellowship’s bootcamp for aspiring angel investors takes place two days per month over six months and mixes up education and mentoring with hands-on practice. Midway through the program, investors-in-training attend a Shark Tank-like forum where women entrepreneurs pitch their business plans. Bootcamp participants select one company to invest in, each pitching in $5,000. This way, they experience more than just training: It is hands-on investing. “At the end of the program, women have learned the ropes of angel investing and they have actually made their first investment, ” observes Karen Bairley Kruger, who is a Pipeline Fellowship alumna. “They have skin in the game,” adds Oberti Noguera.

Calling all Angels

So who’s the ideal angel investor?

Becoming an angel investor can be a logical next step up for women who have built successful careers. As Oberti Noguera suggests, it is a chance to “Sit at the bigger kids’ table.”

According to Deanna Kosaraju, founder and CEO of Global Tech Women, becoming an angel investor is a “next stage of empowerment” for women who have successfully navigated industries such as high tech. “These change-makers have already proven they can defy the odds and succeed in male-dominated corporate cultures.” Kosaraju would urge them to use that knowledge to mentor an upcoming generation of women on how to traverse similar challenges. “Women entrepreneurs need more than just funding,’ she added. “They need access to role-models and mentors, and female angel investors can make the difference.”

Applicants for the Pipeline Fellowship’s boot camp must meet the SEC’s definition of an accredited investor, namely having net worth of US$1million or annual income of US$200K personally (or US$300 jointly with a spouse) for at least two years. The organization is growing rapidly, bringing boot camps to women in Austin, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, and the Bay Area this fall.

“When I realized the impact that entrepreneurs are set to make in today’s changing economy, I knew I had to become an angel,” said user experience designer and creative director Jamie-Lynn Despres, a Pipeline Fellowship alumna. As an investor, Despres is drawn to women-founded tech companies that combine innovation with social impact.

So ladies, it’s time to step up, and if you’re been successful in your career and have the means, consider shouldering some risk. Become an angel investor.

Pipeline Fellowship has opened a call for applications for aspiring angel investors to attend its fall boot camps. Applications close August 31.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage
Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage

More and more companies want to lessen gender bias in the workplace, but I contend

Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps
Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps

Ask a woman to name her signature strengths and she’ll often squirm in her chair,

Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…
Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…

Find your voice. Get comfortable with power. Lift others up. —Jo Miller

It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition
It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition

I have a question for you. What kind of impact could you make as a

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Are you looking for motivation to help you take charge of your career trajectory?? Here

Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.
Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.

When most of us think back to an agonizing mistake, the last thing we want

6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility
6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility

I recently attended a conference in London hosted by a very reputable organization featuring speakers

Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.
Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.

“Unapologetically unleash your potential. Don’t wait for permission and validation to lead.” — Dr. Cindy

How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)
How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)

Even the most confident communicators can fumble when fielding unpredictable questions in front of an

7 New Rules of Teamwork
7 New Rules of Teamwork

Have you ever been on a team project where you didn’t make much of a

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly