In a prior Inc.com post, I listed numerous resources for entrepreneurs seeking female investors--from twitter handles to networking groups and blogs. The post resulted in many shares plus numerous follow-on emails detailing efforts from around the globe to bring more women to the early investing table. This is definitely a situation where "we're doing that too" is a welcome indicator of future change in the funding prospects for women entrepreneurs.
As a follow-on to "Seeking A Female Investor? Start By Doing Your Research." here are additional resources you should be aware of whether you're a future angel investor or tenacious entrepreneur:
Scale Investors (Melbourne, Australia)
The percentage of women early-stage investors in Australia (angel and VC) looks like the U.S. did about a decade ago (only 4%). Scale Investors stepped in to change that in 2013, believing that part of the solution to increase the number of female-led businesses receiving funding is to increase the number of women as investors. The members of scale are: non executive directors, senior corporate executives, entrepreneurs who wish to diversify their focus, experienced angel investors seeking diversity of opinion, and family offices. Collectively this angel group has invested $3 million in six female-led, globally focused businesses in the last two years. Beyond the next investment, Scale is now raising a fund.
Angel Academe (London, England)
Angel Academe is an award-winning angel network with a unique value-proposition: most (but not all) of the network's angel investors are women and they back ambitious tech startups with at least one woman on the founding team. Like Scale, Angel Academe launched in 2013 seeking to create a new generation of female investors. Angel Academe was inspired by organizations such as Astia, Golden Seeds and Pipeline Fellowship, believing that to help more women go big with their ventures Angel Academe needed to increase the number of women investors. Angel Academe made 8 investments in 2015.
Monarq (New York City)
Monarq is on a mission to connect women both online via their Monarq app and in person via Monarq events. Every month the Monarq team hosts #MonarqMoguls events (breakfast or dinner) for twenty women founders in all stages of entrepreneurship, featuring an investor passionate about funding and promoting women led startups. Their March 2016 #MonarqMoguls dinner featured Cathie Black, a member of Golden Seeds.
SheWorx100 (New York City)
SheWorx hosts weekly--yes, weekly--breakfast sessions. Every SheWorx discussion is focused on a specific topic with the aim of arming attendees with tangible strategies to apply directly to their own companies. Examples of SheWorx discussion topics include:
- Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll/Former CEO of SquareSpace on building sustainable company culture
- Gillian Munson, CFO of XO Group Inc., on using numbers to tell the best story of your company
- Mackenzie Barth, CEO of Spoon University on preparing your team for 10x growth
Le[a]dBetter (Perkins Coie)
Le[a]dBetter is an initiative of law firm Perkins Coie, supporting startups that have women in senior executive roles. Beyond offering discounted legal services, participants in the Le[a]dBetter program have access to educational seminars developed to help women executives to further enhance their leadership and business skills; and on-going opportunities to network with other business leaders.
From Angel Academe, some advice on how to avoid the four common mistakes when seeking out a female investor:
- Get an introduction. Most investors overwhelmed with deal flow and email that cold approaches are often overlooked (that's a polite way of saying, ignored). Opportunities that come via a trusted referer (preferably an investor themselves) are the opportunities investors pay attention to.
- Your pitch deck is your currency. Investors don't have time to individually meet the 600-800 entrepreneurs who pitch them each year. That's why they ask to see an investor deck first. This is frequently how investors share information between themselves, so ensure your deck is self-explanatory and not excessively long.
- No dumb money. If you just want women investors to make your cap table look better, then you're wasting your time...and the time of investor networks such as Angel Academe and Scale Investors. These networks, like 37 Angels want to know why they'd be valuable to you.
- Show them you did your research. Angel Academe invests in women-led businesses addressing big and interesting problems with a scalable technology solution that will deliver good ROI. A woman-lead business isn't necessarily operating in typically feminine areas....