A Resource Guide for Women Angel Investors

Programs and Networks to Consider Before Making Your First Investment

Mackenzie Burnett, founder of Redspread, recently compiled a list of women angels and early-stage investors. My goal is to get more names on that list.

It may look like a big group, but according to this report The University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research estimated that women angels represented only 19.4% of the angel market in 2013. This number is on the rise, but I'd like to see this figure grow even more in the next few years, and I am determined to contribute my energy to making it happen.

I wrote this guide for aspiring women angel investors. It is a list of strategies, organizations, and resources culled from countless conversations with investor friends and colleagues I've worked with through Springboard over the last eight years. I hope the resources here are helpful for you.

Confirm You Meet the Requirements

Yes, first things first.

To be an angel investor you need to meet the criteria set by the SEC to be an "accredited investor". In short, you must have $1M in net worth excluding your primary residence or make >$200K/yr (or >$300K/yr jointly with partner) for at least the last two years.

Some good news: new legislation is expected to go into effect on May 27 which will allow individuals that make under $200K to invest a certain percentage of their salary in private companies. If that applies to you, it's not too early to start thinking about how you can dip your toe into the angel investing world.

But either way investing is about far more than just meeting the criteria. You need to make sure you are comfortable with the high risk nature of early-stage investing.

Doing some soul searching about why you want to invest, what kinds of companies you want to invest in, and what level of risk and diversification you are comfortable with will not only help set proper expectations for yourself but also provide a lens to assess which angel groups or training programs offer the right fit.

Join an Angel Network

After only a little time in the startup world, you learn that nothing is more important than the strength and quality of your relationships. The angel investing world is no different.

Angel networks will give you exposure to deals and experienced investors. You also benefit from the group's process to assess and conduct due diligence on potential investments. It brings a degree of science to the art of investing.

Below are some groups you might consider. As you do, ask yourself a few questions.

What is the process for evaluating investment opportunities?

What is the expected commitment of members?

Is their a fee?

What industries do they invest in?

What kind of time commitment should I expect?

Who are the other members and what are their professional backgrounds?

What opportunities are there for new angels to learn from experienced members?

Angel Networks:

"In addition to gathering industry experts and individuals who can provide access to people and resources that you will need, I often urge women investors to form or find a group of women, specifically, with whom their values align."

- Ingrid Vanderveldt, EBW2020 (Source)

Take Part in an Angel Training Program

Springboard's founder Amy Millman always tells our entrepreneurs "Entrepreneurship is not a spectator sport." Neither is investing.

There are many training programs available to aspiring angel investors: online and offline, experiential and academic. Several even have angel networks made up of alumnae of their programs.

Take a look at the following programs as a way to learn about angel investing best practices:

Get Involved in an Accelerator

Participating in an accelerator program allows you to parachute into a network of experts with a passion and interest in supporting early-stage companies.

Accelerators with a market focus on women-led companies:

Accelerators that demonstrate an appreciation for diversity of thought:

Other Accelerators:

Learn from Experienced Investors

Get Press & Speaking Opportunities

Join Sarah Kunst's distribution list here: Investor speaking and press opportunities

Connect with Other Female Investors


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