Portfolia and Angel Capital Association
Each of these organizations are angel investor networks. They have educated angels, created a community around angels and have put their money into a variety of companies of every vertical as the communities interests are broad. I met some incredible women and men who want to make an impact with their dollars and that impact is anything from seeing more diversity at the table to being involved in new technologies surrounding the industries that they have deep knowledge in.
I did two fireside chats. One at lunch with Trish Costello, a pioneer in her own right co-founding the Kaufman Fellows Program and overseeing it as CEO back in 1994. The first chat was in a room of women angel investors where we talked about the challenge of women founders getting funded and how to get more women to become investors. People always want to know, are things changing in this area?
Afterward, Trish and I moved into a larger space where we did a different chat for ACA with a room of 85% men. Here we discussed investing in women, diversity and how do we find more women to invest in. Reality is there are a lot of women out there starting companies that are fundable but women network differently and sometimes you have to look a bit harder to find these women.
What I drove home is simple. Women should support women. Men should support women. Supporting diversity comes with making a conscious decision to do so. I do applaud the rising tide of people wanting to create separate funds to just invest in women or minorities even the organizations that are bringing these issues to the front lines. But here is the thing, if you have the capital to invest, then invest with a thesis that supports diversity. If you are disciplined about it, then over time that decision will make an impact. I have been investing in women over a decade and I am seeing the fruits of that decision with many of them rising to the top of their game.
All of this goes under the heading, one vote matters. Making the decision to support what you believe in must be part of your everyday decisions. You can make it with your wallet, you can make it with what you choose to purchase, you can make it with where you eat and what you eat, you can make it with what you choose to support. I applaud the concept of people all getting behind an issue but if we all followed our desire to support women and diversity individually, without a lot of noise, the impact will be very loud.