Funding Options for Woman Entrepreneurs: An Improving Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Funding

Men have typically dominated the angel investing world. However this is changing as a result of a growing numbers of women entrepreneurs, investors and mentors.

Women Entrepreneur

Kristina Montague, Managing Partner, The Jump Fund

The Jump Fund of Chattanooga, TN recently announced the launch of its’ second fund.

Its’ initial fund raised approximately $2.5M which was invested in 18 companies including Feetz, Partpic, Stony Creek Colors and Torch. With its’ new fund, Jump Fund II, it hopes to raise $5.0 – $7.0M to invest in female led companies with growth potential.

Want to learn about other women led startups?  Check out our Women Entrepreneur’s Spotlight.

The success and growth of the Jump Fund is encouraging; therefore, FundingSage team to take a fresh look at the options for women to obtain funding for their startups.

In our original publication of this article on May 25, 2015, we included seven, (7) angel groups and VCs.  FundingSage is excited to share our list has more than doubled to fifteen, (15) angel groups and VC’s with a focus on investing in women led companies. With the revision of this article we bring five (5) additional investors. Our new additions include BBG Ventures, The Female Founders Fund, the Phenomenelle Angels Fund, Plum Alley and the Women’s Venture Capital Fund.

Following please find our revised list:

    1. 37 Angels
      A New York City based community of women investors committed to funding early stage startups;
    2. Advising Angels
      An Atlanta based group of investors and mentors seeks “passionate, highly intelligent, creative, tenacious women visionaries”;
    3. Astia Angels
      With groups in both New York City and San Francisco, works to provide “unparalleled access to capital and advisory support”;
    4. BBG Ventures
      An AOL backed VC which has a focus on early stage consumer internet and mobile startups requires its’ portfolio companies to have at least one female founder on the team. The organization sprouted out of AOL’s #BUILTBYGIRLS initiative.
    5. Broadway Angels
      Of San Francisco is an all women group who are venture capital partners and senior executives;
    6. The Female Founders Fund
      Touts a portfolio of more than two and a half dozen companies led by female founders. They believe, “Women make better entrepreneurs”.  Their focus areas include e-commerce, web-enabled products and services, marketplaces and platforms.
    7. Golden Seeds
      Has branches in Boston, San Francisco, New York City and Texas which focus on women led start-ups;
    8. Pipeline Angels
      Active in the investment process holding boot camps for new investors and pitch summits for startups at locations across the country. More than twenty companies have received funding from the Pipeline Angels which is currently seeking applications to these programs;
    9. Phenomenelle Angels Fund
      Invests in women and minority owned or managed businesses.  Their sectors of interest include information technology, biotech / life sciences, clean energy, consumer goods and services and communications.
    10. Plum Alley
      Supports the growth and development of “women entrepreneurs and gender balanced teams”. Formed in 2015, they believe diversity of managerial perspectives facilitates the strongest teams and best companies.
    11. Sofia Fund
      Seeks “early stage, growth oriented, gender diverse entrepreneurial companies that have women leaders on the management team who own equity in the business;”
    12. Topstone Angels,
      A Connecticut based female founded and led group, accepts pitch applications from startups and scouts investment opportunities at events from across the United states. They actively encourage female entrepreneurs to apply;
    13. The Jump Fund
      Desires to “propel women as entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in fueling innovation and driving economic growth,” and;
    14. Women’s Venture Capital Fund
      Focuses on digital media and sustainable product and service startup companies. They seek “gender diverse teams” which include leadership from women entrepreneurs, and;
    15. X-Squared Angels
      Is dedicated to supporting businesses that include both men and women in their executive management.

Accelerators Which Focus on Women Led Startups

According to the Center for Venture Research, in 2015, women angels represented 25.3% of the angel market as compared to 21.8% of all angel investors in 2012. This also represents a significant improvement from  2011s’ 12.2%. In addition women-owned ventures accounted for 29.2% of the entrepreneurs seeking investment in 2015. However only  14.4% of those received investment in 2015 according to the center’s annual report on the angel investor market. Despite the increases in women angels and women entrepreneurs seeking angel capital, the percentage of those receiving investment has steadily declined during the last four years.  This latter trend is somewhat bothersome.

The list above and these numbers demonstrate a generally improving ecosystem for the woman entrepreneur. However, significant opportunity for progress continues to exist, especially in terms of female entrepreneurs receiving funding.

FundingSage will continue to review the angel funding investment ecosystem and share additional options as the ecosystem develops further and we identify additional participants.

Are you familiar with other angel groups or VCs from around the world which are led by women and fund women led startups?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them, sharing your comments!

Is Your Startup Investable?  Find Out Now!

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Tony Lettich

Tony Lettich has previous corporate venture capital experience and currently serves as Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable. He is a co-founder of FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.