In this episode, Silvia Mah introduces a new COVID-19 themed series on the She Invests podcast.
Female investors are stronger together when uncertain times emerge. This is what we have seen during our global pandemic over and over again, female investor colleagues, reactivating, realigning with the most critical mission at hand and reinvesting in this business of investing and supporting transformational innovations that will make our world a better place.
In this new series you'll be inspired through conversations with amazing women who have invested during a pandemic. You will be encouraged by their actions, the checks they write, their passions, the founders they invest in, their thoughts, their strengths, and their advocacy for what is right and just, which is supporting founders that are making this world a better place through innovation and entrepreneurship.
This is a time to help founders. This is the time to really activate our capital to impact the economy.
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Amanda Lettmann, CEO of Kardia Venture, lives a “limitless” life, and believes in the power of paying it forward. As a veteran of the United States Air Force and a successful figure in the tech industry over the past 20 years, she has taken her fascination with finance and thriving businesses into the arena of angel investing.
In this episode, Amanda shares how she got into investing, the importance of supporting coachable female and veteran entrepreneurs, and shares her latest adventure of bringing Women of Impact into the world. She also shares her six tenets of impactful people.
What We Covered
01:05 – Amanda is the first veteran investor on the show. What makes her as a veteran investor and the types of investments she makes unique?
02:15 – The Pay It Forward aspect – Why investing in women or having women on a leadership team is not just a good decision, but is a good business decision
03:42 – What thriving startups are doing right
04:41 – Amanda’s start in angel investing
06:42 – Amanda’s first investments into public markets
07:22 – Making the leap from investing to angel investing; a riskier asset class
08:30 – Delving deep into the thought process of syndication and how to do it
10:50 – Amanda’s thesis for investment criteria
13:15 – Bringing Women of Impact [series] into the world
15:37 – Six Tenets of Impactful People
18:34 – Speaker Series: Kardiavibe; an offshoot of the ESPN radio show
19:45 – What else is Amanda working on?
21:23 – The forefront of tech right now
24:00 – Full-time versus part-time investing
27:05 – What makes San Diego amazing [as a startup eco-system]?
Susan Preston is the General Partner for the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, the Buerk Endowed Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, a Trustee for the Angel Resource Institute, chair of ARI: Women First Enterprises, and on various for-profit and non-profit boards. She is also the author of Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs: Early-stage Funding for Long-term Success. In addition, Susan received her JD, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law and her BS, magna cum laude, in Microbiology and Public Health from Washington State University. Her background with microbiology is the source of her interest in investing in the med-tech area.
In this episode, Susan credits team, technology, and the market as the three pillars of startup success. She encourages beginning entrepreneurs to be confident on their “elevator pitch,” to successfully get an investor’s attention, as well as female angel investors to believe in themselves. To Susan, education and training are vital in investing.
What We Covered
03:28 – How Susan got involved in investing
05:27 – Susan’s first year of angel investing
06:56 – The involvement on female angel investors in Susan’s company
08:49 – How Susan focused on education in her career
10:52 – The role of early stage investors in growing the economy of the United States
12:12 – Why the diversification of your portfolio can help you as an investor
13:41 – The importance of post-investment engagement and what does it really mean
15:52 – How Susan communicates with companies on her expectations
18:48 – Alignment in the angel investment world
19:55 – How an entrepreneur can get an investor’s attention
22:14 – Team, technology, and the market on a company’s success
23:19 – Investing in the med-tech area
26:12 – How Susan’s company run angel investment group workshops
28:33 – Helping university startups get an investment
31:11 – Encouraging female angel investors to write their first check
Oregon-based entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, Julie Harrelson, is the CEO of Harrelson Group and the fund manager of Cascade Angels Fund, in which she co-founded in 2013. Throughout her entrepreneurial career, she has had multiple executive roles in design, technology, and angel investing. She has received many accolades for her hard work and success, including the 2017 Bend Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award and the Oregon 2014 Women of Influence Orchid Award.
She is an active member of the Angel Capital Association, the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator and Metropolitan Family Service, and the Portland State University’s Center for Women’s Leadership Honorary Council. In this episode, Julie explores the topic of philanthropy in entrepreneurship and using collaboration to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.
What We Covered
09:23 – Entrepreneurship in the Oregon
12:04 – How Julie created a fund in Bend, Oregon
14:09 – Fund managers are over 90% men
16:10 – The beginnings of Cascade Angel Fund
18:03 – Julie’s biggest asset from collaboration
22:05 – Persistent effort over time leads to valuable progress
23:41 – The “three-legged stool” for investing in Bend, Oregon
25:00 – Why angel investors are attracted to Bend, Oregon
26:03 – Up and coming industries in Bend, Oregon and Pacific Northwest
28:47 – The importance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem
30:50 – How can angel investors really make a mark on the entrepreneurial ecosystem
32:13 – What Julie looks for as an individual angel investor
34:20 – How to manage your portfolio as an angel investor
35:33 – Fund Five’s investments
39:12 – Being civically engaged as ecosystem builders
Colleen Poynton is the Vice President of Core Innovation Capital where she sources and invests in companies that make financial services more efficient, affordable, accessible, and secure for individuals and businesses.
Prior to her involvement in Core, Colleen worked on the sourcing and selection team at Endeavor Global and helped launch and scale the commercial real-estate startup, IIC, as the first employee. She has a MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.
In this episode, Colleen speaks about her experience with investing and her role in Core Innovation Capital as well as emphasizing the importance of networking in order to become a strong investor.
What We Covered
03:38 – How Colleen got involved with 37 Angels in the beginning
05:50 – Getting an investor’s perspective at an early age
06:37 – What Core Innovation Capital invests in and does
07:36 – How Core Innovation Capital founder, Arjan Schütte’s investment thesis brought Colleen into the world on investing
09:28 – Core’s investment thesis and mission
12:25 – How the members of Core assembled together
14:54 – Challenges in raising an institutional fund
17:28 – What would Colleen tell her younger self
21:00 – Walkthrough of soft due diligence at Core
24:09 – How teams are mentored at Core
27:21 – The importance of being self-aware and receiving feedback
29:46 – What are the typical advice startups receive
32:02 – Follow on investing and helping startups fundraise at the next level
34:12 – Relationships with early stage accelerators
Managing partner and one of the founders of Golden Seeds, Loretta McCarthy, speaks about her passion for supporting female entrepreneurs and women’s role in business. She emphasizes the importance of gender-diversity in the workplace and the benefits it will yield, especially for women-led companies.
Golden Seeds strives to provide support and encouragement for female-led startups and angel investing groups. According to McCarthy, optimism and realism are the two main factors that help startup companies have the confidence and judgement to succeed in the business world.
What We Covered
01:50 – Loretta’s business experience prior to Golden Seeds
03:22 – History and foundation of Golden Seeds
04:41 – Creating an environment for the female entrepreneur
07:52 – Best success of Golden Seeds in supporting the female entrepreneur
08:57 – Investment in gender-diverse companies
10:33 – Research on the advantages of gender-diversity
11:28 – First Round Capital research on women-led companies and return for investors
15:56 – Getting more and more women involved as investors
18:02 – Golden Seeds on figuring out where to open doors for female-led companies
19:48 – What does it take to be an angel investor and debunking myths
22:30 – Golden Seeds training to motivate women
24:03 – Technology’s impact on growing angel network and helping people participate from afar
26:40 – The importance of leadership in angel organizations
28:19 – Synergy between the entrepreneur and the angel investor
30:47 – Criteria for first pitch to Golden Seeds
33:10 – Every startup team needs a ratio of optimism and realism
37:20 – New member orientation at Golden Seeds to learn more about angel investing
40:37 – Global push to recognize the importance of women entrepreneurs
41:25 – Loretta’s favorite angel investing resource is her colleagues
42:30 – Major influence in Loretta’s life is her mother