Women 2.0 profiles women angel investors in our “This Is What An Angel Investor Looks Like” series.
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
Prominent NYC angel investor Joanne Wilson will be meeting with the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” at the Women 2.0 PITCH Conference & Competition on November 14, 2012 in New York City. Deadline to apply to PITCH is August 31, 2012.
Joanne started her career as a buyer at Macy’s and ran a company in the rag trade. She dabbled in a friends’ businesses, spearheaded sales at a magazine/e-zine/events startup in Silicon Alley, chaired a non-profit focused on technology in inner city schools (that she is still involved with), sat on her kids’ school board/exec board for years, sat on a few other profit and non-profit boards -and continues to be involved with startups by investing money and time.
Learn more about Joanne Wilson, her investments and thoughts on entrepreneurship – and angel investing:
Meet Angel Investor Joanne Wilson (Gotham Gal)
How and why did you decide to become an angel investor?
“I started watching new companies begin to emerge in the second generation of the web that we refer to as web 2.0. The convergence of people who grew up with computers and understood how we could use the Internet as a platform to change the way we live. That meant a shift in how we buy, how we consume our news, to how we create communities.”
What investments have you made?
Founder(s): Rachael Chong*
Founder(s): Kellee Khalil*
Founder(s): Britta Riley*
Founder(s): Kelsey Recht*
Founder(s): Amanda Steinberg*
Founder(s): Geoff & Julia Watts*
Company: Little Borrowed Dress
Founder(s): Corie Hardee*
Founder(s): Amanda Hesser* & Merrill Stubbs*
Company: Have to Have
Founder(s): Kimberly Skelton* & Carla Holtze*
Company: Talk Market
Founder(s): Amanda Eilian* & Matt Singer
Founder(s): Ayah Bdeir*
Founder(s): Karen Maio*
Company: Red Stamp
Founder(s): Erin Newkirk*
Founder(s): Craig Kanarick & Sam Murray
Company: Rick’s Picks
Founder(s): Rick Field
Company: How Good
Founder(s): Alexander Gillet
Founder(s): Chris Muscarella
Company: Curbed Media
Founder(s): Lockhart Steele
Founder(s): Michael Keating, Matt Ewing & Daniel Riegel
Company: Edison Jr
Founder(s): James Siminoff
Company: Cacao Prieto
Founder(s): Daniel Preston”
Range of initial investments?
Number of investments a year?
“I tell all the entrepreneurs that I am always available for them. I try to be very hands on from helping them create an advisory board to connections that might help the company to other angels that might be of interest. It can be twice a week or twice a day. I am at their disposal if they want to engage me.”
What are your investment dealbreakers?
“No fire in their eyes. Shitty legal documents. Not getting my pro-rata share going forward in the next round of investments that will take place. Someone who doesn’t understand the landscape and competition. Business models that have already been launched with success. Not a fan of building a better mouse trap.”
What types of companies or industries do you want to invest in?
“I am really interested in many different industries. Change is happening everywhere from consumer products, food related businesses, e-commerce, transportation, energy, education and technology. Although each vertical is different in how they look at their business, there is still a constant thread. It is interesting watching our economy change through the eyes of each of the startups in each area.”
How has your background played (or not) a role in your angel investing?
“I’ve been involved in several startups in different verticals and my role was always involved with growing the business. Being involved with the first web explosion in the 90’s probably is key too.”
One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?
“Spend a lot of time seeing deals before you leap. At the beginning, everything looks amazing. Wait 24 hours.”
One piece of advice to entrepreneurs looking for capital?
“Be succinct, be scrappy and listen.”
“No pain, no gain.”
“I hate garlic.”
Only 15% of angel investors are women. And as this handy infographic on investing in women shows, women investors are far more apt to be directly connected to and able to attract female-led ventures.
A solution to the low rate of women entrepreneurs receiving investment to go big with their ventures would be to increase the pipeline of women angel investors and venture capitalists. You can take classes on angel investing with Golden Seeds or sign up for the Women Investors Now Challenge.
Photo credit (bottom): Jessica Wilson.
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.