Meet Pipeline Fellowship alumna Jamie-Lynn Despres.
Name: Jamie-Lynn Despres
Title: Senior Art Director, Emerging Experiences
Describe the moment when you decided to become an angel:
When I realized the impact that entrepreneurs are set to make in today’s changing economy, I knew I had to become an angel.
What investments have you made since graduating from the Pipeline Fellowship?
What are your investment deal-breakers?
Authenticity and passion are key traits of an entrepreneur that I hone in on immediately. If I feel that our initial interactions don’t feel natural or genuine, I walk away.
What types of companies do you look to invest in?
Women founded companies that are innovative, tech-based and have a component of social impact are the type of companies I seek to invest in.
What do you look for in an entrepreneur/founding team?
I look for an entrepreneur who is coachable yet grounded in her vision, maintains a wide breadth of knowledge across multiple mediums, and is responsive to market trends in a smart way.
How has your background played a role in your angel investing?
In general, the role of a designer is to solve problems for a multitude of clients that range a gamut of industries through conducting extensive research. The ability to approach the due diligence process in an effective manner stems from that skill set.
One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?
Go with your gut. Always.
One piece of advice to an entrepreneur looking for capital?
Stay strong during the pitch processes and think of anyone as a potential investor or mentor while evolving your business model.
What does impact investing mean to you?
Impact investing often means taking a leap of faith into an emerging market where hard data can be difficult to ascertain.
How would you define a for-profit social venture?
A for-profit social venture applies to any business model that sets out to achieve a social impact through its daily operations, while maintaining a healthy culture for the business and its founders by sustaining a profitable model that nonprofits can sometimes struggle to achieve.
If I get up every day with the optimism that I have the capacity for growth, then that’s success for me.
I feel most at peace with myself and my surroundings at a post-hardcore or punk show, where I am still usually found near the front pushing around a sweaty crowd of fans, screaming along with the lyrics.
This post previously appeared on Pipeline Fellowship.
About the blogger: Pipeline Fellowship has opened a call for applications for its spring 2014 angel investing bootcamps in Chicago, DC, and NYC. Help us change the face of angel investing! Apply by Monday, February 17, 2014: http://pfapply.bizodo.com/f/spring2013