Question 1:

How can we ensure that as women entrepreneurs we have the best shot at equal access to the funding sources available and can tap into the growth funding necessary to scale our startups?

Your Conclusions/Recommendations:

  • Create a DIY Guide to CAP Tables
  • Clarify the types of funding out there and that which is best for you - Social Ventures/Social Enterprise
  • Swim in bigger ponds each time
  • Learn the vocabulary of Finance speak
  • At the same time as building your business plan, build your valuation/funding plan - How do you start with Scale in mind?
  • Use TLA to connect and speak with people on your list - Use Profinda
  • Buy Helene Panzarino book - Funding for Dummies

 

Question 2:

At Angel Academe we believe that to help more women "go big" with their ventures, we need more women investing at angel level. Women control nearly half of the net wealth in the UK yet represent a tiny proportion of angel investors and the total amount of money invested.

How do we attract more high net worth women to angel investing?

Your Conclusions/Recommendations:

  • Speak of the problem behind the solution. Publications on strong channels on why funding is cool. Make it fun too - it is serious but it is an opportunity to learn and be part of something unique.
  • Speak to HR departments who are helping people transition and retire - particularly those who have paid out on stock options.
  • Talented Ladies Club Magazine - and articles in wealthy areas that attract women.
  • Find out what the women are reading and advertise in there.
  • Risk is important for women - consider how to incentivise them to invest.
  • Provide more understanding about people/business/transparency and how they will play a role in the business will help them get interested.
  • They may only want to invest in friends/talented coworkers - so how do we frame the opportunity?

 

Question 3:

Not everyone pitching for investment will get it.

What do people need to take into account when considering what type of investment might be most appropriate for their stage of business? And how might they ‘stack the odds’ once they are ready for equity investment?

Your Conclusions/Recommendations:

Consider the following
- what kind of business you are and what you want to achieve
- the cost of money you want to bring into your company
- the likelihood of being able to raise particular forms of funding considering your stage of growth, traction, scalability, level of innovation etc
- what market you are addressing (eg crowd funding tends to work better for B2C propositions)
- what benefits are attached to different funding avenues (eg angels - advice/network, crowd funding - fan base, grants - no equity dilution)
what fixed costs you have or will have (eg would your team work on sweat equity or do they need to cover their living costs)

 

Question 4:

Broadly what thoughts do you have around Funding best practices?

Your Conclusions/Recommendations:

  • Team matters - Their experience, as they are tied to your personal brand.  Get a good team around you with good networks and great experience.
  • Time - Allow enough time to raise all types of funding.
  • Equity vs others - Be prepared to put your own money in first - Get others to invest and commit to joining for 5 years and types of funding
  • Crowd Funding - Takes time, needs effort, not right for everyone. Need good mentoring.
  • Introductions - Not a gender problem its a network issue. Use trusted people to introduce you, so it isnt cold.