Did you know that, according to the Center for Venture Research, in 2014, only 26 percent of U.S. angel investors were women? While that number increased from 19 percent in 2013, it’s still low. At Pipeline Fellowship, we’re working to do our part in increasing that statistic every year by engaging more women as angel investors. Pipeline Fellowship is an angel investing boot camp for women and we're proud to have activated more than 100 angels since launching in April 2011.
I’m thrilled to spotlight Pipeline Fellowship’s “This Is What an Angel Looks Like” interview series with the DailyWorth community and share my conversations with powerhouse women each month. In this series, alumnae of our program discuss what inspired them to become angel investors, and provide advice for entrepreneurs looking for funding as well as angels-in-training (or sharks-in-training, for those of you who watch Shark Tank).
This month, I’m sharing our interview with alumna Kelly Keenan Trumpbour. Kelly, the founder of See Jane Invest, is based in Baltimore and sits on the board of directors of the investing group Baltimore Angels. She makes a point of investing solely in women-led companies, and was recently featured in The Baltimore Sun as the only person in the local angel and venture capitalist ecosystem who follows that strategy.
Without further ado, meet Pipeline Fellowship alumna Kelly Keenan Trumpbour:
Full name: Kelly Keenan Trumpbour
Affiliation: See Jane Invest
Twitter handle: @kktrumpbour
Describe the moment when you decided to become an angel.
When a friend was creating a startup, I asked her how I could help. She told me she was looking for angel investors, so I decided to learn what that entailed.
What investments have you made since graduating from Pipeline Fellowship?
Via Pipeline Fellowship, I invested in Hip Chick Farms [a line of organic, “transparently sourced” frozen poultry products, founded by Serafina Palandech and Jen Johnson].
I have also invested in DailyWorth [founded by Amanda Steinberg], Allovue [an education planning software company founded by Jess Gartner], which was a follow-on investment, and GoldBean [a website and tool for beginner investors founded by Jane Barratt].
How many investments do you make per year?
One to three.
What are your investment deal-breakers?
The company has to be female founded and run, the need for the product or service has to resonate with me, and I have to see a reality check from team leaders about meeting and overcoming obstacles.
What types of companies do you look to invest in?
Women-owned companies that have a chance at making a significant impact on how consumers or entire markets approach a common task or problem.
What do you look for in an entrepreneur or founding team?
I look for scrappiness, tenacity, confidence backed by results, compassion for employees and customers, and a willingness to take on big, ineffective systems.
How has your background played a role in your angel investing?
I used to train women to run for public office and help them raise campaign funds, which has so many parallels to women deciding to run companies and raise angel investment.
One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?
If you run into any metric or approach that feels dense and overwhelming at first, trust that being in the process itself will help it sink in and become intuitive.
One piece of advice to an entrepreneur looking for capital?
Potential investors are an entirely different audience than potential consumers, and will expect very different information.
How would you define a for-profit social venture?
It seeks to change habits at the consumer, market, or policy level by modeling scalable demand for products and services that can impact society in a positive way.
“Look closely at the present you are constructing: It should look like the future you are dreaming.” — Alice Walker
I became the first female captain of my high school's men's fencing team.
Help us change the face of angel investing! Pipeline Fellowship has opened a call for applications for its spring 2016 angel investing boot camps in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Houston, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. To apply, click here.
Natalia Oberti Noguera is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.