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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Burns

Pipeline Angels: The New Face of Angel Investing

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

The New Face of Angel Investing

I am an angel investor. I am a millennial. I am a woman. My pronouns are she and her.

Although I am young and a woman, I deserve to be at the table. Together with my other Pipeline Angel members, I will work hard to make the table more diverse and accessible. I am an ally for my fellow women and non-binary femmes. I will support founders that look like me and those that do not. I will leverage my privilege and be an ally for others that lack access to capital. I will invest my capital to build wealth across traditionally marginalized populations. In my journey to be a better ally and to promote inclusion, I will follow the lead of these marginalized groups as a person of privilege. I look forward to joining my fellow Pipeline Angel members, and building my own networks, in order to deploy capital in a more accessible and inclusive manner that challenges today's status quo.

Pipeline Angels’ Conference

The work Pipeline Angels is doing to change the face of angel investing deserves recognition. Its mission is to teach women and non-binary femmes how to become better angel investors, while simultaneously instilling a culture of nonbias, inclusivity, and accessibility. It challenges the traditional norms of angel investing: from the people who traditionally invest to the entrepreneurs that traditionally receive capital. Its goal is to build a network of female and non-binary femme investors that will create capital for female and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Pipeline Angel members serve as the “friends and family” round for entrepreneurs lacking access to capital at this critical stage.

The 3 day Pipeline Angels’ bootcamp was unlike anything I could have imagined. Within the first 10 minutes of looking around the long U shaped table, I knew that I had joined something very unique. I was now part of a cohort of successful, driven, and wealthy women and non-binary femmes. The group was extremely diverse. The number of folks of color equaled, if not outnumbered, the number of white folks in the room. Never in my life had I been around such a large group of professional women and non-binary femmes, let alone a group solely made up of accredited female and non-binary femme investors.

I have to admit I was intimidated walking into a room full of High Net Worth women. As a 32 year old, I knew I would be on the younger end of my career and investing life. I was also embarrassed to tell my story, especially with so many self-made women of diverse backgrounds in the room. I admitted to the group: I am a white woman of privilege. I didn't earn my wealth. Rather, I inherited it from my father. I am on the early side of a new wave, one in which millennial children will begin to inherit their baby boomer parents’ wealth.

Though I held these insecurities, I also knew I deserved to be at this table. Just like all these other people, I was here to learn how to become an angel investor. Despite my age or experience, I was here to build a network of women and non-binary femmes with a similar mission: to invest our capital in order to create positive change in the world and to help build wealth across traditionally marginalized communities.

My Investing Thesis and Mission Statement

My motivation behind investing is both profit and impact driven. Angel investing will be one small piece of my overall portfolio. While it is risky, the potential for good is extremely high. When capital deployed has a socially responsible focus, it can be an important catalyst to building wealth from the bottom up and creating positive change in the world.

Gender lens investing and environmental sustainability will be the leading themes behind my investment thesis. I will seek support from my built networks of investors and entrepreneurs to keep me accountable. I will use my privilege and my wealth to invest in social entrepreneurs who may lack access to capital via more traditional avenues. I will strive for bravery over perfection.

The face of the investor is reflected in the face of the entrepreneur. By building a diverse network of investors with socially impactful mission driven goals, we can start building wealth across traditionally marginalized communities. We can all become investors one day. We all deserve to sit at the table.

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