For all the entrepreneurs out there, you know how hard it can be to get your project off the ground. And unfortunately, for us ladies we can run into some extra difficulties, especially when it comes to getting funded. Magazines like Fortune and Forbes say that only 6% of all capital firms are women, and less than 10% of all venture capital funding goes to female-led businesses, and this statistic is on the high end.
So what to do?
Fortunately, there are a number of firms that focus on supporting women in angel investing and venture capital. Many of them give funding only to female-led teams. Also, there are also lots of resources online aimed to equip women with the tools to turn their dreams into solid pitches, get out there and get money.
Here is a list of 30 angel groups and venture capital firms that support women:
1. Valor Ventures, Atlanta
I’m not just being biased because I live here! Atlanta ranks in the top three metropolitan areas for growth in the number of women-owned businesses. Valor provides venture capital for SaaS startups and their motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to be a part of inventing it”.
Highlighted content you should check out: 10 Growing Trends in Venture Capital for 2016
2. Golden Seeds
This is one of the nation’s largest, most active early-stage angel investment firms that focus on women leaders. They’ve already raised more than $70 million for about 65 companies.
Highlighted content you should check out: Why the Next Steve Jobs Will Be a Woman
3. Pipeline Angels
Here we have a network of new and seasoned women investors who are changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. They’ve invested over 2 million dollars in more than 30 women-led ventures. I was so fortunate to be a 2016 Pipeline Fellow, so have first hand interaction with the organization.
Highlighted content you should check out: Tipping The Scales: Women Angel Investing Reaches All-Time High
4. Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
This is an international business plan competition that focuses on identifying, supporting, and encouraging projects by women entrepreneurs. Finalists are chosen from regions all around the world and one Laureate receives a comprehensive support package of $100,000 and a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Program.
Highlighted content you should check out: The Skill of Asking Questions for Customer Interviewing
This is a fantastic resource to help make your startup more investable. It’s got tons of great articles and the Turbo Funder, which can help you get organized and find the tools to build and fund your new business.
Highlighted content you should check out: Funding A Startup: 6 Items the Entrepreneur Should Consider Addressing Immediately When Launching
6. Built By Girls Ventures
BBG Ventures is an early stage fund focused on consumer internet and mobile startups with at least one female founder. They’re backing the new wave of entrepreneurs who are reimagining daily life, making our work, play and home lives simpler, better—and more satisfying.
Highlighted content you should check out: Black female founder raises $7 million for renewable energy tech startup
7. BELLE Capital USA
This is another early stage angel fund that focuses on building great companies in underserved capital markets across the USA. They’re looking for companies with at least one female founder or C-level exec, and are capital efficient with a unique product or service filling an urgent market need in the IT, Digital Health and CleanTech markets.
Highlighted content you should check out: Lessons from a startup that got away
8. Female Founders Fund
Female Founders Fund has a great mission statement: “An early-stage fund investing in the exponential power of exceptional female talent.” They focus on areas where women-led startups have an incredible impact: e-commerce, we-enabled products and services, marketplaces and platforms.
Highlighted content you should check out: A LinkedIn Just For Women
9. The Womens’ Venture Capital Fund
This fund capitalizes on the expanding pipeline of women entrepreneurs leading gender diverse teams and creating capital efficient, high growth companies in digital media and sustainable products and services. They believe that this unique investment strategy now provides the potential for extraordinary returns.
Highlighted content you should check out: Women are changing the face of venture capital. Here’s how—and why it matters
10. Forerunner Ventures
This firm is dedicated to investing in ambitious entrepreneurs to define and dominate a new generation of commerce. Forerunner provides digital commerce expertise, strong insights into industry trends, strong ties with strategic partners and a hands-on approach with entrepreneurs.
Highlighted content you should check out: With $11M VC Funding, Women Behind Cult Luggage Brand Away Open Stores, Go Into Travel Accessories
11. Illuminate Ventures
Illuminate is all about finding, funding and accelerating great founders in the B2B/Enterprise cloud and mobile computing space. They focus on companies building SaaS applications as well as solutions that leverage data and mobility to improve business results. They’re looking for innovative ideas led by talented teams.
Highlighted content you should check out: Top VCs Share the Secrets of Getting Funded
12. Springboard Enterprises
Led by women, Springboard is a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influences who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies. They can help qualify, advise, showcase and support your business in seeking capital or in a partnership for product development and expansion.
Highlighted content you should check out: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: 3 Self-Care Tips While Building Your Business
13. 37 Angels
37 Angels is a community of women who help to educate early stage investors. Their goal is to provide value to the start-up ecosystem above and beyond just investment dollars and their website has useful tools and resources to improve your pitches and get investment capital.
Highlighted content you should check out: Venture Hacks
14. 500 Women
Powered by @500Startups, 500 women gets funding for female founders. They’ve already invested in over 100 women-founded companies like TaskRabbit. In the next 12 months they plan to invest $1M to 10 companies that have women founders.
Highlighted content you should check out: Founder Case Studies
15. Angel Academe
Award-winning angel network that specializes in supporting ambitious tech startups with at least one female member on the founding team. They know that diverse investor and startup teams make better decisions and are more capital efficient, therefore giving a better return on investment. They welcome both experienced and budding angel investors.
Highlighted content you should check out: Choosing a VC
16. Aspect Ventures
Helping you bridge the gap between your seed and later stage venture so your great idea can become a great company. They’ve worked with companies like Trulia and The Real Real. Also, at the beginning of this year, Aspect’s Lauren Kolodny made Forbes’ list of 30 under 30.
Highlighted content you should check out: What VCs Want in 2016
17. Catalytic Women
This women-focused company offers education, tools and training to donors, investors and advisors. They focus on startups, venture philanthropy and social enterprises. There are tons of useful articles on investing and raising capital here.
Highlighted content you should check out: An Interview with Roxanne Varza, Microsoft Ventures Europe & co-founder of Girls in Tech
18. Global Invest Her
Another awesome resource for women entrepreneurs to become investor-ready and to get funded faster. They understand that raising funding is harder for women. Their mission is to change that and to help re-ignite the global economy.
Highlighted content you should check out: First Impressions: Bonus Tools Must Watch Video
19. Phenomenelle Angels Fund
If you’re out in the Midwest then this is the site for you. Phenomenelle is an early stage fund that invests in women and minority managed businesses. Their goal is to fill unmet investment opportunities and to assist with recruiting, sales and marketing, board development, finance and strategic partnerships.
Highlighted content you should check out: Phenomenelle Angels Fund Makes its First Two Investments
20. Broadway Angels
Check this out: Broadway Angels invests in the best entrepreneurs and companies while showcasing the top women investors in venture capital and technology. They’re a world-class all-female group of investors and business executives that focus on great startups and growing companies.
Highlighted content you should check out: A Female Venture Capitalist Shares Her Secrets For Getting Funded
21. Topstone Angels
Helping plenty of female-led startups and entrepreneurs, Topstone Angels specializes in early and mid-stage companies across multiple industries. They’re another all-female group of investors and they encourage women to apply.
Highlighted content you should check out: 8 Reasons Angel Investing Fulfills YOUR Dreams While Helping Others
22. Plum Alley
Also looking to support the most promising women entrepreneurs and gender diverse teams, Plum Alley invests financial, intellectual and social capital. They vet promising investment opportunities, manage syndicates and create powerful networking opportunities.
Highlighted content you should check out: The Creative Way This Firm Is Getting Female Investors into the Big Leagues
23. The JumpFund
Another company with a mission to invest women’s capital in female-led companies. They’re looking to generate a strong return and elevate the role of women in business. They will propel women as entrepreneurs and have a network of women at all levels, from startups to large corporations.
Highlighted content you should check out: What's Gender Bias Got To Do With It? Almost Everything For Women Seeking Venture Funding
Right here we’ve got an international network of male and female angel investors who invest in women-led, high-growth ventures. They’re a multi-stage investment program who help businesses develop over time. So far they’ve invested $11 million for 38 different companies.
Highlighted content you should check out: We’re All Bossed Up
Giving women a boost in connecting, investing and success, Scale supports women entrepreneurs and female-led, early stage businesses. This female focused angel investor network sets their sights on maximizing returns and supporting gender diverse leadership.
Highlighted content you should check out: SCALE ANGELS LEAD A $1.25M INVESTMENT IN SWITCH
26. Cowboy Ventures
Cowboy Ventures helps seed-stage technology companies grow. They’re looking to back exceptional founders who are building products that re-imagine work and personal life in large and growing markets. They are a community of founders, team members and advisors that supports each other to share lessons learned and build products that millions of customers love to use.
Highlighted content you should check out: Welcome To The Unicorn Club, 2015: Learning From Billion-Dollar Companies
27. Female Funders
Right here we have an all online education program for aspiring female angel investors and entrepreneurs. Their goal is to take out the mystery and intimidation from investing. They look to help you boost your confidence, learn the tools and succeed in raising funds.
Highlighted content you should check out: The Female Funders Handbook
28. StarVest Partners
StarVest invests in expansion stage tech-enabled B2B service companies. 4 out of the 5 members of the StarVest team are female and they’ve helped their portfolio companies collectively earn over a billion dollars in revenue.
Highlighted content you should check out: Software’s Sale Window Hasn’t Closed Just Yet
29. Bootstrap Capital
At Bootstrap Capital, we are committed to helping seed stage companies achieve their potential by connecting entrepreneurs to opportunities, resources and capital. We are focused on creating financial returns to investors by connecting them to under-represented, talented entrepreneurs and companies at an early stage. We are entrepreneurs investing in entrepreneurs.
As a co-founder of Bootstrap Capital, I am passionate and intentional about closing the funding gap for women-led businesses. - Roshawnna Novellus
Bootstrap Capital Team Meeting
Dr, Novellus preparing to Moderate the Portfolio Pitch Event
30. Cross Culture Ventures
Cross Culture Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm with an emphasis on shifts in global culture and consumer behavior. The firm's leadership is comprised of three black men who serve as general partners and they are joined by a Korean woman, Suzy Ryoo, who functions in the role of venture partner. Two of the general partners Troy Carter and Marlon Nichols have long been advocates of true diversity in Venture Capital and entrepreneurship. Carter has a long history of providing venture financing to many women entrepreneurs through his company the Atom Factory. Nichols co-founded Intel Capital's diversity fund and led investments out of that fund prior to separating to create Cross Culture Ventures. Cross Culture Ventures takes a globally inclusive approach to venture capital investing, which results in an unbiased evaluation of startups.
Getting funded is difficult, especially for women. But there are also so many possibilities and so many opportunities for support out there. Don’t give up and know that there are plenty of resources to help. I hope that this list gives you some places to turn and some inspiration.
Are there other resources that you’ve found particularly helpful for women in business? What tips and advice do you have?
About: Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, known as the Wealthy Yogi, is the co-founder of Bootstrap Capital and Host of Startup Funding. She is passionate about helping business owners ready to attract funding. Dr. Novellus has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, WSJ, and Rolling Out. She has also completed the Pipeline Angels Fellowship, a Kauffman program in angel investing. Roshawnna serves on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta, and was honored as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. For capital, coaching, and connections, go to https://www.startupfunding.co/.