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After encouraging women business leaders as Assistant Dean of University of Tennessee – Chattanooga’s College of Business for years, she felt like she had so much more to give. Kristina jumped in, quit her job, and started the Jump Fund to provide a pathway for women-led business to receive seed capital.
Though the transition hasn’t been seamless, Kristina knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was meant to do what she’s doing.
HOW WE MET:
I met Kristina after co-investing in MomSource with the JumpFund and Bootstrap Capital. The JumpFund was the lead investor for the MomSource seed round. The founder of the company won the Atlanta Pipeline Angels pitch competition. As a result, the Atlanta cohort of Pipeline Angels along with Bootstrap Capital decided to invest in the company. Later, we met in person when Kristina was visiting Atlanta to serve as a judge for Startup Runway.
The passion that Kristina Montague brings to her role as Managing Partner of The JumpFund is immediately evident in her conversation with Roshawnna. The JumpFund is an investment fund that operates within an interesting and necessary niche: it is by women for women.
After recognizing a gap in gender equality within the entrepreneur space, Kristina and her team of partners set out to create a fund that could bring some gender balance to the startup ecosystem. The enormous success that The Jumpfund has played a part in facilitating is evidence of the need that The JumpFund has fulfilled.
As a whip-smart Angel Investor, Kristina outlines a laundry list of helpful tips for entrepreneurs that hope to attract investment. She also dives in to the importance of creating programs that foster the growth of female led companies, which are an unfortunate rarity in our society. Kristina brings a wealth of experiential knowledge to the table in this insightful and thought provoking conversation with Roshawnna!
Roshawnna and Kristina discuss:
- 2:00—Kristina shares her background and the background and ethos of The JumpFund a fund of women investing in women.
- 5:00 – Kristina talks about the types of businesses that JumpFund looks to back.
- 8:00 – How Kristina came to be in the role that she is in now.
- 10:00 –Kristina talks about 36|86, a tech conference that The JumpFund back companies have had great success at.
- 12: 00 – Kristina talks about how her background in education has shaped her role as an Angel Investor.
- 16:00 –Kristina talks about the massive gamble that she took in leaving her secure role at the University of Tennessee to pursue the life of an Angel Investor.
- 21:00 – Kristina talks about what makes The Jumpfund unique.
- 24:00 – Kristina talks about the importance of relationship building in the investor/entrepreneur process.
- 26:00—Kristina details what she looks for in a team to invest in.
- 27:30 – On having the roadmap for the company fully fleshed out before approaching investors.
- 29:00 – Kristina talks about the importance of bringing a co-founder in to the fray to bounce ideas off of.
- 32:00 – Kristina discusses founders striking a balance between their full time work on their startup and maintaining a job for revenue stream as well.
- 34:00 – On the importance of customer discovery in gaining investment funding to create a viable business.
- 36:00 --Kristina talks about some common mistakes that founders make.
- 37:00 – Kristina discusses investment vs. bootstrapping.
- 42:00 – Kristina talks about the importance of striking a life/work balance.
Kristina Montague most recently served as Assistant Dean of External Affairs at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga’s College of Business, where she developed her passion for supporting and encouraging women as business leaders. She worked closely with students and faculty to develop “business world ready” graduates and connect UTC with the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chattanooga. Kristina has also held leadership roles with two successful “start-up” public schools, Normal Park Museum Magnet and the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, the city’s first charter school, and served as a program associate at the Public Education Foundation. A native of Seattle, Kristina received her B.A. from Vassar College and served as a Teach for America corps member in rural Louisiana before pursuing her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Washington. Her long-time engagement in philanthropic and non-profit ventures underscores her commitment to encourage women to invest in women for both the economic and social benefit. Kristina is the current board chair of the Creative Discovery Museum, vice chair of the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation and serves on the board of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Normal Park Education Fund, Launch Chattanooga, and Footprint Foundation. She is also an active member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and Chattanooga Downtown Rotary and was recognized as a 2013 Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
Kristina's episode was recorded via video Skype. Check out our behind the scenes interaction for more.