Piloting Your Life: In-Flight Entertainment (Angel Summit and Faith) (July 24, 2018)
Welcome Back My Revolutionary Passengers:
I stepped out of my comfort zone and said ‘yes’ when Shannon Grant asked to room with me at the angel summit I attended last week, and it was a great decision (totally intuitive response). We were not only able to get to know each other better (we’d only met twice before) but we ended up opening the room up to one of her founders, Robyn Fisher of Smitten Ice Cream, and to Jenna Jolley (angel investor), and we had an amazing slumber party after the last dinner. It felt so good to be around these women and discuss ways in which we women can show up better in the world (including standing up for ourselves and being gracious about it) to truly make a difference.
But it isn’t just about the women. Last year at the angel summit I met some amazing men and I was fortunate to be able to spend more time with them this year solidifying our relationships. And during this year’s event I met even more male allies. I very much look forward to having them on board as we change the investor and funding landscape for female founders.
Despite my efforts (and efforts on the part of the organizers) to get more women to the angel summit, there were only 12 women out of the 69 attendees and I would argue that it was really 10 out of 67 (2 were VCs and didn’t really attend the event…just spoke) which is roughly 15%. Some of the women I talked to about attending declined because they didn’t think it was female friendly enough as an event. While that may be the case, the other investors were very female friendly (I encountered quite a few male allies), and the major benefit of the summit is connecting with other investors in a beautiful and congenial setting. I will try to convey this better to my female angel investor friends so that they too can benefit from the amazing networking opportunity. Plus, it would be great to have more women at the poker table.
I also had the opportunity to speak for a whopping 12 minutes (most of the other speakers had 18 minutes but I’m not bitter about it) on my investing over the last year as a solo investor. It wasn’t my best performance as the time was cut to 10 minutes when I got on stage and I felt like I needed to race through the material, but it was enough to have 15 of the investors come up to me later in the conference to discuss what I am doing and to get to know me better. I was then able to go into greater detail about my experience and my investments which led to great conversations with all of them.
We have a lot of work to do in our desire to level the playing field and get more money into the hands of startups who don’t necessarily pattern match to what traditional VCs and angels look for, but if this week was any indicator, there are quite a few investors open to the opportunity to be a part of the revolution. It’s time.
In-Flight Entertainment: May Samali
I have to start by saying that I truly admire and love this week’s guest, May Samali (formerly) of Urban Innovation Fund. Yes, I am a total fan girl. I learn so much from each interaction with May and always leave with a boosted spirit because of her natural authenticity and desire to do good in the world. May shares with us her journey from Australia as a lawyer, into Silicon Valley in Venture Capital via New York and Harvard, and how her Baha’i faith influences all that she does. You won’t want to miss our conversation.