Need to Find an Angel Investor? Ask Your Sister!

I swear the title isn’t a way to be rude, I truly believe in it. I talk regularly to business angels in my syndicates (angel syndicate, not the mob …) or angels that I meet as a lawyer/investor. More than 90% think that women can be better fundraisers. Wonder why? The best explanation is in a joke that was quite popular at the London Business Expo.

Angel: “What do you plan to do?”
Man: “I will conquer the world”
Woman: “Our app will help us to conquer the world”

Angel: “How are you going to use my funds”
Man: “I will conquer the world”
Woman: “I am going to use $352.56 in electricity, but it can be $359.67 if we decide to take part to an extra conference next year, not sure yet.”

Men are usually all about themselves, women are all about their “baby” (the start-up). I was part of the first Internet boom and I think that ego was one of the major driver of the first internet bubble. I have made this mistake myself many times, and nowadays I love to invest into people who care about their project more than about themselves.

Another reason why women are particularly effective in fundraising for start-up is not logical but “natural”. Business angels are mostly men over 40-50 years. Their attention increase when a woman speak, and the Neanderthal in us doesn’t feel threatened by any “king of the jungle” competition.

Unfortunately for women, it doesn’t mean that their life will be easy. Angels prefer to listen a presentation run by women, but are they ready to trust the same woman with their money? I can’t say. I have spent to many years in big corporation, and gender was clearly an issue for many of my colleagues. Eventually startups can be different, I hope so. What’s your experience?

Image credits: JD Hancock at

12 thoughts on “Need to Find an Angel Investor? Ask Your Sister!”

  1. I should try this! Our social media manager can talk better then me. But what if they ask technical question? She understand coding as much as I understand Chinese and that’s 2 or 3 words top πŸ™‚

  2. Every time I pitch all the judges are male and they never take me seriously because I am a woman. I code better than many men I know. Not fair!

    1. I hope I don’t sound like a preacher, but … try to turn this to your advantage. There is always a lack of women in many startup events. Suggest yourself as a speaker and they will often accept. Ask to other women in tech or business. If you are in London have a look to Stemettes

  3. Hello Stefano i follow you on g+ and now on the blog. interesting point i tough that the tech world was a male world but you have an opposite experience.

    1. There are still more men than women, if that’s what you mean. However bold women can turn this on their advantage (sometimes). Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo is still an exception but … she’s there. (On the other hand, I have many female friends saying that I a wrong, so …)

  4. Hey, thanks for the blog post. Really looking forward to read more. I am desperately looking for investors. Do you have a list of website to apply?

    1. Hey Saki, I’ll send you a few links at the condition that you remove “desperately” from your vocabulary. Nobody want to invest into a desperate (smile). You can find the local associations on Google (in London we have London Business Angel and a few others). However I would start from simple startup events and meet real people. If your startup is at the stage of a minimum viable product you can contact Sean of the Founders Hive. Look for Startup Weekend, Lions’ Cage, etc. just to name a few.

  5. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this subject. Could you write more? Practical take aways is my cup of tea

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