The recent FundingPost event at New York’s La Marina restaurant in northern Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River, presented a panel of six active female angel investors to a crowd of some 200 attendees, many of whom were new entrepreneurs seeking funding.
“I view this as a really great event,” said Alicia Syrett, founder and CEO of Pantegrion Capital, angel investor and moderator for the women investor’s panel. “It’s representative of both gender bases (a second panel would feature with male investors) …and it’s very representative of New York.”
Meghan Cross, managing director at Red Bear Angels, the Cornell Alumni network comprised of some 700 people who advise and invest in early stage funding, also noted her enthusiasm for being part of such a panel. “The purpose of panels like this is to spotlight prominent people and highlight role models,” she said. “It’s so important to have people to look up to, as I have had, in the venture capital community who are successful women.”
First, some numbers.
“In the past year, one in five U.S. startups that received funding, or 20 percent, were led by a woman,” said Loretta McCarthy, founding member and managing director of Golden Seeds, an investing group that focuses on women-owned and/or run companies. The four chapters of Golden Seeds have been part of the escalation of women-owned or run companies by investing more than $100 million into 40 companies over the past 12 years. McCarthy, pleased to see a lot of women at the event, also pointed out that “of the 320,000 angel investors in the United States, 26 percent (over 80,000) are women.”