This Is What An Angel Investor Looks Like – Elizabeth Crowell

ElizabethCrowell

Women 2.0 regularly profiles women (from angel investors to venture capitalists) who invest in women.

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

From angel investors to VCs, Women 2.0 puts a face to those who invest in women. Only 11% of investment partners at venture capital firms are women and 15% of angel investors are women. This is unfortunate and needs to change, as women investors are more likely to be directly connected to and able to attract female-led ventures.

A solution to the low rate of women entrepreneurs receiving investment to go big with their ventures would be to increase the pipeline of women angel investors and venture capitalists. This week, we talk to the owner of Sterling Place, angel investor Elizabeth Crowell.

Meet Angel Investor Elizabeth Crowell

A community advocate dedicated to getting more capital into the hands of the historically marginalized, Elizabeth answers our questions about becoming an angel investor in women-led startups:

What was the moment you decided to become an angel?
“When I read the Pipeline Fellowship call for applications in Bloomberg BusinessWeek at 2am in the morning in November 2010.”

What investments have you made since graduating from the Pipeline Fellowship?

Company: PhilanTech
Founder(s): Dahna Goldstein*

Company: Contact Fund
Founder(s): Mark Reed

Company: Impact Investment Partners India Fund
Founder(s): Varun Sahni, Nadia Sood*, Jay Barrymore and Amit Sharma

Company: SoMoLend
Founder(s): Candace Klein*

*Women founders!

Range of initial investments?
“US $5,000 – $50,000″

What are your investment deal-breakers?
“Poor credit history, cockiness, reticence to share information.”

What types of companies do you want to invest in?
“Women-led, triple bottom line businesses that are either local to NYC or support local businesses.”

How has your background played (or not) a role in your angel investing?
“Know from first-hand experience how to boot-strap, pivot, and grow an organization beyond the co-founders.”

One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?
“Don’t go it alone – leverage others who are in the same boat as well as those who have helped pave the path ahead of you.”

One piece of advice to an entrepreneur looking for capital?
“Get your personal financial house in order before going after outside capital and have a good grip on your cash flow and a clear plan of how you will use the capital to grow your business.”

What does impact investing mean to you?
“When the product or service of the company generates a net positive for the planet and humankind.”

Favorite quote?
“You will always make time for the people and things you love.” – Shelly Lazarus (Chairwoman, Ogilvy & Mather)

Random fact?
“I survived growing up in a house full of visual artists by playing clarinet and swimming competitively since the age of 8.”

Elizabeth was a graduate of the Pipeline Fellowship – Apply to join the next class and help change the face of angel investing! Applications are currently being reviewed on a rolling basis for the 2012 fall programs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Pipeline Fellowship trains women philanthropists to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. Fellows commit to invest in a woman-led for-profit social venture in exchange for equity and a board seat at the end of the training.

Golden Seeds also offers investor training for individuals interested in making angel investments.

Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.