Women 2.0 profiles women angel investors in our "This Is What An Angel Investor Looks Like" series. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
Angel investors have day jobs, too.
Jennifer Lum is Co-Founder and President of Adelphic Mobile, making mobile advertising intelligent. She co-founded seed stage investment firm Apricot Capital in Boston a few years ago. Jennifer also mentors startups at MIT, TechStars and 500 Startups.
She has worked at startups including Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple), m-Qube (acquired by VeriSign) and WebHosting.com (acquired by SBC Communications). She's worked with the world's best brands and media companies to build industry-leading mobile marketing and advertising platforms. Now she's rolling her own at Adelphic Mobile, her fourth startup!
Meet Angel Investor Jennifer Lum
How and why did you decide to become an angel investor? "I met an amazing entrepreneur who was working on a startup while practicing medicine and conducting research at Harvard. He was very passionate about his company and its mission to disrupt an antiquated industry. I loved his vision and asked if I could invest. Although he was not fundraising, he graciously allowed me to make a small investment in his company."
What investments have you made? "I've invested in twelve companies."
Range of initial investments? "$10k-$50k"
What are your investment dealbreakers? "A founding team without an unfair advantage, or a company going after a market or technology that I am unfamiliar with."
What types of companies do you want to invest in? "I want to invest in entrepreneurs with high-integrity. I want to invest in companies solving complex problems with innovative technology."
How has your background played (or not) a role in your angel investing? "Adelphic Mobile is the fourth startup I've been a part of. I've learned how to start, manage and scale companies through my operational experience. I've also learned how to work with investors and how to manage a venture-backed company. My experience has helped me understand how to assess early stage investment opportunities and help entrepreneurs build their businesses."
One piece of advice to an angel-in-training? "Plan and budget carefully when setting aside money for angel investing. Be comfortable with the fact that you may not realize any returns."
One piece of advice to entrepreneurs looking for capital? "Focus on investors who have a genuine interest in your space and the right expertise to help you build your business."
What does investing in women-led companies mean to you? "It means a lot to me to be able to invest it extraordinary entrepreneurs who are building big and innovative companies."
Favorite quote? "My quote of the month: 'Consequence is no coincidence' - Lauryn Hill"
Random fact? "It's time for more women to step up and take on the 500 Challenge."
Early-stage seed fund and incubator program 500 Startups announced last week a Women Investors Now (WIN) Challenge in an effort to increase the number of women angel investors. Founding partner Dave McClure challenges women in tech who earn over $125,000 a year to invest in three (3) startups at a minimum of $5,000 each over the next year. Over 100 women have pledged to this challenge so far.
This is not to say everyone can and should become investors. But if you are financially privileged enough to invest your savings somewhere, we hope you consider investing in women-led early-stage startups that you read about on Women 2.0.
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0. 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.