Meet Pipeline Fellowship alumna Barbara Clarke.



Name: Barbara Clarke

Title: Chair, Board of Trustees

Affiliation: Schools for Children



Describe the moment when you decided to become an angel

I looked at a bunch of profiles of angel groups who were full of white men, and when I looked at their backgrounds I remember thinking that I had so much experience and knowledge that I could bring to bear as an angel. And I thought to myself, “How hard can this be?”

What investments have you made since graduating from the Pipeline Fellowship?
*Female founder!

Company: AbbeyPost
Founders: Cynthia Schames*, Lex Mustafin

Company: Cissé Trading Co.
Founder: Diana Lovett*

Company: CueThink 
Founder: Sheela Sethuraman*

Company: Goaloop 
Founder: Lori Terrizzi*

Company: LaneHoney*

Company: Poshly
Founders: Doreen Bloch*, Bradley Falk

Company: SitterCycle 
Founder: Helen Adeosun*

Company: Traklight 
Founder: Mary Juetten*

What are your investment deal-breakers?
If you don’t know your competition or you speak arrogantly about them, then to me you don’t know your market and you are afraid.

What types of companies do you look to invest in?
Building off of my background as an economist, I am most interested in applied big data analytics, but I do have a soft spot for edtech, as well. I only invest in women-founded companies.

What do you look for in an entrepreneur/founding team?
A commitment to getting stuff done (although I don’t usually say “stuff”; I use another “s” word).

How has your background played a role in your angel investing?
My intellectual property valuation background has made me pretty disciplined in looking for value or premium profit in the companies I invest in.

One piece of advice to an angel-in-training?
Get out there and see as many companies as you can so when you come across something that speaks to you, you’ll know right away and you’ll be so excited.

One piece of advice to an entrepreneur looking for capital?
Get the words “Would you consider an investment in my company?” out of your mouth.

What does impact investing mean to you?
Investing in companies that are solving real problems for real people and making the world better.

How would you define a for-profit social venture?
Any venture that can be measured not just by profits or users or customers, but by the impact on the world.

Favorite quotation?
When people show you who they are, believe them. — Maya Angelou

Random fact?
I played the violin for about eight years when I was younger, and to this day I do not enjoy listening to classical music.

Help us change the face of angel investing! Apply to Pipeline Fellowship’s spring 2014 angel investing bootcamps in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, DC, Memphis, Miami, NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. 

This post originally appeared on Pipeline Fellowship.

Photo credit: Cucumber via Shutterstock.