FUNDING! We all need a little help every now and then. If you’re fortunate enough to have capital for your company in its early stages, kudos to you! However, stats from INC. Magazine state that, “Women get less than 5% of VC funding, despite evidence that women-led tech companies, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than similar male-led companies and have a 35 percent higher return on investment.”
How can you prepare for funding success? To start, make sure you have a business plan that answers all of the following questions and more:
- Is your target audience well defined? Is your service or product serving the public or a specific smaller segmented audience? Most importantly, will this customer base want to tell their friends about your business?
- Does the need for your product or service stand the test of time, or is it just a trend?
- Is your team or partner just as committed to your business as you are? What roles will you take in your business? Are you and your team up for all the pressures that come with maintaining your new venture? Are you hiring additional staff? Did you account for them?
- Where will your business be located?
- What is your monthly cost for supplies and where will you purchase them?
- How much is business insurance for your company?
- How much money will you need to start and keep your business running for several months?
Now that you’re prepped for success, let’s take a look at some options we pulled from a few amazing sources:
Seed Funding and Venture Capital
- Women’s Investment Portfolio Holding Limited, The Women’s Investment Portfolio is owned and managed by black women in South Africa. It is the first women’s group to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
- Angel Investor Network Indonesia, a program of GEPI: Started in 2012, Angel Investment Network Indonesia (WIND) is a program of the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI) with a focus on the growth of early stage startups through funding and mentoring.
- Investing Women, Investing Women is a growing community of women angel investors; women entrepreneurs seeking growth and those who want to help both. It’s more than a syndicate; and it’s about more than the money.
- 37 Angels, 37 Angels invests between $50K and $150K of seed capital in early-stage ventures. It holds pitch forums five times a year.
- Golden Seeds, Golden Seeds members and its venture funds have invested over $60 million in high-potential, women-led businesses.
- Pax World Global Women’s Equality Fund, This global equity fund seeks to grow capital over the long term by investing in the common and/or preferred stock of companies that are leaders in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Pipeline Fellowship, This angel-investing boot camp for women investors accepts applications around the country. They also hold Pitch Summits at the end of each boot camp for U.S.-based, female-led for-profits with a social and/or environmental mission.
- Springboard Enterprises, Springboard invests in women-led, high-growth technology-oriented companies. Springboard’s accelerator program’s, have industry-specific or geographic-specific criteria.
- The JumpFund The JumpFund invests women’s capital in early-stage, female-led LLC or C-corporations in Chattanooga, TN or the southeast region of the U.S. They encourage entrepreneurs to consider doing business in Chattanooga where they are based. However, this is not a requirement. J
- Women’s Venture Capital Fund With a focus on investments in digital media (software solutions, mobile products, social media and digital content) and environmental sustainability, Women’s Venture Capital Fund likes early-stage companies based on the west coast that can scale quickly.
- Ceres Venture Fund This is an established Chicago-based venture capital fund dedicated to funding high growth companies located in the Midwest in their early stages of growth.
- BELLE Capital BELLE is an early stage angel fund focused on building great companies in Michigan and other, underserved geographic regions in the Midwest and South.
- One for Women Kansas City The Women’s Capital is committed to investing in women-led ventures in our region. Since 2008, 47 women investors have been involved in supporting angel investing.
- WomensNet.Net They ask that their grant recipients do not pay them back, but rather, give back to others who are in need. They started the Amber Foundation Grant Program and offer $500 to $1000.
- Institute for Interactive Journalism/McCormick Foundation They offer grants to women who are creative and want to use their talents in companies of their own. They’ve awarded up to $14,000 in the past and target women who want to advance within the news/media community.
- The Chicago Foundation for Women This organization awards $15,000 to $50,000 for women who reside in the Chicago metropolitan area. They give these grants to those who are interested in bettering themselves by building a new business.
- Women’s Financial Fund Women’s Financial Fund is a non-profit organization that offers grants for strong independent women who are interested in opening their own businesses. Women may apply for a New Business Grant or, Existing Business Grants. Funds range from $100 to $5000.
- Marianne Abib-Pech – Lead the Future
- Lauren Maillian Bias – Gen Y Capital
- Heidi Roizen – Draper Fisher Jurvetson
- Marta Cruz – Co-Founder & Director of NXTP Labs, (Latinamerica-based acceleration program)
- Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program – The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible: Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)
- Opportunity Fund – Opportunity Fund is the largest non-profit microfinance lender in California helping small businesses throughout the Bay Area since 1995.
- Women’s Venture Fund – Small business loans for women entrepreneurs. Women’s Venture Fund’s mission is to help women entrepreneurs get the small business financing they need to start or grow a business.
Accelerators & Incubators
- Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) – Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology.
- Astia – Astia is an innovative global not-for-profit organization that propels women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth.
- Springboard Enterprises – Springboard Enterprises is the premier platform where entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses. Springboard educates, sources, coaches, showcases and supports high growth companies seeking equity capital for expansion.
- RampCorp – Texas State University RampCorp brings “The Ramps™” to cities across Texas. They launch companies with guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors.
- WESST Enterprise Center– Helps women start their own businesses. The organization expanded to five centers across the state with 75% of its clientele being women. WESST also opened its first incubator in downtown Albuquerque.
We hope this list was helpful! Happy to hear about your progress! Tweet us @GirlsinTech on Twitter!