Katherine Hague has a strong connection with angel investment. The entrepreneur began angel investing after selling her company ShopLocket to PCH at the young age of 23, but it was also the impetus for getting the company off the ground in the first place.
“My entire journey, from building ShopLocket, raising money, and then selling it, wouldn’t have been possible without Heather Payne, who started Ladies Learning Code and HackerYou, who was my first angel investor,” Hague said in an interview with BetaKit, the audio of which can be heard below.
But Heather Payne aside, when Hague started investigating the current number of female angel investors, she found that the list was quite short. According to Hague, women still make up just 20% of angel investors, and only 6% of deal making venture capitalists.
Hague’s solution? Female Funders, a new site dedicated to helping women learn more about angel investing. From Hague’s perspective, part of the problem hasn’t been a lack of interest, but a misconception of what angel investing is and can be.
“I started talking to women about the fact that I was angel investing, and oftentimes people would say, ‘oh that’s so cool, I wish i could do that’,” she said. “And you’d dig in a little bit, and you’d realize that really they could angel invest, but they have these misconceptions of it being incredibly hard or huge amounts of money. I really just wanted to help women everywhere understand it enough so at least they could make an educated decision.”
“I think we’re seeing a lot of the legacy of the fact that it was these small groups of people telling their friends,” Hague continued. “I think that as we show people that it’s not like that anymore – that it’s really open and it’s incredibly transparent – we’ll start to see more women participating.”
To that end, Hague is taking a unique approach to getting the word out, filling Female Funders not only with feature interviews of female angel investors, including Heather Payne, and industry experts like Bedy Yang of 500 Startups, and Millie Tadewaldt of AngelList, but following a number of women as they set out to make their first investment.
Female Funders has a stated goal of empowering 1000 women to make their first angel investment in the next 12 months, at which time they’ll become part of the #FemaleFunders1000. Hague was clear that she wanted supporters to share their stories and encouragement using the hashtag, which will appeal in a live feed on the Female Funders Wall of Angels.
“Today, our goal is to spark a conversation,” Hague said.