Why Elizabeth Yin is hustling to build the next generation of angel investors

Hustle Fund VC team

Let’s talk angel investing, which has exploded in 2021 (in the US at least).

Pitchbook data claims that angel investment hit $2.1 billion in the first half of 2021, compared to $2.6 billion in 2020 (What was Canada’s 2020 total? Something closer to $100 million…).

Today, we speak with someone responsible for helping drive some of those US numbers (and perhaps Canadian as well): Elizabeth Yin, general partner and co-founder at Hustle Fund.

“One of the problems that we see is that we’re a little bit stuck in this rut with VC… You also need to attack the problem in other ways.”
– Elizabeth Yin

Yin founded Hustle Fund, which invests in “hilariously early” startups, with Eric Bahn after the two departed 500 Startups. Hustle Fund launched something different earlier this year: Angel Squad, designed to create a diverse group of new investors. While small (around 200 members), Angel Squad has already produced some impressive numbers: 46 percent of members are female, 9 percent are underrepresented minorities, 32 percent are not in tech, and 67 percent live outside of Silicon Valley.

Yin talks to us today about a lot of things: the need to create a more diverse set of investors in tech, limitations on that growth due to current law, the value of strong and diverse networks, and Hustle Fund’s “no assholes” policy (remember, Yin was at 500 Startups when the Dave McClure sexual harassment scandal rocked the firm – Yin and Bahn departed shortly after).

We also talk about the need for VC firms to stand out in this current frothy market, and if Hustle Fund happened to close a new fund, what that might look like.

Let’s dig in. No assholes, please.


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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank and CLOUDSEC 2021.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.