Five Ways Angel Investing Gave Me Wings


By: Kelley Skoloda, Next Act Fund

America’s small businesses have become the engines for job creation. That is great news for not only for entrepreneurs but also for me. 

Entrepreneurial experience, combined with my marketing experience (especially the expert knowledge of marketing to and influencing female consumers), turns out to be a pretty sought-after capability. Marry that experience with a desire to grow my personal wealth while investing in entrepreneurial businesses, particularly those that are women-owned and women-led, and you have the wind beneath angel investing wings.

Angel investors provide capital for business start-ups, usually in exchange for ownership equity. While venture funding and angel funding are on the rise, only seven percent of venture capital funding goes to women-owned businesses. On the angel funding side, about 26 percent of the angel investors are women, though there is rising interest in investing in women-owned businesses.

The Next Act Fund, of which I am a co-chair of the investment committee, formed to increase the wealth of its members while addressing those gaps. Here are five ways angel investing has given me wings:

  1. The network is phenomenal. I mean phenomenal. Just the networking with investors and entrepreneurs is worth its weight in gold, especially as a member of the Angel Capital Association.
  2. Unlike some business cultures where youth is prized above all else, both the entrepreneurs and the investor groups really welcome experienced opinions with open arms. It's diversity and inclusion at its finest.
  3. The learning curve is fast, steep and incredibly energizing. It’s like going to college all over again but in three-hour increments, with the smartest people in the class, all aimed at making money. I love capitalism.
  4. The screening pitches are powerful. I worked on many pitches in the past where we’d balk at only having an hour to pitch. The pitches I’ve participated in this past week were between 10 and 20 minutes, plus Q & A. That’s it. It’s fast, compelling and it works.
  5. It’s not 9 to 5 and not for the faint of heart. There are meetings, not office hours. Decisions involve big sums of money and fast decisions. Sign me up.

I get to increase my personal wealth, change the dynamics of women in angel funding and support female-led business growth. That’s a trifecta for me. Angel investing has given me wings and I look forward to taking flight on entrepreneurial adventures.

About Kelley Skoloda: Kelley Skoloda, M.B.A., is the Founder and CEO of KS Consulting & Capital LLC, co-chair of the Next Act Fund Investment Committee, an Angel Capital Association board member and a published author. Her consultancy combines the best of big agency brand marketing with the smarts and agility of the many start-ups she has encountered through her angel investing work. She is a recognized authority on brand marketing with a special expertise in marketing to women.  Skoloda has been quoted and her work has been featured in HuffPo, Time.com, TODAY.com, Fortune.com, Forbes, Adweek, BRANDWEEK, C-SPAN and many other media outlets. 

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Five Ways Angel Investing Gave Me Wings by Kelley Skoloda (Blue Tree Allied Angels)  on  August 31