‘Pipeline Angels’ Working to Create Capital For Women


JOSE: ACCORDING TO THE CENTER FOR VENTURE RESEARCH IN 2016, ONLY 26% OF ANGEL INVESTORS WERE WOMEN, AND ONLY 5% WERE MINORITIES. PIPELINE ANGELS IS TRYING TO CHANGE THE FACE OF ANGEL INVESTING AND CREATE CAPITAL FOR WOMEN. JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT PIPELINE ANGELS IS AMANDA JUNE, A BUSINESS OWNER AND AMBASSADOR FOR PIPELINE ANGELS. AMANDA, WELCOME TO "HORIZONTE."

AMANDA JUNE: THANK YOU.
JOSE: AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IT'S NOT SIMPLY HAVING WOMEN AS ANGEL INVESTORS BUT INVESTING IN WOMEN AND PARTICULARLY IN MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES, IS THAT RIGHT?
AMANDA JUNE: YES, CORRECT. ESPECIALLY IN WOMEN BUSINESSES, BECAUSE THE SAD FACT IS MOST OF THE INVESTING THAT GOES ON IN THE U.S. TODAY IS NOT DONE BY WOMEN OR FOR WOMEN. LESS THAN 2% ARE MINORITY-LED BUSINESSES THAT ARE INVESTED IN IN THE UNITED STATES. AS RECENT AS 2016. AND ONLY ABOUT 4% WERE WOMEN INVESTORS.
JOSE: AND ANGEL PIPELINE IS HOW OLD?

AMANDA JUNE: IT'S 7 YEARS OLD. SINCE 2011.
JOSE: SO IT WAS FOUNDED BY SOMEBODY -- WE'VE GOT A PICTURE OF YOU WITH THE FOUNDER.
AMANDA JUNE: YES, BY NATALIA OBERTI NOGUERA. SHE IS AN AWESOME, DYNAMITE FOUNDER WHO HAS REALLY BROUGHT THIS TO THE FOREFRONT AND CHARGING FORWARD TO, AS SHE SAYS IT, LIBERATE CAPITAL FOR WOMEN AND FEM ENTREPRENEURS.
JOSE: AND YOUR PARTICULAR INVOLVEMENT HERE IS NOT AS AN INVESTOR, BUT HOPING THAT YOU'LL ATTRACT SOME INVESTMENT?

AMANDA JUNE: I HOPE SO, YEAH.
JOSE: SO TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.

AMANDA JUNE: MY BUSINESS IS SMOKEFIRE MEDIA. CURRENTLY I'M A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR AND SMOKEFIRE IS CULTURALLY COMPETENT MARKETING PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING AGENCY, AND WE HAVE A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS MARKETING MISSION TO HELP BUSINESS OWNERS BASICALLY BRING THEIR VOICES TO THE FOREFRONT AND HELP THOSE BE HEARD THAT TRADITIONALLY WOULDN'T HAVE LARGE MARKETING BUDGETS OR COME FROM COMMUNITIES THAT ARE UNDERSERVED BY THE ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY.
JOSE: AND YOUR BACKGROUND IS NATIVE AMERICAN AND LATINA, IS THAT RIGHT?

AMANDA JUNE: YES, I'M NAVAJO AND HOPI AND LATINA. BEEN AN ARIZONA NATIVE ALL MY LIFE.
JOSE: HOW DID YOU COME ACROSS ANGEL INVESTORS, WERE YOU OUT THERE DOING RESEARCH FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET INVESTMENTS FOR YOUR COMPANY?

AMANDA JUNE: IT WAS ACTUALLY-- YEAH, JUST TO LEARN HOW THE PROCESS WORKED. THE ENTIRE, YOU KNOW, KIND OF THOUGHT OF IT IS VERY BIG TO WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND, AND AS A NEW BUSINESS OWNER, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T FIND, NOBODY TEACHES YOU THESE THINGS AS YOU'RE STARTING A BUSINESS, YOU HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT IT AS YOU GO ALONG, AND FOR A NEW VENTURE THAT I'M CREATING CALLED THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S COLLECTIVE, WHERE I REALLY STARTED TO GET MORE INVOLVED AND LEARN WHAT GOES ON IN INVESTING.
JOSE: AND YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE EDUCATION PROCESS, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THEY DO A NUMBER OF THINGS. ONE OF THEM IS WHAT THEY CALL A BOOT CAMP. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

AMANDA JUNE: YES, SO THE ANGEL INVESTING BOOT CAMPS WHICH IS GEARED AT GETTING MORE OF THESE ANGEL INVESTORS STARTED AND TEACHING THEM ABOUT HOW TO BECOME AN ANGEL INVESTOR. SO THAT'S REALLY OUR GOAL IS TO GET IT STARTED HERE IN PHOENIX. SO THE BOOT CAMP WOULD TAKE NEW ANGEL INVESTORS, WOMEN THROUGH THIS PROCESS IT’S ABOUT, FOUR MONTHS, AND MEET EVERY TWO WEEKS TO LEARN, THEY GET MENTORED BY SEASONED ANGEL INVESTORS AND BY THE END OF IT, THEY'LL GET TO DO THEIR FIRST ANGEL INVESTMENT INTO ANOTHER WOMAN-LED START-UP AND KIND OF DIP THEIR FOOT IN THE WATER AND GET STARTED.
JOSE: WHILE WE'VE BEEN TALKING, WE'VE BEEN SHOWING PICTURES OF THE PROCESS. THE OTHER PART OF IT AND THE PART THAT IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO YOU RIGHT NOW IS CALLED A PITCH SESSION, IS THAT RIGHT, WHERE YOU MEET WITH ANGEL INVESTORS TO GET THEM TO INVEST?

AMANDA JUNE: YES, THE PITCH SUMMIT WHICH IS OPEN TO ALL OF THE LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS, WHERE THE BOOT CAMP IS HELD, IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL OF THE LOCAL START-UPS TO BE SEEN AND COME TO THE FRONT, IN FRONT OF THESE NEW ANGEL INVESTORS. JOSE: AND YOU'VE GOT YOUR OWN SESSION COMING UP SOON?

AMANDA JUNE: WE HOPE SO, IF WE CAN GET ENOUGH PEOPLE INTERESTED HERE IN PHOENIX, THEN WE'LL HAVE A BOOT CAMP HERE, AND THEY'RE ALSO LAUNCHING IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT PUERTO RICO. THEY'LL HAVE THEIR FIRST BOOT CAMP IN JULY.
JOSE: AND I'M JUST -- ONE LAST THING ON THE PITCH SUMMIT. THIS WILL BE YOU GOING BEFORE A GROUP SEEKING MONEY AND WHERE WILL THAT TAKE PLACE?

AMANDA JUNE: AND THAT WILL TAKE PLACE, THE LOCATION IS TO BE DETERMINED. IF THEY HAVE ENOUGH APPLICANTS, THEN THEY'LL SET ONE UP AND IT WILL BE FOR THE FALL OF THIS YEAR.
JOSE: IN PHOENIX?

AMANDA JUNE: IN PHOENIX.
JOSE: WE WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK THERE.

AMANDA JUNE: THANK YOU SO MUCH.
JOSE: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE."

According to the center for Venture Research, in 2016 only 26 percent of angel investors in the United States were women, and only 5 percent were minorities. ‘Pipeline Angels’ is trying to change the face of angel investing and create more capital for women. Amanda June, the founder of Smokefire Media and an ambassador for Pipeline Angels, will tell us more about the group’s work.

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In this segment:

Amanda June, the founder of Smokefire Media and an ambassador for Pipeline Angels

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