OFFICIAL SCALE LAUNCH

The Hon Minister Louise Asher MP officially launched Scale and announced funding from the Victoria Coalition Government to assist in the establishment of Scale during the first three years of operation. Scale Founding Chairman Susan Oliver said “The amazing and enthusiastic support we received from the DSDBI and in particular from Ms Asher is of fundamental importance to our own start up as a new venture”.

In her media release, Ms Asher said “This initiative, to build and empower women as investors by providing a range of investment skills, is an Australian first and a genuine opportunity to demonstrate leadership in supporting women in business.”

We’re thrilled to have welcomed 5 Scale Angels and received our first application on Gust, secure deal management software.

We have had coverage in the AFR “Scaling up for entrepreneurial women”“, StartupSmart and Women’s Agenda “New angel investor network on hunt for women-led start-ups” and the Australian Banking and Finance Journal “Sisters doing it for themselves”.


INSIGHTS FROM AN ANGEL INVESTOR

Brian Cohen, the first investor in Pinterest and Chair of New York Angels, recently published “What Every Angel Investor Wants You To Know”. He pays “special attention to startups that are founded by women entrepreneurs or have women as senior executives. My experience is that angel-backed start ups led by women have definite advantages in the market place over startups where only men are in charge.”

I would recommend this first hand account to entrepreneurs and angels alike. It is an excellent insight into what motivates and excites an Angel investor. The New York Angels are the most active angel group in the US.

Stephanie Newby, founder of Golden Seeds, provides two pieces of advice for women led start ups in Brian’s book. First, relationships matter. “Getting funding is really about building relationships with the people who you think might become investors in your company”. Second, entrepreneurs should know their numbers and feel comfortable talking about finance, even if they don’t have a rigorous financial background. “They should still know the fundamental numbers of their startup and be able to articulate them at a high level – no hemming or hawing.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF ANGELS

Angel investors are being increasingly recognised as an important source of equity capital for financing high growth firms according to the OECD. Their report reviews developments around the world and identifies some of the key success factors, challenges and recent trends based on interviews from over 100 people, from 32 countries including Australia. The angel investment market is much larger than most people realise, as angel investors are often not visible, and consistently larger than seed and early stage venture capital investment.

However, women are under represented as both investors and recipients of capital. A growing body or research demonstrates the critical role that social networks play in the funding and success of high growth ventures. Traditionally female entrepreneurs have had less access to equity, angel and venture capital networks. Women tend to seek capital from other women. Only a fifth of investors in early stage business are women. As a result, women owned firms receive less than 10% of capital even though they launch nearly half of new businesses.”

INTRODUCING SCALE

Susan Oliver introduces Scale. In the US the number of women investing into start-ups reached record levels last year. Women made up 21.8% of active angel investors in the US in 2012.
Golden Seeds, the inspiration for Scale, was the fifth most active angel group. Our vision is that Scale Angels become a critical mass in angel investing in Australia.”

“Our purpose is to support women to be successful investors as well as women entrepreneurs to be successful.”

One of the Salons at the June 2013 We Own It Summit was “Who, What, When, Where, How: An International Perspective on Outreach and Training of Women Investors” which highlighted the importance of Angel investment training women. We agree. We will equip Scale Angels with the Angel investor education and networking opportunities to give them confidence to invest in high growth, gender diverse businesses at an early stage in their development.”