Astia and Astia Angels announce participation in 14th Oslo Innovation Week

Sep 13, 2018

Astia and Astia Angels announce participation in 14th Oslo Innovation Week, 24-28 September.

Participation by the Silicon Valley founded organization puts women entrepreneurs front and center and marks the group’s official arrival in Norway where it intends to expand its investment activities and grow its Angel network.

Oslo/ San Francisco / New York / London - September 12, 2018 - Astia is the premier organization that ensures access to capital and expertise for high-growth, innovative companies founded by women. Astia Angels is its global investment group that exclusively invests in women-led startups.

Astia CEO Sharon Vosmek and Astia Angels investor members will play key roles throughout the week thanks to invitations and support from DNB, Norway’s largest financial services group, the Norwegian Professional Women’s Network, Innovation Norway, Grundr and prominent Norwegian-based Astia Angels members. Astia was approached to participate when the Oslo Innovation Week manifesto was published targeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation with a specific focus on gender inclusion.

"Statistics show that men invest in men. As access to capital is one of the greatest obstacles to succeed in creating growth businesses, we want to encourage all good measures that promote investing in women entrepreneurs. Only 20% of those who start their own limited companies in Norway today are women. This is almost a societal problem, when we know how important entrepreneurs are for creating new jobs and new values,” says Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Group Executive Vice President Corporate Banking at DNB. "We know that diversity generates better results. Together with experts from the world's leading innovation hub, Silicon Valley, we want to learn more about what they have done to promote entrepreneurs, both women and men, and what results this has generated. Through sharing experiences, I hope that we can contribute to giving Norwegian entrepreneurs an even better chance to succeed.”

Innovation in venture capital and entrepreneurship
For nearly twenty years, Astia has been recognized as an innovator in the space of venture capital and entrepreneurship. Astia Angels investments prove that investing in women delivers well above market returns, with a notable recent acquisition of portfolio company nVision by Boston Scientific for as much as $275M.

Already well established in Europe with a growing portfolio of European-based companies, Astia has worked closely together with the Norwegian-based management and investment company Grundr, an organization known for empowering Norwegian startups and connecting them to the capital they need to grow. Astia has also collaborated with Grundr in preparation for OIW, to ensure the group’s arrival in Norway is grounded in local relationships and built on an understanding of local opportunities and constraints.

Inclusive investment and innovation in Norway
“We are excited to be coming to Norway where the entrepreneur ecosystem is rapidly growing and includes exceptional women ready for investment and primed for global growth,” says Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia and member of Astia Angels. “We have demonstrated that investing in teams that include women is a winning strategy. Our member investors eagerly anticipate meeting with local innovators and entrepreneurs - most specifically those who have figured out that inclusive teams win. We know that where women fully participate, companies thrive, investors profit, economies grow and societies benefit.”

The Astia Angels, who began investing in 2013, have exceeded Astia’s expectations by delivering substantially above-market returns for its first four exits. The results include: nVision acquired by Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), Boku, a US-based fintech company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in November; Cloudamize, a Philadelphia-based Cloud computing analytics company merged last summer with Blackstone-owned Cloudreach; and Ciel Medical a medical device company which developed a catheter to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia.

To date, Astia Angels have invested more than $20.5M into 60 companies, representing more than $275M in syndication into companies founded or led by women; the group has invested in 8 European startups. The investment group is coming to Norway as a part of a larger effort to broaden the Astia Angels network and increase visibility with European entrepreneurs.

“While spending two years in San Francisco investing in tech startups we quickly became acquainted with Astia Angels. We have experienced Astia’s world-class investment method and deal flow. We appreciate the great community and professionalism of this international angel network,” commented Johan and Kristine Odfjell. “Upon our return, we wanted to invite our fellow Astia Angels members to see the exciting investment opportunities in Norway. We are proud to be part of the launch of Astia Angels Norway.”

For more information on Oslo Innovation Week, see OIW.org.

Note for the editor
For interviews with Astia’s CEO Sharon Vosmek during Oslo Innovation Week, please be in touch with Angela Holter: angela@astia.org

About Astia– a different kind of network performing in a different kind of way
Astia is a global nonprofit that runs programs for entrepreneurs and investors that ensure inclusion is valued and that the playing field is leveled for women entrepreneurs. Core to its mission is ensuring that companies led by women have access to investment capital, as today less than 5% of venture capital is invested into women CEOs. Astia’s programs are generously supported by Google for Entrepreneurs, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Salesforce.org and other notable global organizations committed to building and sustaining an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Astia.org

About Grundr
Grundr, a management consulting and investment company tailored to the needs of startups, brings the expertise gathered through years building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Norway and the business acumen that takes startups onto the runway of growth. Grundr believes that everyone with a great idea should be able to start and run a successful business. The organization helps startups go from ideation to scalability, by helping them build their network, and get the knowledge and the capital they need to succeed.
Grundr.com

About Oslo Innovation Week
Oslo Innovation Week takes place in Oslo for the 14th time this year, gathering 10k of the world’s most innovative minds. Oslo Innovation Week is a “dugnad” - a collaboration - between leading international and local startups, corporates, and other key industry players truly dedicated to creating viable business solutions to the UN ́s Sustainable Development Goals through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway, and Oslo Business Region is project manager.
OIW.no

About Astia Angels
Astia Angels’ investment philosophy is centered on hard data and now its own investment performance which to date is nearly double the performance of same vintage, first-time venture funds. The broader market data shows that U.S. based venture-backed companies with inclusive executive teams have historically outperformed those with men only. 2017 Annual Start-up Report from TINYpulse, an employee research firm, found that startup companies with female founders "almost universally outperformed their male-only counterparts." Similar findings were uncovered by a Dow Jones study that reviewed US-based venture deals (1997-2011) and found that venture-backed companies with women in c-level positions are more likely to be successful than those without. Further, the study found that 64% of successful VC-backed exits from 1997-2011 had at least one female executive and women-led businesses generated higher revenues than male-only teams. And even venture firms, themselves, have found this to be true, in 2015 First Round Capital reported that from its own portfolio, startups teams with at least one female founder performed 63 percent better than all-male teams. In spite of this, data from 2017 shows that just 2% of venture capital being invested into women CEOs.

Media Contact:
Angela Holter
angela.holter@grundr.com
angela@astia.org
+47 484 04 599