FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2015
ASTIA JOINS WHITE HOUSE’S DEMO DAY BY COMMITTING TO INCREASING ACCESS TO INVESTMENT FOR INCLUSIVE FOUNDING TEAMS
Astia to increase number of US markets served by Astia investment programs – Astia Angels and Astia Showcases
SAN FRANCISCO, NEW YORK AND and WASHINGTON, DC – August 4, 2015 ― Astia announces its commitment in coordination with the first ever White House Demo Day.
Astia is committing to increasing equity fundraising opportunities for women-led companies. Astia, a nonprofit with a commitment to serving and investing in high-growth companies with women on the founding team, has committed to expanding opportunities for women entrepreneurs in three new markets through both its venture showcases and Astia Angels meetings. Astia will host these programs in at least three new geographies in the United States outside of its core markets of San Francisco, New York, and London by the end of 2016.
The Astia commitment offers a substantial opportunity for start-ups with women on the founding team. The Astia Showcases consistently see more than 60% of the companies presented raising funding within one year – more than three times the current funding rate for women high-growth entrepreneurs. And the Astia Angels are investing across the US, averaging one investment a month. Since launching in 2013, the Astia Angels have invested over $6.5M ($32M in syndication) into 29 women-led startups. Astia credits this success not only to its ability to source and select the most investor-ready companies, but also in the way the organization uses its expert community to provide direct investment, advice, networks and support for the entrepreneurs who apply to Astia.
The White House Demo Day will celebrate the important role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy and will highlight the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. With less than five per cent of venture investment going to women founded and women-led companies, the spotlight and call to action for venture capital, angel investment and all equity capital to invest today, is a theme that Astia intends to add to the conversation.
“We applaud the White House for its commitment to inclusive innovation,” said Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia. “Our call to action for investors is clear – the pipeline is full, invest today.”
The Astia Point of View
Astia’s call to action is that the time to invest in inclusive teams is now. Enough conversation, there are deals to be done.
Women have been half of the college educated for 30 years, are present in one out of five startups raising venture capital and yet women receive 5% of all venture capital funding. The disparity between women-at-the-ready and actual dollars invested in women is incongruous.
For 15 years, Astia has operated under the principle that gender inclusion is an essential element of innovation. Our track record proves this thesis: over 60% of companies presenting at our venture showcases receive funding or an exit within one year of presenting
We are meeting our call to action: since its founding at the beginning of 2013, our Astia Angels network of independent investors has invested $6.5M into 29 companies, with $32.5 Million in syndicate. And our investment activity is increasing: almost half of that investment was made within the last 12 months.
Networks still divide along gender, limiting women entrepreneurs’ access to capital, and male investors’ access to great investments. 95% of VC equity partners are men, 85% angel investors are men. We fix the ecosystem, not the women. Astia has built a global network made up of equal numbers of men and women experts, investors and serial entrepreneurs who advise and help our startups succeed.
Astia is a global not-for-profit organization with a distinct focus and mission – to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Guided by a proven philosophy that gender diversity is an essential element of innovation, Astia works with start-ups around the world as they access capital, grow their businesses, and hone the executive leadership skills of the founding teams. Headquartered in San Francisco, Astia delivers programs for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, New York, and London. For more information, visit http://www.astia.org/
ABOUT ASTIA ANGELS
Astia Angels is a program of Astia comprised of individual investors investing directly in the companies who apply to Astia. Members are men and women, making independent investment decisions, aligned with the mission of Astia.
ABOUT ASTIA SPONSORS
Astia is generously supported by global sponsors including Google for Entrepreneurs; Dentons; Microsoft; Cisco; Silicon Valley Bank; Fenwick & West; Moss Adams LLP; The Three Guineas Fund; Lowenstein; Seagate; SAP; JP Morgan, The Althea Foundation; as well as a number of premier venture capital firms including, Andreessen Horowitz, Prolog Ventures, Illuminate Ventures.