Funding the Future of Venture Capital
Angel investors poured over $25 billion into tens of thousands of startups in 2020.¹ To put it into perspective, the number of founders who received capital could fill Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angel investing is a flywheel whereby individuals within a community who have capital are able to invest in promising entrepreneurs and start-ups. If they pick right, they generate returns and thereby reinvest those returns. And still, the flywheel needs to be jump started. Reports show less than five percent of angel investors come from underrepresented backgrounds.²
In efforts to change that statistic, we’re proud to be partnering with Concrete Rose Capital to launch the Acrew & Concrete Rose Super Angel Program. Part of our mission at Acrew to define the future of venture capital includes the goal to promote more representation in our industry. We deeply believe that diversity of perspectives drives the best results and that organizations make optimal decisions when they hear from enough vantage points.
Our inaugural cohort includes a diverse set of Super Angels. 90% of our investors identify as Black or LatinX; and over 50% of the cohort participants are women. With this program, our mission is simple: we aim to empower the next generation of angel investors to discover and invest in the most innovative founders at the formation stage.
Providing a massive accelerant for companies
Building a company is an arduous journey. Angel investors equip founders with strategic counsel, access to networks, and operational experience. They’re also often a founder’s first source of capital — a critical support that helps companies clear a key hurdle in the startup journey. To further jumpstart their success, we believe companies benefit from a diverse set of investors on their cap table. Studies have shown the same to be true: startups with diverse leadership teams deliver 30% higher returns.³ Diverse backgrounds and experiences help to uncover blind spots, contribute to more robust problem solving, and deliver more innovative solutions. The bottom line is diverse perspectives and networks around the cap table can be a massive accelerant for companies.
Opening the aperture for wealth creation
Venture capital creates great opportunities for wealth creation. But in underrepresented communities, wealth inequality raises investing obstacles. Smaller fund sizes create huge limitations in the amount of capital that is deployed. And when investors have smaller equity in portfolio companies, wealth creation is negatively impacted. These disparities in capital also prevent more people from becoming accredited angel investors, making the road to building a track record as an angel investor even more challenging.
To democratize access to wealth creation, we are funding a pool of capital for angels to invest into promising early-stage tech companies. We’ve structured this program differently from typical scout programs:
- Each angel is equipped with $100,000 to make multiple pre-seed investments. Carried interest (i.e., the profits from investments) is split evenly across all angels within each cohort. If one company does well, everyone benefits.
- Each angel is entrusted with a high level of autonomy. There’s more than one way to invest, and there’s certainly no one blueprint to angel investing.
- Each angel is encouraged to invest at the earliest possible stage and to focus on high conviction early-stage investing.
We’ve designed this program to provide angel investors with capital and community to help advance their track records as early-stage investors. From executives at leading growth stage tech companies to founders to former NFL players to Web3 evangelists, the inaugural cohort of Super Angels includes:
- Kristen Stewart, Head of Implementation at Plaid
- Dr. Theresa Johnson, Product Manager at Airbnb
- Ian Livingstone, Angel Investor & Advisor
- Marco Matos, Head of Business Success Product at Pinterest
- Nadia Singer, VP of Talent at Figma
- Brandon Chubb, Player Director at NFL Players Association
- Ros Gold-Onwude, Sports Broadcaster at ESPN
- Jason Mayden, CEO at Trillicon Valley
- Brittany Bankston, Product Lead at Mainstreet
- Jehron Petty, CEO at Colorstack
- Fabiola Cazares, Merchant & Partner Diversity at Affirm
- Nonso Maduka, Product Lead at Plaid
- Alana Beard, Founder/CEO at Transition Play
- Chichi Anyoku, Impact Investor at Goldman Sachs
- Stephanie Gaither, Senior Manager & Bizops at Guild Education
- Touré Owen, Co-founder at ColorWave
- Erika Hairston, Co-founder/CEO at Edlyft
- Joshua Ogundu, Founder/CEO at Campfire
- Sowa Imoisili, MBA Candidate at Stanford GSB
- Alfred Jackson, VP of Partnerships & Operations at Bootup
If you are a founder who is looking for angel investment, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you think you would make a great Super Angel in a future cohort, don’t hesitate to reach out. Onwards and upwards.