Episode 74- Joanne Wilson's journey into angel investing 12 years ago, what she looks for in startups, and how she helps them reach their goals.

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Terri talks to Joanne Wilson about her journey into angel investing 12 years ago, what she looks for in startups, and how she helps them reach their goals.  

Who is Joanne Wilson?  

Joanne Wilson is a New York City based investor and has had many careers. She started out in retail, eventually moving to the wholesale arena. She then transitioned to the media side of the technology world, before once again reinventing herself as an investor. She is currently an active angel investor with a portfolio of over 90 companies such as Food52, Sweeten, Vengo, Nestio, Shippabo, Flip, Clutter, and Union Station. She has been involved in numerous real estate transactions from beginning to end and continues to make investments in that world. Joanne is an investor in a few restaurants in the New York area.  

In addition to these endeavors, Joanne has been involved in various education projects and has served as chairperson at Hot Bread Kitchen, a non-profit committed to increasing access to the culinary industry for woman and minority entrepreneurs. She currently sits on the board of The Highline and is the co-chair of Path Forward. 

Joanne has maintained her blog, www.gothamgal.com for 15 years and has recently taken her talents to the airwaves on her podcast, "Positively Gotham Gal". She loves to bake, cook, throw a good party, travel, read, collect art, do the crossword and stay on top of what's happening around the globe and in NYC. 

Joanne believes her most successful venture is being married to her best friend, Fred, and raising their three kids Jessica, Emily and Josh   

Show Highlights 

  • Joanne shares her journey into angel investing and how she is able to see things coming down the pike 

  • Joanne talks about what she invests in and how her investing has changed over the last 12 years 

  • Joanne comments on some of her investments that are undercapitalized and the frustration she has around getting other investors excited about the startups and the founders.   

  • She looks for tenacious, smart, scrappy people as founders who can articulate their vision from now until what it can be.   

  • In, 70% of the companies she’s invested in, Joanne was the first money into the companies. Joanne talks about how she works with her founders to get access to capital and resources and help them build their businesses.   

  • Joanne and Terri talk about various different funding mechanisms and getting access to capital. 

  • If Joanne could wave a magic wand, she would change the animosity in society that people have towards each other.  She would make sure everyone has healthcare, a roof over their heads, food on the table, and access to education.  With these fundamental needs met, she believes that they may have better caring for their fellow man.   

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

It’s difficult to be a generalist as an angel investor; it’s better to choose a vertical that is most interesting to you and become familiar with the space.   

References in the Podcast 


Joanne can be reached through her website https://gothamgal.com/.   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.