startup funding

Episode 88-The benefits of a customer and patient centric approach in women's health care innovation with Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures

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Terri talks with Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures about how True Wealth Ventures views women’s health, the opportunities and challenges in the space, and how innovators need to have a more customer-centric approach earlier in the innovation cycle.

Who is Kerry Rupp?


Kerry Rupp is General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage VC fund investing in women-led businesses in consumer health and sustainability. She teaches for the NSF I-Corps program, mentors startups, and consults on innovation and strategy. Kerry was previously CEO at DreamIt, a Top Ten US startup accelerator and VC fund. She founded Holiday Golightly, a group travel service for women.  Kerry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Duke.

Show Highlights

·      Kerry shares why women’s health is interesting to her from an innovation and a funding perspective, her path into venture capital, and what True Wealth Ventures is all about

·      Kerry talks about True Wealth Venture’s focus on the broad definition of women’s health and how little research and emphasis has been on women and women’s bodies and brains

·      Kerry and Terri share the view that awareness, research and innovation in women’s health are critical right now

·      Kerry shares what she is excited about in women’s health and both Terri and Kerry talk about the difficulty in choosing the ones to invest in

·      Terri and Kerry talk about the gap between the startup innovation and the healthcare providers and how to bridge the gap

·      Kerry shares how to connect with her and Sara at True Wealth Ventures if you have a startup within their investment thesis


Terri’s Key Takeaway

We need to be doing more to bring together the healthcare providers and healthcare innovators earlier in the process. 


References in the Podcast

·      DreamIt Ventures:

·      True Wealth Ventures:

·      Sara Brand:

·      Lisa Health:

·      Genneve:

·      Mighty Menopause:

·      Pandia:

·      Lemonaid Health:

·      Braincheck:

·      Katie McMillan:

·      Springboard:



Kerry can be reached through LinkedIn or her website   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium: 

Feel free to email Terri at

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

Episode 82-Educating and inspiring Angel Investors through OSEA Angels in Orange County with Xandra Laskowski

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Terri talks to Xandra Laskowski about her own angel investing journey which has led to her desire to inspire and educate more female investors through OSEA Angels in Orange County.

Who is Xandra Laskowski?

Xandra Laskowski is a startup consultant with over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience with large multinational tech companies as well as startups as founder, investor, advisor and board member. She has held positions as Worldwide Commodity Manager and National Major Accounts Managerial roles before moving into the angel investment and startup worlds.   She founded OSEA Angel Investors in 2017, a women focused angel investment group based at the UC Irvine Cove, UCI Applied Innovation.  OSEA Angel Investors is a partner angel group with Tech Coast Angels and Angel Syndication Network.

Show Highlights

·      Xandra shares her journey into investing beginning in 2012 including some of her favorite investments and how they are faring.

·      Xandra talks about her investment philosophy which has evolved since she started investing.  She makes sure they are in revenue and that she is strategically aligned to be able to provide support before she writes her first, small check. 

·      Xandra’s leverages her professional experience and network in addition to her experience managing her family’s asset as an angel investor. 

·      She created Osea Angels to help other women in her community learn about investing in startups and get access to deals to make those investments. She is bringing education, inspiration, and connections to her members for startup opportunities. 

·      Xandra saw a need to support small businesses in Orange County that need access to resources to build and grow their businesses and she partnered up with someone to provide these services. 

·      Xandra most felt like the pilot in her own life when she took over her family’s finances to better manage her family’s wealth.    

Terri’s Key Takeaway

It’s time for women who are building the female founder / female investor ecosystem begin to benefit financially. 

References in the Podcast

·      Hera Venture Summit:

·      Osea Angels:

·      Liquid Biosciences:

·      Tech Coast Angels:

·      UC Irvine Cove:

·      First Republic Bank:

·      Changing Tides:

·      AngelList:

·      Jane VC:


Xandra can be reached by email at

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium: 

Feel free to email Terri at

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

Episode 81-Finding Tailored Funding strategies for Female Founders and Business Owners with Jenny Kassan

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Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies.

Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies. 

Who is Jenny Kassan?  

Jenny Kassan has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises and is a certified coach.  She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors.  She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017). 

She served on the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies and submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act

Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents. 

Jenny is a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund, is the President of Community Ventures, and co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center.  She was a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers and is a member of the Content Advisory Panel of Conscious Company Magazine and serves on the advisory boards of Lioness Magazine and Investibule

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.     

Show Highlights 

  • Jenny talks about her journey into working with startups and businesses on tailored fundraising strategies and the importance of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Jenny talks about how her frustration with fundraising options and meeting Michelle Thimesch led to the recent launch of CrowdFund Main Street to take advantage of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Terri and Jenny talk about how crowdfunding can fit into a startup’s fundraising strategy and how the definition of success for a startup is not based on funding rounds. 

  • Jenny is now focusing on the investor side and educating a lot of Americans on investing opportunities through her new organization called Angels of Main Street.   

  • Terri talks about how important it is for some us to see the direct impact of their investments and/or time.     

  • Jenny talks about how she works with her clients to structure their financing strategies in alignment with their goals, values, and short/long term strategies.  She also talks about the various options available to founders.  

  • Jenny felt most like the pilot in her own life when she went out on her own with her own firm.  She now has the business of dreams.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Taking the first step is important to opening up new opportunity paths.   


References in the Podcast 


Jenny can be reached through her website 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 80-Supporting an Ecosystem for Women of Color to be Startup Founders and Investors by leveraging Angel Investing

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Terri talks to Tawana Murphy Burnett about how joining and getting active with Pipeline Angels has led to her becoming an active leader in the startup ecosystem for women of color.   

Who is Tawana Murphy Burnett?  

Tawana Murphy Burnett, former consultant turned startup employee and entrepreneur, is now a global marketing leader at Facebook helping the top 30 Global Advertisers like Estée Lauder and Johnson & Johnson become the best mobile marketers. Prior to Facebook, Tawana led brand and product teams at Intuit, LeapFrog, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, leading P&L, Brand Growth, integrated marketing strategies and new product innovation for brands like Listerine, Advil, and ChapStick.  

Since 2017 Tawana has become an active investor in women and women of color owned businesses primarily through Portfolia and as a Member and Due Diligence Lead with Pipeline Angels. She has served on numerous Diversity and Inclusion councils, most recently joining Digital Undivided as an Advisory Board Member for StartUp Newark. 


Show Highlights 

  • Tawana talks about being inspired to get involved in angel investing because of what Terri shared with her about her desire to get more capital into the hands of female founders when they met in the Lufthansa lounge in Frankfurt. 

  • Tawana joined Pipeline Angels and shares her experience learning about angel investing, leading a deal, and getting more involved to invest in more women of color.   

  • Tawana has made 9 investments since she started less than two years ago.  She talks about being excited about the community building piece, hosting more events, and getting involved with Digital Undivided in Atlanta and Startup Newark.   

  • Terri talks about leveraging AngelList as a ‘poor woman’s VC’ to be able to bring deals together and give women who are leading these deals some sort of compensation for the work associated with this.  She also talks about the importance of building the ecosystem but also finding ways for women to get compensated for all the work we are doing for free.   

  • If Tawana could wave a magic wand, she would improve the public education system in the US and make sure it is financially supported.   

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Be open to conversations with people; be open to new ideas; be open to education.   

References in the Podcast 


Tawana can be reached through LinkedIn: 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 78-Moving from startup to growth stage -a conversation with founder Mary Ray of MyHealthTeams, the social network for people with chronic illness

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Terri talks to Mary Ray of MyHealthTeams about the shift from startup to growth-stage and the importance of listening to your customers. Mary Ray started her entrepreneurial journey in second grade selling Pac Man trading cards which eventually led to founding MyHealthTeams with her co-founder Eric Peacock to provide social networks for people with chronic illnesses.

Who is Mary Ray?  

Mary Ray, cofounder and COO of MyHealthTeams, has a deep understanding of consumer behavior and social networking, which drives unmatched engagement among MyHealthTeams’ more than 1.6 million members across 29 communities serving people living with chronic conditions. Her innovative vision for people-first digital health solutions and laser focus on user experience, authentic connections and scalable platforms has helped the company quickly address 90% of the chronic condition population since its launch in 2012.  

Drawing from her personal experience with friends and family members living with chronic conditions, she is passionate about building communities that empower individuals, families and caregivers to share experiences, resources and lifehacks that help them actively manage health and wellness while living with a chronic condition. Previously, Mary has held executive positions with established leaders such as IAC and Sony as well as with innovative startups across the mobile, digital media and consumer technology landscape.  

Mary is a graduate of the College of William & Mary School of Business and George Mason University. A serial entrepreneur, Mary is an advocate for women in technology and has served as a SXSW mentor for up-and-coming female leaders. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.  

Show Highlights 

  • Mary takes us through her background and her entrepreneurial journey into being the co-founder/COO of MyHealthTeams.  This journey started in 2nd grade selling Pac Man trading cards.   

  • Mary talks about meeting her co-founder Eric Peacock and how they decided to start MyHealthTeams as a spin-out from Insider Pages. 

  • MyHealthTeams is no longer a startup and is now in the growth stage.  Mary talks about where they are today and the plans to go deeper in their segments and provide greater benefits to their members.   

  • Terri asks about their strategy for creating new social networks and why they don’t roll out for lots of conditions at the same time.  Mary answers and shares some of their biggest surprises in the MyHealthTeams social network rollout and usage.  

  • Mary’s favorite founder resources include connecting with others through LinkedIn groups, female founder groups, and Harvard Business Review. 

  • If Mary could wave a magic want, she would change it so that people sincerely understand each other and act accordingly.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Listen to your customers to learn about ways to improve your product in unexpected ways.   

References in the Podcast 


Mary can be reached by via email, Twitter @marycray and LinkedIn 


You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 77-Bringing groups of women together to introduce them to angel investing and funding female-led startups with lynn-ann gries

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Bringing groups of women together to introduce them to angel investing and funding female-led startups with Lynn-Ann Gries

Who is Lynn-Ann Gries?  


Lynn-Ann Gries has spent her career in the financial arena. From investment banking to venture capital she has experience working with a wide range of companies, from start-ups to those in the Fortune 1000. 


She began her career in the mid-80s working for two investment banking firms in New York, Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. When marriage brought her to the Midwest she began working for the regional firm McDonald and Company, now part of KeyBank. At McDonald she was primarily responsible for helping companies access capital through the public equity markets, but also assisted 

companies in the processes of raising growth capital or transitioning ownership through sales or mergers. 

In 2001 she began working in venture capital, managing a small venture development fund with a mission to invest in tech-based start-ups. Over the course of 12 years she and her team invested $30M in 80 companies, all located in Northeast Ohio, including CoverMyMeds (sold to McKesson for $1.1 billion), CardioInsight (sold to Medtronic for $90 million), Wireless Environment (recently sold to Ring for an undisclosed amount) and OnShift, one of the Northeast Ohio region’s premier software companies.  

As of July 2018, she is the newly hired Managing Partner of the First Check Fund, the newest in a family of 15+ funds managed by Alumni Ventures Group. She also runs her own consulting firm providing a variety of business services including management of a women’s angel network, financial analysis, market research, and advisory services to entrepreneurs seeking capital. She currently serves on the boards of the Smith College Club of Cleveland, Summer on the Cuyahoga and In Counsel with Women.  

Lynn-Ann received her MBA from New York University (Stern School of Business) and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College where she majored in Economics. She is mom to two grown children and resides in Shaker Heights with her husband, a sixth generation Clevelander, high school lacrosse coach and devoted Cleveland sports fan who has successfully managed to turn a Jersey into a Cleveland Indians superfan.  

Show Highlights 

  • Lynn-Ann shared her background starting in New Jersey and ultimately in Cleveland, OH including her time investment banking and early stage investing in the Midwest.  Lynn-Ann goes into detail on economic redevelopment in Ohio and her work with Jumpstart and the Ohio Third Frontier Program.      

  • Lynn-Ann talks about how she used to think that women didn’t need any preferential treatment to get funding until she saw the data.  This prompted her to share a female founder deal with her successful female friends that led to syndicating her first deal.   Her goal was to get the women she knew in her community with big jobs, at big corporations, where there is no intersection with an entrepreneur, to bring them together with the female led startups looking for capital.   

  • Terri and Lynn-Ann talk about the importance of getting more women to invest and the difference in risk tolerance between men and women and how this affects investing by women.  

  • Terri and Lynn-Ann discuss doing the work for free to support the female founder and female investor ecosystem and investigating options to monetize the time spent building it.   

  • Lynn-Ann talks about the women starting very small funds to build track record to be able to raise bigger funds at a later date.   

  • If Lynn-Ann could wave a magic wand, she would make universal healthcare coverage a reality.    

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

We need to continue to build the connections between investors interested in female-led startups to make it easier for them to get access to capital.   

References in the Podcast 




Lynn-Ann can be reached through LinkedIn at 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 75 -blockchain, equity crowdfunding and democratizing access to capital for startups with Gaby katsnelson

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Terri talks to Gaby Katsnelson about equity crowdfunding, why SMBX is built on a private Etherium network, and the importance of democratizing fundraising. 

Who is Gabrielle Katsnelson?  

Gabrielle Katsnelson is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of SMBX. She has a decade of financial accounting, strategy, and operations experience; including: managing the loan portfolio of the Artists Community Federal Credit Union; the restricted royalty funds of TuneCore, a digital distributor of music; and architecting financial infrastructure for countless startups and SMBs.   

Dedicated to creating a surplus ecosystem, Gabrielle believes that giving SMBs access to capital while creating an engaging and empowering investing experience for people is the means.    

Show Highlights 

  • Terri and Gaby talk about how they met at a Draper University blockchain pitch day and gravitated towards each other over common interests 

  • Gaby shared her journey from accounting into biotech in New York and ultimately into FinTech in San Francisco in early 2017 

  • Gaby met her co-founder of SMBX at one of the crypto, blockchain and ICO meetups she went to; he was always asking the interesting questions.  

  • Their company, SMBX is built on a private Etherium network and takes advantage of Title III of the JOBS Act to help small businesses issue bonds so that investors can invest in businesses they are interested in providing a secondary market for investors.   

  • Gaby and Terri talk about where blockchain is from a maturity perspective and the future of blockchain.  

  • Gaby explains equity crowdfunding and the differences between Title II, Title III and Title IV. Terri and Gaby talk about using crowdfunding to democratize funding and how we are still in early days.   

  • If Gaby could wave a magic wand to change something in this world, she would change mindset and personal responsibility for your own mindset.   

 Terri’s Key Takeaway 

It is important to maintain a sense of fun.  It doesn’t have to be so serious all of the time.   

References in the Podcast 


Gabrielle can be reached via email; Twitter: @gabykatsnelson and through LinkedIn:

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

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, 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   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 73 - How To Survive The Turbulence As A Founder Of A Small Company In A Big Market

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Terri talks to Laura Fleet about how a personal experience gave her the idea and inspiration to start SendaRide and that she is both loving the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship and challenged every day.   

Who is Laura Fleet?  


Laura Fleet is a leading expert in health care and regulatory law, having represented health insurers, providers and hospital systems for more than twenty years. Her professional career as legal counsel, lobbyist and Executive Director for numerous non-profit Associations in the health care sector has given her a unique perspective into our health care delivery system. Having successfully identified an opportunity to bridge one of the many gaps, she launched and Co-Founded SendaRide. 
During her career she has continually been at the frontline of our ever-evolving healthcare delivery system, shaping and interpreting the laws that providers, insurers and hospitals operate within. She is identified as an industry expert and thrives on solving the many problems the healthcare industry faces – whether regulatory, legal, legislative or implementation.  

Show Highlights 

  • Laura talks about her company, SendaRide, and why she started the company.   

  • Laura continues to talk about being a smaller player in a bigger market, her go to market strategy and differentiating factors.  

  • Laura has become very comfortable with the word ‘pivot’ and being uncomfortable.   SendaRide started as a B2C LLC and is now a B2B Delaware Corp.  

  • Laura has become comfortable with being the face and brand of SendaRide.   

  • Laura’s favorite founder resource is her network of female founders who have gone before her, and investor resources who are willing to make introductions and be available to answer questions and bounce around ideas.   

  • Laura was accepted into Springboard and shared what she is looking to get out of the time with her advisory group.   

  • Laura has been surprised by how much she is enjoying being a founder of a startup and the variety of skillsets she has developed over her time as CEO.   

  •  If Laura had a magic wand, she would make chocolate and champagne have no calories and carbs.  She would also have people stop in their tracks and not make judgments and not look at stereotypes when they make decisions.   

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Don’t become a founder because it’s cool; you have to be 100% committed.   

References in the Podcast 



Laura can be reached through LinkedIn at and via email at   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:  

Feel free to email Terri at 

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

Episode 72 - How to improve funding for women entrepreneurs as an angel investor

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Terri talks to Nancy Hayes about how she operates as an angel investor, her advisory style, and why she is focused on female led businesses.

Who is Nancy Hayes?

Nancy Hayes is an active angel investor focused on women-led companies. She has invested in 22 companies and serves as advisor to entrepreneurs and as a management consultant and coach to executives in for-profit and nonprofit corporations.

Nancy left the IBM Corporation, where she was a senior executive, to become CEO of the STARBRIGHT Foundation, an innovative nonprofit organization that used technology and media to help seriously ill children and subsequently was President and CEO of WISE Senior Services, a social services agency which served frail elderly and disabled adults.

Nancy was named Dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University in 2005 and after six years in that role, was CFO and Chief Administrative Officer of the university for 2 years.

In 2013, Nancy cofounded MoolaHoop, a rewards-based crowdfunding site for women with small businesses.

She was Managing Director of the Silicon Valley chapter of Golden Seeds, a national angel group that invests in women-led companies, for over 3 years.

Nancy has an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Chicago and resides in San Francisco.

Show Highlights

  • Nancy shares her journey into angel investing after helping women with small businesses and seeing the funding challenges.

  • Nancy talks about various financing options available including revenue-based financing and the statistics around the number of companies started each day.

  • Angels join groups to minimize risk.

  • Terri and Nancy talk about the ways in which women can (and should) become active angel investors. Spoiler: just jump in and do it.

  • Nancy talks about her value in advising startups and her favorite investments.

  • Nancy would wave a magic wand to get advice and mentorship to more female founders earlier.

Terri’s Key Takeaway

As women, we think we need to take one more class or get one more degree but with angel investing, we just need to get started.

References in the Podcast


Nancy can be reached by email at, via Twitter at @nancyhayes and through LinkedIn at

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:

Feel free to email Terri at

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

Episode 71- An unusual and circuitous path to becoming an angel investor with Alicia Castillo Holley

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Terri talks to Alicia Castillo about her circuitous path into angel investing that started in a rural town in Venezuela that has landed her in Silicon Valley and how her global experience has made her realize how important it is for us to acknowledge that we, as people, are more similar than we are different.

Who is Alicia Castillo?

Alicia Castillo Holley is an international expert in creating wealth and is passionate about prosperity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. She is an active angel investor and the creator of the 10-week online program called Women Get Funded.

Alicia’s career started as a young scientist and professor on Agronomy before becoming involved in product development for a Bayer-Shell joint venture and eventually turning into an entrepreneur and angel investor.

As an entrepreneur, she has started nine companies -successfully exiting from five of them- and two non-for-profit. She played a pivotal role in the development of the entrepreneurial curriculum and the Venture Capital industry in Chile, where she lived between 1996 and 2002. She has also consulted, mentored, or coached hundreds of entrepreneurs worldwide, is a prolific author and speaker, and pushes academic institutions to reinvent business education.

Philanthropically, she supports organizations that foster education, social entrepreneurship and prevent and turn domestic violence into harmony. A global trotter, she has visited over 100 countries, and has lived in Venezuela, Chile, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the US and currently resides in Menlo Park.

Show Highlights

  • Alicia shares her journey into angel investing. Her journey started in a socialist household in a rural town in Venezuela and took her to all parts of the world.

  • Terri and Alicia talk about bias and chemistry in decision making.

  • Alicia talks about how she operates as an angel investor, what areas she focuses on and the characteristics of the founders she looks to back.

  • Alicia talks about her 10-week, online program called Women Get Funded to educate women on how to get their companies funded.

  • If Alicia could wave a magic wand to change something in the world, she would change war. She would get people to realize that we are more similar than different.

  • Alicia’s favorite founder resources include two of her books How to Fund Your Million Dollar Idea, The Ten Unwealthy Habits and Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Terri’s Key Takeaway

It’s important to build channels of trust regardless of gender.

References in the Podcast


Alicia can be reached on LinkedIn at or through her website

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at or on Medium:

Feel free to email Terri at

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