Starting early next year, Astia Executive Director Sharon Vosmek announced today, the San Francisco-based non-profit will launch a dedicated Astia Fund as well as an Astia Angel Network. The fund and network will invest in companies that participate in the Astia program,which focuses on startups in high-growth sectors with at least one woman in a C level leadership role or a significant position of influence.
Vosmek, in her announcement, says plans for the fund were motivated in part by a Kauffman Foundation report published this spring which found that men raised 27 times more equity from outsiders during the first year of operation. The study also found that, while women start businesses at a higher rate than men, they were less likely to seek angel funding. (Although those who did seek angel funding had an equal likelihood of receiving it.)
Astia did not say who will be providing capital for the fund or how large it will be. The organization currently has a roster of more than 2,000 advisors, including investors and executives of large technology companies, who work with its startups. Since 2003, it has worked with more than 250 women-led companies.
Image courtesy of Astia.