121 A Venture Catalyst for Social Impact: Investor and Entrepreneur Karen Rands shares investing tips and how women can lift other women.

Investor and Entrepreneur Karen Rands describes herself as a venture catalyst and compassionate capitalist – and specializes now in teaching women how to invest in mission-driven entrepreneurs to do good in the world as they built wealth. We talk crowdfunding, angel investing and investor education.

Melinda Wittstock:         Karen, welcome to Wings.

Karen Rands:                     Thank you very much Melinda, excited to be here with you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I am so excited to talk to you too because I’m a big believer in what I call evolved enterprise and you call compassionate capitalism. Tell me, what does compassionate capitalism mean to you?

Karen Rands:                     Well, it’s kind of two levels of which you can look at it. And when I first started this idea of compassionate capitalism during the recession. And, as I’d worked with angel investors for a decade and bringing entrepreneurs and investors together, I realized there was a lot of money sitting on the sidelines during the recession. And I wanted to have our own economic recovery, and so the idea was compassionate capitalists was somebody that invested time, knowledge, resources, money into entrepreneur endeavors to bring innovation to the market, create jobs and create wealth, because that’s where jobs come from is really in these early stage and these high-growth innovative companies.

And then after I came out with my book to teach people how to invest in companies, “Inside Secrets to Angel Investing”, I decided that there was a … I had met a lot of people and a lot of people that had been part of my angel investor group that were execs in companies, they maybe had had their company and were at a point where it was kind of coasting and they were looking to do other things. And a lot of times they would want to go out and start a new business. And if you’ve been in the corporate world for a long time and you’ve climbed the corporate ladder and you’ve got a lot of trappings of success, let’s say, the idea of going in, and what a lot of startups have to do, and bootstrapping and not having resources and not having income and not having time because you’re putting all into your business, may or may not be exactly what that exec that’s accustomed to a certain lifestyle would want to do if they really understood what it took to be it.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]If you can find an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur endeavor that has the passion and they’re willing to commit everything that they have in order to pursue that passion with their company, now you can be a compassionate capitalist because you’re not just about the buying and selling, trading of things to make money, it’s about what can your money do to move the human endeavor forward and share in the joy and the excitement and the passion that that entrepreneur endeavor has by investing and helping that person succeed. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @karenrands[/tweet_box]

So the idea became instead of being an entrepreneur you can invest in an entrepreneur. And the compassion side of that is that capitalists obviously is making money. So you can buy and sell stock, buy and sell real estate and make money with that, but if you can find an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur endeavor that has the passion and they’re willing to commit everything that they have in order to pursue that passion with their company, now you can be a compassionate capitalist because you’re not just about the buying and selling, trading of things to make money, it’s about what can your money do to move the human endeavor forward and share in the joy and the excitement and the passion that that entrepreneur endeavor has by investing and helping that person succeed. You don’t have to assume all the risk, you’re only assuming a part of the risk and you’re investing in the passion of that entrepreneur.

Melinda Wittstock:         I see. So that’s so interesting. So it’s a little bit different from the … The evolved enterprise side of things is really about investing in companies that are doing good for the world, like social impact. And by having that triple bottom line are actually wildly increasing their valuation and increasing the number of raving fans they have, right? And word of mouth and really, really growing much faster. But they’re both related.

Karen Rands:                     Yeah, absolutely they are. Because there’s what? You probably know these numbers. Depending on which list you look at, there’s five million, give or take a couple of million, of men and women in the United States that have, based off of their W-2s, their earned income, are accredited investors, meaning they’re making over $250,000 a year. Yet, less than 3% of those participate in any private investment endeavor. So that’s a whole lot of money out there that could be putting into, whether it’s the new coffee shop down the street that’s doing pure … Like I was at an event just recently that was talking about the kind of capitalism that you’re talking about and it was a chocolate company that everything about it was sustainable. And where they got their chocolate beans, how they brew them, how they invested in their employees, everything about it. How they took their money and invested it in youth programs to learn entrepreneurism. Everything about it, right?

So whether you wanted to invest in something like that that was a chocolate company down the street or something that had something else that was creating jobs in a different way, it’s just let’s get that money out of what’s just sitting in stock markets or real estate and let’s teach them how to invest in the private companies that have a triple bottom line or even just in general investing in entrepreneurism. Because that’s where independence come from. That’s where the greatest wealth is created. It’s just that a lot of people don’t understand that.

And now I think is really exciting, we call it the great economic democratization because of the Jobs Act. Used to be only people that had that couple hundred thousand in earned income could do these kind of investments. Now you could take $1,000 and put it into a company that’s doing one of these, whether it’s a Crowdfunding Reg CF or Reg A+, and have an opportunity to turn that $1,000 into $2,000 or $10,000, where there’s no other type of an investment you could put $1,000 in that has potential to produce a multitude of 2x, 5x, whatever it is, on your money.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s so interesting. You know what I found? In raising money for my startups, when I was kind of raising angel money, it was difficult to persuade women who had tremendously high net worth and would happily write a check for a million dollars or even $5 million to a charity to write a check for a startup, even one that had traction and whatnot. Why is that? What’s the barrier that a lot of women of high net worth have towards investing in scalable, fast-growing companies?

Karen Rands:                     Well, I was about to turn around and ask you what did they tell you was their reason for not investing? So you’re going to tell me but I’ll give you my theory first since you asked.

Melinda Wittstock:         Sure. And I’m happy to share back.

Karen Rands:                     So when I’ve participated in a number of different panels or think tanks, or these various things, talking about women investors, and even in something I just recently was reading about some initiative that [inaudible 00:07:01] just in general for women to take control of their finances and their financial IQ. So you could say, an argument could be made if you will, that because of the systemic cultural effect that our school system has had on women to believe that they’re not good at math and they’re not good at science and they’re not good at these things that are traditionally have been male roles, as they grow up and they’re successful in running regular business stuff, because they go to business school, they do these other things and they’re good at marketing and they’re good at team building and they’re good at these other kinds of things, they have at the back of their mind that they’re not good at money management or in financial matters and that’s why they let their financial planner and their wealth manager do all of that for them.

But when it comes to a charitable thing, they can understand and have the empathy for what that charity is wanting to accomplish. But as soon as you turn that into, “Oh, it’s a business? Well, I might lose my money. I don’t know enough about that. My financial planner, he won’t give me advice on that,” because that’s what I found. The reason why I would do the compassionate capitalist movement is that FINRA has been the biggest barrier to a lot of these … Those millions of people that have potential to be angel investors or compassionate capitalists don’t because they’ve never heard of it because their financial planners and wealth managers aren’t really allowed to talk to them about it.

And so there’s a gap of education and a mental switch that has to go, and this is what I’m working on is the mental switch that says, “Oh, I never thought about the idea that, yeah, I could lose my money, but the idea that the good that comes from investing in this business that can create the jobs that will move the ball forward in some innovation that has potential to cure cancer,” let’s say, “or potential to change education in our schools or has potential to do so many different things that we like.” The idea that I could make money from that too, and not just give my money away, is a fairly new concept that really hasn’t been promoted even since the Jobs Act 2012. It’s truly a fairly new concept to be able to think that way about your money.

And so I’m very actively working on let’s have women be the leaders of understanding that because it’s all about making that switch first that says, “I’m going to put my money to work in something other than a regular retail thing and I can trust myself, use my business sense, to make those decisions in that.” And it’s sort of an education process. A lot of it’s language as well as to how do they make money and what’s the other good that they’re doing, that even if they don’t make money on it they did all this other good by putting their money into that versus just a charity. And even when it comes to a charity, they’re going to want some oversight that says there was some return, even intrinsic, on that charity. So they have to understand that that’s kind of a business decision the same way that it’s a business decision to invest in a private company that’s private equity.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, so I couldn’t agree with you more. I think all of that is absolutely on point. And it’s interesting talking about FINRA, that their financial planners just are not in a position to even advise to do this. And so the education piece of this is really important. And we’ve seen angel groups, starting with say Golden Seeds and Pipeline Angels and a few others, spring up specifically to help female founders, which I think is marvelously encouraging. But, often, a lot of these women, again it’s an education thing, very risk adverse because they’re looking for indicators like revenue growth. Which, in the case of a tech startup, it can be a lagging indicator.

Karen Rands:                     Yeah, right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Depending on what your business model is. So they’re not necessarily educated as to what the opportunity is or how even to assess the opportunity.

Karen Rands:                     Yeah. So part of what my book, “Inside Secrets to Angel Investing, does is the first step is for a person to say, “Yeah, you know what? I do want to diversify my portfolio and invest in private equity because I have this risk tolerance for something that is highly risky but also has a high reward.” And then I assess what’s my amount that I’m willing to put at risk in that and my industry knowledge and these kind of things. And then decide, based on time and money, how do I play? So is it I want somebody that has 5 million, $10 million in revenue and is growing so maybe I’ll go to a Reg A+ because that’s going to be further along and, in theory, less risky. Okay? Or a 506(c), all the way down. It’ll have to be in a pure startup, but let’s get them started. My whole thing is a funnel. Let’s get them started first thinking about it and looking for opportunities and learning how to make those kind of investments on their own.

And if they don’t have the time to do the due diligence themselves and participate in funds that do that, and there’s funds at all different stages, but then work their way down into the startup as they kind of get their sea legs, so to speak. To get comfortable with it like this and then they’re willing to take on a little bit more risk. And they may start out with a convertible note of financing somebody’s receivables that can’t get that money from a bank and start out that way and get comfortable with it and, “Oh, I’ve made a little bit more money and a little bit more money,” and they just get comfortable with the whole process of being involved in private endeavors so that they get to a point that they’re willing to put money into a company that may take 10 years to get their ROI on and they’re comfortable with their money being tied up in that.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I think that’s really important. I think one other thing that’s going to change the game is as female entrepreneurs who have founded and have scaled tech companies, in particular, start to get lots of exits, sort of there’s more of a density of M&A emanating from female founded startups, those women I’m hoping are going to be much more likely to want to invest in the startup community and hopefully pay it forward. This is one of the things that I’m really excited about. I put out in the universe that I wanted to invest $10 million over the next 10 years in startups. And so I think the more of us that just kind of commit to that and do that and really pay it forward … But I think you’ve identified an area of real change. A lot of it’s just education because there’s opportunity. There’s opportunity to make money, there’s opportunity for so many different passive income streams and all sorts of diversification. It’s a really exciting time.

Karen Rands:                     It is, it is. And you’re so right on the education. So I wrote the predecessor to my book a decade ago when I was rebuilding my angel investor group that I had taken over and I realized there was … A wealth manager, one of these financial planners, had come to me and said, “I have people that want to invest in angel deals and I can’t tell them about it or talk to them or advise them on it. So is there any kind of tool or education that they can go to to be able to learn that?” And I looked around and there wasn’t anything so I started to write it then and got busy doing my big equity events and doing all these different things. So the first five chapters kind of got done. Then with the Jobs Act I looked around and i go, “Guess what? There’s still no education.” A decade later there’s still no education. Kaufman offers some but it’s only through structured angel groups.

If the average Joe wanted to out and learn how to do that, there is nothing out there. I said, “So, okay, times not too late. I can still get in the game on this and I can change things.” I can have a real impact on … My intention, my pay it forward piece of this is that in five years, a decade from now, however long it takes, it’s common for people, Millenials and everybody, to be going, “I want to figure out how to put money into an entrepreneur,” the same way today they strive to figure out how to put money into real estate. They go learn how to do a foreclosure or a flip or a subject to, or all the different ways that you can get starting in investing in real estate, and they go to classes on that and they go to figure it out and they buy books and they buy these things to learn how to do it. And it’s a whole cottage industry now to educate them.

And so if there’s a cottage industry up for teaching people how to invest in entrepreneurs, then I will have been successful, and a third of the United States is thinking about how to invest in some entrepreneur endeavor and doing it smartly, doing it with the right metrics, doing it with the right qualifications that the entrepreneur is worthy of that investment, right? But all of it comes together that way.

Melinda Wittstock:         I think that’s so interesting, particularly when we look at female founded businesses that have a chance of making it to 100 million or more in a period of time that a VC or a venture capitalist wants to see. We see these women with great scalable companies, tremendous potential, huge [inaudible 00:16:43] shots, but only getting 2 to 3% of the capital. So on the other side of it, it’s critical for something to change the game so that women founders can have a better strike rate of getting access to this capital as well.

Karen Rands:                     Yeah, and there’s also a thing, and I think it’s changing, but I’ll never forget there was a company, a female founded company, that presented at one of our angel investor events. This is back before mobile apps were commonplace. And she had developed a filter conversion tool that e-commerce sites, like a Macy’s for example, would be able to take their website and make it mobile-friendly by running it through this instead of having to do all the screen swipe left, swipe, all this stuff to try to fit a normal website onto this. And she had come out of the marketing and advertising space in retail and so had developed this app. And so it was presenting to this group and the investor … Basically, the bottom line was she didn’t get a lot of money.

And I asked the investors, “That was really exciting. What did you think about that? That’s a whole wave of the future.” They said, “It is. She’s totally got something going, but she’s not the right person because she undervalued her opportunity.” It was a, like you say, 100 million. It was a billion dollar opportunity but she thought it was a 10 million or a $20 million opportunity. And so she’s not the CEO that could take that all the way, and therefore I’m not going to invest in it. I was like, “Oh my god.” And so here she was trying not to be too bold, and by not being so bold she was shooting her own self in the foot because she knew it was this huge opportunity but she felt like a lot of entrepreneurs do, and I think women do this probably even more so than men do it, is thinking that we need to be conservative because we don’t want to be so bold and not be able to justify it.

Whereas men, a lot of times, as CEOs, will just be bold, and then they get respect for being bold, right? And I think we’re changing that. And I do hope that it gets easier for women to raise money because what I also found in my community in Atlanta when we went through our first thing of dot-com stuff like that. We had a real challenge with people that had built real big, successful companies and had big exits to not come back and do it again. They went off and did real estate. And part of it was it was so hard for them to get there, because we were such a hard community to raise money in, that they felt no obligation to come back and pay it backwards and do it. It’s changed now but it took a whole cultural shift of that reinvestment.

And so I hope and pray that as it becomes easier for women to be leaders of companies and therefore get capital because they take on the strappings, if you will, of a bold entrepreneur, not necessarily a bold man but a bold entrepreneur in general, of having belief in what their doing and being able to ask for the money, because there’s a certain amount of facing your fear when it comes to asking for the money, and they’re able to do that, then they also will want to go and do their second big hit, but maybe not start it from scratch but co-invest and be a co-founder with somebody else and lift them up. And then both of those will go back and do it again. And then we’ll have a trickle-down into women-owned business that we’ve never seen in our history yet.

Melinda Wittstock:         So Karen, what was it that first got you into angel investing?

Karen Rands:                     Okay, so I was one of those people that you would call an ‘intrapreneur’. That’s the term that they use now. But in corporate American, in my job, I was at IBM, and my job was, leading up to the dot-com and I had done this kind of along the way, along my career, but was to go evaluate companies and get IBM to rubber seal, seal of approval on their technology, put IBM resources in it so that they could go out and get what we called venture capital and come back and spend it with IBM. Because IBM had realized they were missing out on some of those early stage dot-coms and stuff like that and they wouldn’t go to IBM later on once they had gone on a platform. And so I left to go work with one of my customers that had this really exciting software technology and go raise him capital.

And as a lot of people do we called all capital venture capital, and I had no idea that there was angel investors, angel investing was a thing, until I went to a meeting to see whether it was something for him to attend. Another friend of mine was going to this meeting and I went to the meeting. And I went to it and I was like, “Oh my god, these are individuals that are writing their own checks and they’re writing big checks. I didn’t know this existed.” And I just became fascinated with this idea of individuals writing checks out of their checking account into these early-stage companies and then making all this potential return on it when they went on. And I became this sponge.

So this is like 2000, 2001. I became this sponge of everything, every deal flow meeting I’d get to, every investor that would have a cup of coffee with me, I would sit down and I would ask them, “Well, how’d you get started? How’d you make money? Why did you not invest in this deal? This looked like it was right up your …,” because it would be after an event that we had gone to, “How come you didn’t like that deal? Well why’d you invest in this other deal?” Just ask. So hundreds of investors I would interview and ask these questions and talk to them. And I ended up taking over that angel investment group. I’d started out being his girl Friday, running his follow-up events and having these opportunities to be a part of these meetings and having a place at the table, not as an investor at the time, just as a doer. And so started learning all this stuff and discovering this world of angel investing that I just really had never had … It made sense.

It totally made sense. Where else do startups get their first round of money? I knew that they couldn’t get it from a bank but I had never heard the term before. And so it wasn’t until I started writing a book, the first version, and putting out, capturing this information from these different investors on how they made their decision process. And then teaching entrepreneurs the flip side, “Here’s how investors make their decision process,” that I really discovered there was this whole new world that almost every business, even when I would write I understood when I researched Microsoft and how it got started or Amazon and how it got started, or even Home Depot. And in my book I talk about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. All these different things, these companies that you know of, they all got started with somebody at the very beginning that gave them money.

Even Ford Motor Company, except that his investor that put the $300 in to start that wanted it back so he gave it back after, when he first … Otherwise, there’d be another family that would be as famous as the Fords, right? But everything has had that little bit of startup capital in it just about. And so it has always been just fascinating to me and I want everybody to potentially play in that game, have the capacity for risk and the discretionary income to do so.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. It’s true. It’s wonderful that you’ve taken it to this level of not just doing it yourself but finding leverage or scale in it by encouraging other people as well. And so what is the average size of your investment Karen? And what kind of things do you look for in a company?

Karen Rands:                     Well, I’m not actually an accredited investor so I have invested in companies and co-invested with my investors during my angel group, when I was running the angel group, Network of Business Angels and Investors, for about a decade. And so my average investment was about 10 grand in a company. I’m looking for a couple of those to … I have one more, probably about 25, whatever. The national average is 25 and the rule of thumb is … Because they’re going to put the average of 25 to 50 into an individual company and co-invest with other investors that make up one of our local angel groups. They’re put $250,000 into a company but they might have 25 investors that put 10K in a piece. And then that 250,000 goes into the company as a single entity investor.

And so that’s how some investors will spread it out because, like you say, you put out there for 10 million over the next 10 years, you have to have a strategy that says, “What are you going to invest in?” And I learned this the hard way because now I don’t have money to invest because all my money’s invested, right? But you have to have a decision process that says, “You’re going to invest in at least 10 companies over the next five to seven years, and what is that money based on your income level?” Ideally you’ve got … One of the ways I work with investors to understand, particularly some of these executives, they have big, fat 401Ks, or people that own their own businesses they might have a self-directed IRA that’s got a lot of money in it, well they can invest in their self-directed IRA.

So even if they don’t have a couple hundred thousand dollars just sitting around waiting to be in this investment, they all have money that is in one of these funds like this and they could carve it out and have $300,000, let’s say, that they’re going to put 25,000 into 10 different companies over the course of five years and have another 50 set aside to put into additional companies that they want to help go to that next level or maintain their period interest. Because sometimes when the next round comes in they give investors an opportunity to maintain their equity and thereby co-investing in the next round. So you want to have extra money to be a part of maintaining your share in that company so you don’t get diluted. And so that’s a long circle around what my size investment is. But I think you were really trying to get what the average investment amount is. So that’s kind of [inaudible 00:28:01].

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. No, it’s interesting. Different kinds of businesses need different types of things. Like obviously technology because so much of the cost is up front so they’re inherently more risky but they inherently have so much more reward because of the scalability of them.

Karen Rands:                     Right.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right? So if you think of it in the way a VC does where you think, “Okay.” You’re going to invest in 10 companies and nine of them are going to bomb but one of them is going to do so well you can afford to do that.

Karen Rands:                     Yeah. Well, and that’s the whole thing, that’s why you have to have a plan. The worst thing that anybody can do that wants to get started in angel investing is say, “Oh, I just saw this really exciting deal. It seems so great,” and they invest on emotion without really understanding what the landscape of that deal is. And they put their 25 or 50 or whatever they’ve got that they’re looking to put into a deal and they just do it the one time without thinking, “What’s my next one?”, and not a plan. Nobody really should invest in real estate without having a portfolio strategy. And so you could do something that’s a short term to be able to get more money, kind of like when you go to gamble, right? You want to ride on the house’s money. Well, you want to go and do this, but you have to have a strategy that says you’re going to invest in whatever your capacity is.

I was listening to a podcast by Jason [inaudible 00:29:28] the other day and he was talking about how had he known what he knew when he was young and he put two grand in under a crowd funding thing right now and take one week’s salary out of a small amount of money that he might make when he was 20 years old and start putting into private companies as a pseudo crowd funding angel investor with the idea that out of 10 you’re going to have five that totally lose your money, three that are going to do okay, one that’s going to do pretty darn good and one that’s going to hit it out of the park, right? And you don’t know. The thing is if anybody knew exactly how to predict those, VCs would always have winners. But the VCs are the ones that came up with that because, even with all the resources they have, they can’t even predict the totally winner of what’s it going to be.

That’s why it’s mandatory, if you’re going to do any kind of private investment into companies, to have a diversification strategy and to have a long-term play on it.

Melinda Wittstock:         It is. And you have to be prepared to lose it.

Karen Rands:                     Exactly. It cannot be money that you can’t afford to lose.

Melinda Wittstock:         Exactly. If it’s your kid’s college tuition …

Karen Rands:                     Exactly.

Melinda Wittstock:         … I don’t think so, you know? And so really developing that, and doing so in a way that is diversified, makes total sense. This is so important. I think it would be wonderful to see the fruits of what you’re doing, and it’s getting a lot more women more …

So Karen, I think this is so exciting what you’re doing because it will change the game, not only for the women who are doing the investing because they will be making more money and just a more assured financial future with this education, but the women who really, surely need adequate capitalization in their businesses and are struggling to do so. If there’s any way to match those two things up, it’s a real game changer. It brings me to one of my final questions is is where do you think we’ll be with that over the next few years and into the next decade?

Karen Rands:                     Are you referring to on the women side of this, what you were just talking about, or just angel investing in general?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yes, I am, because this is a podcast for women entrepreneurs and investors, so yes. So why don’t we ask that … We’ll edit that out. Why don’t you just … I’ll clarify the question. Again, I was asking you women are not getting enough capital to grow, even start their businesses and their companies are being starved of it, which is bad enough. On the flip side of it, women who are investors are not getting the opportunity, which is something that you’re trying to fix. So I’m just simply asking you where do you see us in a decade? How can we get these two different things, these two different sides of a market, to connect with that?

Karen Rands:                     Okay. Absolutely. Okay Melinda, I am so happy that you asked that question because it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I very much have been passionate about women empowerment for a long, long time. And there’s a couple of initiatives that I think are independent of this question of entrepreneurism itself and women angel investors. They’re kind of parallel paths that I think are all coming together to create a ripe environment. And so I’m going to speak very fingers crossed, optimistic, this is where I hope that these parallel paths conjoin. So you have a huge initiative in the youth area of STEM, right? Bringing in really girls that code, all these things, trying to get teenage girls and young adult girls to get involved in science, math, engineering. That has been a long-time area of male dominance, if you will, because of what we talked at the very beginning, sort of the systemic of whether girls are good at math and good at science.

But that’s where a lot of your tech companies come out of that, right? They come out of that community. They just sort of think differently. So there’s a huge initiative within our youth for doing that right now, lots and lots of organizations behind that. On the other side of it you have this huge women empowerment going on within our political world, within the corporate world, of what we’re willing to take in our corporate environments when it comes to the respect that we receive in the corporate world. And this whole thing, I won’t give the hashtag on that but there’s a whole initiative over here of women saying, “Yes, I can stand my ground,” if you will, right? “And I can be represented in Congress and I can do these kind of things.” So there’s this political path and social-economic path on that side of it of what we’re striving for.

And so in between this is you have women, whether in the corporate world and then they decide that they too want to take charge of their financing. So now it’s the finance side of this. So we can get the right hand side that is this engineering space, and I participated in a panel last year, a thing that had been sponsored on women businesses, and majority of women businesses that get started are service businesses. They’re not scalable businesses. And this organization was trying to understand why women weren’t creating scalable businesses. And so now we have this, the third path of this which is these various incubators and accelerators that are working specifically for women to learn how to build scalable businesses. That means that they can go from just being 100,000 to a million to a 10 million to 100 million and so on business, right? So the three of these things I think are going to converge.

And it probably won’t be five years but I think definitely within 10 years, where the girls that are 15 are now 25 starting their first company in a technology space. And you’ve got women that are in the mid-level corporate things that’s saying, “This is the kind of respect that I have and the income.” And then you have these businesses that now or becomes commonplace in 10 years from because of these accelerators and the [inaudible 00:36:19] that are being taught that, “Oh yes, I can build a scalable business. I don’t have to be a daycare business or a cupcake business or a this kind of business. I can be a manufacturing business. I can be some other. I could be a software company. I could be a huge something else company, consumer products company but I’m going to go into it with the idea that I’m scaling and what does that mean to scale.”

And then all of that comes together because women are supporting women in all of these different endeavors, whether it’s the tech side, the investment side, and it all comes together. So I am extremely proud, double fingers crossed here, optimistic that a decade from now it’s a completely different landscape of what we experience right now because women have really stepped out of their comfort zone across the board in how they speak up about things, how they expect themselves to be able to engage and accomplish things, and then therefore the money comes to that. Because green is green, right? Greens not pink, green is green. And so green, we could make money and we could make money together and there’s lots of different ways and I’m hoping to be a huge part of that in empowering women to learn how to be able to invest in those kind of things and make money with their financial IQ.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s wonderful. So Karen, how can people find you and work with you? And do you have any special offer for anyone today?

Karen Rands:                     So they can work with me, the easiest way to reach me, it’s really easy, karenrands.co, K-A-R-E-N-R-A-N-D-S dot C-O is my website and on there is a contact page that you can sign up. And it sends you, if you sign up there, it’ll send you a [inaudible 00:38:08] are you an investor? Are you an entrepreneur? Or are you a service provider? And then the next thing will be what’s the best way for us and then link to my calendar to set up to let’s set up and have a conversation. If they’re an entrepreneur that wants to say, “You know, I’ve been struggling raising capital or I don’t really know what kind of capital,” I offer a free half hour consultation to entrepreneurs to explore what their options are and kind of give them some direction. It’s kind of my give back and it’s kind of a long web thing on there but they’ll get a link to that when they sign up on the karenrands.co. But they go to, it’s launchfn, L-A-U-N-C-H, F as in funding, N as in network, launchfn.com/consultation.html.

And that’s a short little form that gives me some basic information about them and sends them a link to my calendar and we set up a time and talk. And then if they want more information about the book, best way, and you can get some excerpts on it, there’s 44 inside secrets in the book on little golden nuggets about angel investing and I have what I think are 12 of the best ones as kind of a free document on there. And it’s just insidesecretstoangelinvesting.com.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s wonderful. Well thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying today.

Karen Rands:                     Absolutely. Very, very excited to be a part of your show today and be able to share this information. And hopefully together we’re going to inspire some women to step out of their comfort zone and invest in entrepreneurs, start their business, grow their business, scale their business, do all the things that we know we as women are capable of doing.

Melinda Wittstock:         Indeed. Well, it’s so funny, when I think of the acronym WINGS, it’s Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling. It could be Women Investing Networking Growing Scaling.

Karen Rands:                     There you go.

Melinda Wittstock:         So there you go.

Karen Rands:                     There you go.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well thank you so much.

Karen Rands:                     You’re very welcome. Thank you Melinda.


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