Kara Penn is the mother of four daughters and the owner of management and strategy consulting firm Mission Spark. And now thanks to the Hostel Fund, he is also an angel investor.
With Angel Squad coming out of the hostel fund theft today, a new initiative aimed at investing in angels to attract more people. To more people like Colorado-based Penn. “We believe that in order to diversify the startup ecosystem, one of the things we need to do is increase diversity – be it gender, color or geography – among angel investors,” said Elizabeth Yin, co-founder and general partner at Hostel Fund.
Through Angel Squad, Hostel Fund specifically aims to build an inclusive investor community, reduce minimum check sizes and make them accessible (less than $1,000 angels), provide “Angel Education” and provide investors with a way to invest alongside the Hostel Fund. “I got this misconception, or at least I had this misconception that in order to be an angel investor you have to be very rich and write a check for $25000,” Yen told TechCrunch.
“But the reality is that in Silicon Valley, all of these people are rushing to invest $1,000 in checks … and it’s something much more accessible than most people would think at the time. And, part of the cost of having this group is that we can then collect smaller checks to write bigger checks for an organization.” So far, Penn has invested in five startups in a variety of sectors, including real estate, food, clothing and finance.
He describes himself as a “complete newcomer” to angel investing and still loves the experience. “I like the Hostel Fund’s view that great hustlers can look like anyone and come from anywhere,” TechCrunch told IANS. “I’ve enjoyed being in a supportive community with a variety of skills but where every question is welcomed.” This experience is also expanding its exposure to technology and AI, data collection and use, and creating new markets with ways never before revealed.
“Looking at how my own organization focuses exclusively on the strategies of social impact organizations, as well as how I identify and bring creative solutions to complex market solutions, as well as exploring a network of innovative people to solve smart tough problems,” Penn said. Exposure helps me think about applying this approach to difficult social problems.” In some respects, Hostel Fund is an entrepreneurial firm founded by Elizabeth Yin and Eric Bahn, partners of two former startups, with the goal of investing in pre-seed software startups.
The firm typically manages tradition by investing by $25,000 in an organization with a minimal-sustainable product and then works with the team to help them grow. It makes about 50 investments each year, according to its website. It recently closed at $33.6 million for new funding. “One of the most important things to us is this larger mission to change the way the startup ecosystem works,” Yin said.