Early Stage Investing for All
A women-led investment group funding visionary founders across the U.S.
Who We Are
The Josephine Collective is a women-led group of angel investors co-investing small amounts (as little as $1,000 per deal) in early-stage startups across the United States. We help make angel investing accessible for all, but we are especially focused on helping women and people of color diversify their strategies and ease into a part of the investment world that can generate incredible returns. We do this by using a unique structure that allows us to invest in high-potential startups with the lowest possible fee structure.
How We’re Different
Unlike an angel syndicate or venture fund, investors do not give the Josephine Collective funding to invest. Instead, we meet founders, learn about their visions, their market opportunities, their guiding principles and present them to our group of investors who individually decide whether they want to participate in an investment. When there is enough interest to meet the minimum check size, we make an investment in the startup, coming on as a single line on the cap table.
This allows the Josephine Collective to:
- Access hot deals that individual investors may not be able to reach on their own.
- Protects founders from having too many investors on their cap tables (which creates both legal and financial burdens on both sides).
- Keep our operating costs very low, as we do not have to spend thousands on special purpose vehicles for each deal.
We are a group of at least 51% women investors and people of color, bringing unique personal, professional, and funding perspectives to each deal we consider. For founders who care about representation on their cap tables, we are an excellent partner. But we’re more than just money. Many of our angels are founders, seasoned startup employees, service providers, and industry veterans with deep domain expertise to help connect you with the mentorship, talent, and potential customers you need to grow.
We also really do invest early–as in we’ll be your first check, also known as your “Friends and Family” round. We can’t lead rounds but we’ll certainly help you set terms when it’s helpful. And we’ll consider investing in later-stage rounds too if it’s helpful to founders to have our angels involved in your business.
The Josephine Collective looks at deals on a rolling basis, and founders can apply to be considered at any time. We generally bring 2-3 deals per month to the Collective for potential investment. Startups meet with our Josephine Collective managers via Zoom, and we record the conversation to share with the Collective to help aid them in their decisions whether or not to invest. Our goal is to have the entire process take no more than 3 weeks from presentation to wire. And we invest anywhere from $10K to $100K depending on the Collective’s interest.
We named our angel group after the unsung Chicago hero, Josephine Garis Cochrane, who invented the first commercial washing machine in 1886, which was first installed in hotels and hospitals, alleviating hours of back-breaking work for women around the world. Her invention won the highest prize for innovation at the 1893 Chicago World’s Expo. And her creativity and courage paved the way for other women innovators everywhere. Her company became the beloved household brand KitchenAid. And she was famous for saying, “If someone won’t build it, then I will.” We feel the same way.
Josephine Cochrane 1839-1913
Who can join the Josephine Collective as an Investor?
Any Accredited Investor can apply to join the Collective, however, please note that we may delay your membership to ensure we maintain our 51% women and people of color targets.
What is the fee structure?
There is an annual membership fee of $250 per investor due upon registration, which covers accounting and K-1 filings. Our managers do not take fees for managing the Collective or sourcing deal flow. And there is just a small 3% carry on earnings.
Is there a minimum annual investment requirement?
Yes, we ask that every member commits to investing at least $2,000 per year. This can be in a single investment or split between two investments.
Does the Collective only invest in women and people of color?
Nope! We invest in any incredible team. And we’ll take deal recommendations from all over the country. We’ll be the very first check into a company, and we’ll come in as late as Series B if it’s helpful for the founders.
About Our Founders
Desiree is a two-time Latina founder (GiveForward & Pearachute) and Executive Director of TechRise by P33, an early-stage fund for Black and & Latinx entrepreneurs. She’s passionate about investing early in big ideas, especially in consumer. She serves on the Chicago Steering Committee for All Raise and is on advisory boards for GET Cities, mHub, & Chicago:Blend.
Amy is an entrepreneur, financial industry veteran, hedge fund and angel investor, passionate working mom, and philanthropist. Amy is the founder of Fearless Financial Planning, President of RUOK Management investment partnership, and Kaplan Rosenow Family Foundation.
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