Margot Matouk is quick to explain that she’s unlike other many of the other Next Act Fund members having never owned her own company. However, she’s a great example of how Next Act Fund brings together diverse angels all looking to see female-led companies succeed (while seeing a little return as well).
As a self-proclaimed introvert, Margot Matouk shys away from talking about herself, but catch her at the right time, and you’ll find a fascinating member, passionate about championing other women.
Margot explains, “I love to learn. If I could be a student for the rest of my life, I would. When I went back to school at CMU, it exposed me to an entirely new universe of innovation and intellectual stimulation that hadn’t been on my radar.” This love of learning and new interest in innovation would continue to excite Margot and eventually lead her to become one of the founding members of Next Act Fund.
We sat down to learn a little more. Below are a few excerpts from our conversation:
Next Act Fund: How did you first hear about Next Act Fund?
Margot: I remember reading an article about what Yvonne was doing with Next Act Fund. I thought, “This is what I wanted to do but didn’t know it.” The article had a link to Next Act Fund. So I filled out a submission form. Yvonne was holding an information session. I remember being in that room with Kelley Skoloda, Christine Ferguson and Catherine Mott and thought “I want to learn about these women.” [They] are so smart, caring and committed. For me to be a part of it in Pittsburgh...I’m going to jump in. And of course, there’s Yvonne. She’s so inspiring!"
Next Act Fund: You mentioned earlier that you’re different from many of the members. How so?
Margot: For me, I never owned my own business. I’m more of a doer than an entrepreneur. So many of the women [members] in the room have run their own business.
Next Act Fund: So what would you say are the common threads?
Margot: We are all there because we believe in women. We support women and help them bridge the gender gap that you see everywhere, including venture capital. It is inspiring to be a part of that collective. It’s not a group of women I normally would have met. For us to be tethered to this one mission is amazing and powerful.
I went to an all-girls school from kindergarten through 12th grade, so I have this [belief in women] instilled in me. This is a culmination for me. I feel like I’m coming full circle.
Next Act Fund: What do you wish others knew about Next Act Fund?
Margot: I wish they knew how exciting is to have a seat at the table and listen to the incredible innovation happening in Pittsburgh. Meeting new people. There’s also this external satisfaction around being a part of what’s going on. It’s part of the reward. You get to hear about things you wouldn’t otherwise.
Personally, as a life-long learner, it helps me be a part of where things are going. If you don’t join, you are going to get left behind. We have so many great resources.
Next Act Fund: Do you have other thoughts you’d like to share?
Margot: What I like is providing the educational opportunities for the members so that everyone feels equipped and is comfortable being at the table.
I just have to say how fun it is. We laugh. We have a wonderful time. Entrepreneurs have told us time and again how different it is to sit at the table with us, even those we don’t fund. They tell us they feel more nurtured and supported.
We’re just getting off the ground. I think it’s going to be very exciting. I know that I feel very committed because I love to talk about Next Act Fund even though I’m an introvert. I can’t wait to talk about it! I know I’m doing something that is really right for me.
Passionate about leveling the playing field for women, dynamic, smart, and warm - just a few of the qualities that Margot has in common with other Next Act Fund members.