New York City and the Bay Area dominate start-up investing, and we're glad they have kick-started growth in world-famous apps, life-saving technologies, hip e-commerce and more. We also love the growing number of enlightened leaders focusing on women entrepreneurs.
It turns out that visionaries in other cities are also driving change by focusing investment funds on women. Why? Time after time, the rationale is remarkably similar. Multiple studies, such as that of Illuminate Ventures, consistently show that when women are involved in leadership roles of a company, the returns are higher. The companies are more successful.
Next Act Fund proudly leverages this same wisdom with a focus on the extended Pittsburgh region. So we thought we'd to give a shout out to a couple other angel funds around the country focusing on women-led businesses in their regions.
Going Back for More - Sofia Fund
After raising a successful fund of $1 million in 2006, this Twin City fund decided to come back bigger and better. Sofia Fund is focused on early stage companies where women are in leadership roles and have equity in those businesses. Sofia Fund invests primarily in Midwest companies. In 2015, Sofia Fund II raised $5.5 million and quickly funded its first company, Kidizen.
New Kid on the Block - Xxcerlerate Fund
With "We imagine a world where funding women entrepreneurs is the norm, not the exception" written in huge bold font on its website homepage, XXcerlerate Fund clearly states its women-focused vision. This non-profit fund just launched in January 2017 with the express purpose of supporting Oregon women entrepreneurs with established customer bases get funding to continue their growth. XXcelerate Fund has an initial goal of $500K, and it expects to make its first investment toward the end of 2017.
We know that more smart investors will start to support women (hopefully, sooner rather than later). Next Act Fund proudly sets the stage for Pittsburgh to join these visionaries.