Money Talks: Angel Investing – Featuring: Valerie Kahan

Carolyn Leonard Money Talks, Resources from DyMynd 0 Comments

At DyMynd we focus on a woman’s relationship with money, and how best to empower women forward towards a healthier sense of financial security. Understanding a woman’s emotional financial security can help her in life and in business.

This year it is important that we break down these barriers so that we can all rise and stand together. DyMynd wants to bust the myth that “money isn’t for women”, and help women forge new relationships with their investment options. Our first money series explored the key money messages that women received when they were young and how that impacts their money making decisions today. In response to the pay gap and gender bias in business, we are starting a new dynamic initiative and conversation about women and angel investing!

To address the funding gap for female entrepreneurs throughout Chicago DyMynd has launched DyMynd Angels, a social initiative to empower women to become investors by getting involved in the entrepreneurial space, and disrupting the way in which female entrepreneurs access capital. In true DyMynd fashion we thought that we would start the conversation by asking women to share their thoughts and views on Angel Investing. We have asked leading women to answer a few questions about their experiences.

Today we are featuring Valerie Kahan to share her insights about how she sees herself as an angel investor. We invite you to read her responses, get inspired and feel empowered to join DyMynd Angels and support the 1920 ‘Vote Your Money Campaign’ for women who want to decrease the funding gap for female-led startups in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.


When you think of angel investing, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Up until recently I have always believed in order to be an “angel investor” you had to be extremely wealthy. Angel investing to me was reserved for people who had already accomplished everything they had set out to do and now were able to invest in others by investing large sums of money in businesses or start-ups that they felt were promising. Now when I think of angel investing I recognize it as an investment that anyone can make and that angel investing is not just money but time and work done for something I believe in and want to support. Angel investing no longer has the stigma of being reserved for the ultra-wealthy. It is open to everyone and it benefits everyone.


Are you currently an angel investor? If not, have you previously considered angel investing. Why did you or did you not become an Angel Investor? 

Yes. I have invested in several start-ups financially and with my time and work on various projects. I think I have always been an angel investor. I believe in people. I want others to succeed. And I have always done everything I can to help anyone I come in contact with. I remember the first time I gave money to a start-up close to 15 years ago. Friends of mine were opening a shop and giving $15 to their start up fund and realizing that it was not much $ but it was all I had at the time to give. The meaning behind that $15 was huge to me and to them, it was a sense of belief and a showing of support. Since then I have donated hundreds of hours of my time and skills to a wide range of start-ups. I have given my time and thousands of dollars to many friends throughout the years for a wide range of different start-ups. Some have been successful others have not, but in the end to me it did not matter as the efforts and work and time put in by all parties always leads to the next thing successful or not. Helping others push the envelope and being a part of a pulsating ecosystem helps me personally thrive alongside those I am investing in. The education a person receives by trying, working hard, investing their mind, body and money and putting all their efforts into something cannot be matched by any other way of learning.


When did you first learn about Angel Investing? Was your impression of angel investing positive, negative, or neutral and why?

The first time I learned about it I suppose was back when I invested in my friends shop. I did not consider myself an angel investor at the time as $15 seemed like a far cry from what an “angel investor” was. My impression was always WOW, what do I need to do in my life to make enough money to be able to invest like an “angel investor”? My feeling about it was very positive, I was always in awe of someone who had the money to give, and did so, very generously. To me an angel investor is an amazing human that wants to see others succeed and keep our world full of amazing things and opportunities.


To follow along with this conversation and other DyMynd Angel events please follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our email list. Together, women must rise to respond to this funding gap! Click here to share your thoughts below!


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