For Natalia Oberti Noguera, the current status of diverse funding is still limited in her eyes. Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Oberti Noguera is the Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, a community of investors that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs.
In conversation with reporter Lydia Dishman, Oberti Noguera states that her objective with funding diversity is to “normalize the conversation so that white women are not the default [when we think about investing in women].” Through Pipeline Angels, Oberti Noguera addresses the gender gap by funding women of color, trans women, cis women, nonbinary, two-spirit, agender, and gender-nonconforming founders.
Pipeline Angels Logo
At the same time, Oberti Noguera is building a diverse community of angel investors to ensure a more inclusive deal flow. To date, Pipeline Angels has invested over $7 million in 90+ companies while simultaneously building a diverse network of 400 founders and angels. And with their presence across the country growing year after year, there’s no stopping this pipeline’s flow any time soon.
Oberti Noguera identifies as a cis queer Latina. Paving the way for “invisible founders” has pushed Oberti Noguera to recognize her own privilege as a cis women, after receiving a message from a nonbinary founder who was unsure if they qualified for Pipeline Angels’ Pitch Summit program. At the time of Pipeline Angels creation in 2011, only 16% of companies pitching to angel investors were women owned. A mere 6% of companies were owned by people of color at the same time.
After attending an conference where a well-known white male investor stated that he would most likely fund “someone like me”, Oberti Noguera committed towards true inclusivity. Even if you flipped the gender of this investor’s answer, Obert Noguera states (with evidence) that primarily white women would receive funding by a white woman investor. As a half Columbian, half Italian, and queer founder, Oberti Noguera is challenging the heternormative gender bias by creating space for founders like herself.
Beyond their inclusive standards, Pipeline Angels invests in social ventures. Traditionally, nonprofit social ventures don’t receive as much investing compared to tech startups. Angel investors want to see return, which is why Pipeline Angels is passionate about supporting early stage for-profit social ventures. Still looking to make a positive impact, these ventures will be more visible to angel investors outside of the Pipeline Angels network. Not only are they building their internal diverse community, they are also pushing their mission and vision towards traditionally non-inclusive angels.
Two of the many Pipeline Angels programs available to their network
Marginalized founders often have to find creative ways to establish revenue streams. Not only are they innovating a new product, they are also innovating their business model. Oberti Noguera wants to amplify these disruptive business models with Pipeline Angels to show the passion and dedication of these founders. By building a community of socially driven women, she believes Pipeline Angels can change the face of the angel investing. And with a focus on mentoring in the Pipeline Angels community, these changes are happening in real time.
With a holistic approach to changing the investment world, Oberti Noguera and Pipeline Angels focus on mentoring both the angel and the founder. Any angel that joins the Pipeline team has to first go through bias training to ensure they understand what it truly means to be inclusive. Their VC-in-Residence program is set in place to help change the face of venture capital by becoming LPs in VC firms led by women, non-binary people, and men of color.
Pipeline Angels provides more than just capital through their Bootcamp and Pitch Summit programs. Key topics that are covered during the Bootcamp include education, due diligence, valuation, portfolio strategies, and measuring impact. All of their workshops come with mentorship from a large, inclusive community who all share the same goal of empowering diverse founders.
Pipeline Angels Spring 2021 Members & VCs-in-Residence
On March 23rd, Pipeline Angels welcomed the 45 spring graduates of their angel investing program and VC-in-Residence program. As she continues to build her community of diverse founders, Oberti Noguera reflects on the graduates and quotes in a recent tweet, “This photo includes forty-five more reasons why we’re so passionate about our mission–forty-five more sparks of inspiration that energise this work.
To learn more about Natalia Oberti Noguera and Pipeline Angels, check out their website here.
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