The VC world gets a new player today with the launch of The Helm, a company and new venture capital community that offers seed-round funding to female founders. The Helm takes a radical new approach to change the pipeline of capital available to women. By giving investors bespoke opportunities to see how their money is put to work, The Helm’s community aims to attract a new type of investor—men and women familiar with giving through philanthropic pursuits— and show them how real impact is achievable through supporting female founders who are changing industries.
Founded by Lindsey Taylor Wood, alongside Erin Shipley and Emily Verellen Strom, The Helm will invest in high-growth tech startups with female founders and back 8-12 seed-stage deals per year with an average investment size of $200,000. While female founders currently receive 2.4 percent of all venture capital dollars invested in the U.S., there are numerous data points that show female-led companies outperforming their male peers.. The Helm sees this as an enormous opportunity to drive returns and impact.
The Helm was designed to attract investors who value strong investment ROI as well as an opportunity to trigger systemic change around two distinct problems in the VC community: structural biases prevent female founders from accessing the investment capital they need to grow their companies; and women are disproportionately encouraged to give to philanthropic organizations in lieu of investing in businesses to create real impact. Drawing from experiences that philanthropists are more accustomed to, The Helm developed a model to make the act of investing more intimate and personalized.
“The Helm wholly addresses two distinct problems at both ends of the VC spectrum by rethinking the role of community as a driver of investment capital,” said Lindsey Taylor Wood, CEO of The Helm. “By expanding access to unbiased capital we aim to create along-needed shift in the culture of startups, technology and innovation—a space that critically needs women to help shape its future.”
What is Experience Investing?
With an annual membership fee of $2,500 and a minimum investment of $50,000, investors will have access to a community unlike any that currently exists. Membership includes:
Bespoke Experiences: Highly curated events including behind-the-scenes tours with founders, field trips, speaker and celebrity salons, exclusive gatherings and more.
Educational Opportunities & Services: A high-touch service that connects investors with the resources they need to increase their aptitude around various subject matters and become a more insightful investor.
Exclusive Content: Quarterly news, insights, analysis and business intelligence from and about the female founders supported by The Helm, as well as their companies and the industries they are leading in
Portfolio & The Helm Network Services: Services and products from portfolio and partner brands, curated for individual community members tastes.
To learn more about The Helm and how to become a member or portfolio founder, visit TheHelm.co.
About The Helm
The Helm is a community and a venture fund that rethinks how people invest in female entrepreneurs— a segment of the financial sector that received only 2.5 percent of all venture capital in 2016. An alternative to philanthropy, The Helm was founded on the idea that additional value can be created for investors—female and male alike—by allowing them to see their money drive change first-hand through bespoke experiences, venture education, advisory services, exclusive content, and behind-the-scenes tours and series. For more information, visit TheHelm.co or request access to peruse the Membership and Fund decks.