About Astia

Monday, March 12, 2018

Seven Benefits of Being an Astia Advisor

Mary McDougall, an Astia Advisor, with an entrepreneur from South Africa

Only 2% of VC 2017 investment went to woman-founded deals
(Source:  Pitchbook)

That may be a shocking statistic to some, and is one of the reason I joined Astia. It certainly is not for lack of amazing women entrepreneurs with big ideas or women-led organizations who are poised to change the world. It is a systemic issue that can only be fixed when we work together...men, women, fighting for equality.

And when it comes to equality, there is a sea change taking place in all areas of business. You might be asking yourself where and how best to get involved to make the greatest impact. Here are a few ideas:

If you would like to help women gain better access to capital, join Astia Angels ($$) and invest now!
If you have time to offer, become an Astia Advisor. I've been an Astia Advisor for more than eight years, currently participating in the Operations and Industry Screen steps of the Expert Sift process, a methodology developed by Astia to curate best in class companies led by women.

As an Astia Advisor, each week, I might review two live company presentations to assess funding readiness as well as read one to three executive summaries to determine business growth potential. If I like the business or the entrepreneur, I might offer to directly engage with them.

Here are the seven reasons why Astia is so rewarding:

  1. Identify high potential deals, led by women, that deserve funding and pass them onto eager investment sources.
  2. Help each entrepreneur further hone their plans and business models by providing constructive feedback at each step of the three-level review process.
  3. Directly assist entrepreneurs with their growth challenges or investment initiative with 1:1 consulting.

  1. Learn new ways of monetizing IP such as creative licensing models, new revenue sources, and not-so-obvious future revenue opportunities e.g. data-as-a-service.
  2. See how demand generation tools and techniques are employed to leverage more messaging channels, mine social media data, predictively analyze customer behavior, etc. to better segment, reach, and convert target audiences.
  3. Introduce new services and products to either your own company or another company in your professional network for a real Win:Win.

  1. Join a network of very accomplished individuals and organizations who are interesting, engaged, and kind…… each wanting to make a very real social impact together.

by Mary McDougall

A corporate innovator and technical business leader Mary has had four successful exits and participated in ten acquisitions. She was most recently CEO of Survox, a phone survey automation platform, sold to Enghouse (TSX: ENGH). Before Survox, Mary led change and growth initiatives in both public companies and early stage ventures, each focused on applying software technology to business process improvement. A long-time advisor, Mary is now part of the Astia Expert Sift process and stays engaged with technology by advising local start-ups through HBS Start-up Partners. Mary was one of the first women to earn an Engineering degree from Dartmouth College before getting her MBA from Harvard Business School.

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