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Angels Investing in Women

May 22, 2013 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Time: 8:00 – 10:00 am
Location: Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto

Amy Gips, Founding Managing Partner, Astia Angel, & Director of Investments, Astia
Marie Jorajuria, Vice President Finance & Compliance, Equilibrium Capital and CFO of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund
Sharon Knight, Founder, Avik Ventures
This is a women-only event.


Investing in social entrepreneurs and businesses that benefit women makes for good ROI. Interested in adding a social benefit to your investment portfolio? Then this is the place for you. Our panelists will share stories of engaging at any level in impact and gender lens investing, and funding women entrepreneurs who are creating businesses with a social impact.


  • What are opportunities to invest in women and social entrepreneurs?
  • How can I leverage my wealth for both a return on investment (ROI) and a social impact?
  • How are investments in social enterprise different than traditional investments?
  • What key issues should a donor or investor consider in gender lens and impact investing?
  • What innovations in giving allow high leverage impact even at modest levels of investment?


  • Women change agents and influencers in tech and finance, early investors in social impact, younger givers, and women new to strategic giving.
  • Women donors and investors who are curious about investment vehicles with a social benefit
  • Women for whom impact investing is a component – current or desired – of their theory for social change
  • Any seasoned investor who wants to expand her portfolio with options that include ROI and social impact
  • Nonprofit board members and social entrepreneurs who want to understand options for gender lens and impact investing

Please join us for a uniquely interactive discussion among women funding social impact and women social entrepreneurs. Together, we are redefining what it means to have and share wealth.


Amy GipsAmy Gips is the Founder of Astia Angel and is responsible for all activities related to the angel investor network and angel training program. In addition, as Director of Investments for Astia, Amy aids in the investment activity of all Astia companies — including deal flow management, due diligence and investor relations. As an experienced investor, Amy has invested in debt and equity in companies at various stages across multiple industries. She has spent most of her career working at credit and private equity funds. Amy previously worked at PennantPark Investment Advisers and DLJ Investment Partners (Credit Suisse) focusing on providing debt and equity financing to middle market companies. In addition, Amy worked in investment banking at Jefferies.

Amy has focused on investing in women-led ventures as an angel investor with Investors’ Circle and a Fellow with Criterion Institute. She received her BS from Boston College.

Marie JorajuriaMarie Jorajuria is the VP of Finance and Chief Compliance Officer of Equilibrium Capital Group, where she splits her time between offices in Portland and San Francisco. She is also CFO of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund. Marie believes that investments made today impact not only our futures, but those of future generations. Prior to joining Equilibrium, Marie worked in senior management and compliance with a number of innovative financial startups that helped revolutionize financial advisor services (Wealthfront, Inc.), and provided prime brokerage services for the under-$2B hedge fund and private equity marketplace (Merlin Securities, LLC). In addition, she ran her own consulting firm, Compliance Assist, LLC, focused on financial management and compliance for start-up financial firms. Before joining the financial industry, Marie launched a frozen food company in Madrid, Spain, which she developed into a national company before selling it in 1993. She began her career as a consultant with Bain & Company.

Marie serves as a member of the board of directors and finance committee for public radio station KQED in San Francisco. She earned her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, completed a Mellon/Ford Fellowship in economics at Princeton University, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Sharon KnightSharon Knight created Avik Ventures, an angel investment vehicle, to partner with entrepreneurs and investors, providing both capital and expertise to help early stage companies be more successful — faster. She brings significant expertise in consumer products and services, gaming and healthcare. As an investor, Sharon is particularly interested in healthcare solutions that promote improved patient access and experience, or consumer education and engagement, with a goal towards improved health and wellness. Her current portfolio includes angel or Series A investments in mylawsuit.com, CaptureProof, ella health, Knack.it, FitStar, RidePal, Ringadoc and nVision, based on deal flow that is primarily by referral and through her involvement as a founding member of Astia Angel.

Sharon founded Artemis Network for professional women and she serves as an advisor to Astia, a mentor to Rock Health and Springboard Enterprises, and a board member of Games for Change and Women’s Initiative. She holds a BS cum laude in Economics from Smith College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


We are delighted to partner with SPARK on this event.

Partner with us to convene women in Boston, New York, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere. Catalytic Women curates best practices in philanthropy and convenes women who are leveraging their intellectual and financial resources to redefine what it means to have wealth. We are the only nationwide network of women funding social impact at any level and to every issue area. Join us.


May 22, 2013
8:00 am - 10:00 am


Catalytic Women


Bryant Street Gallery
532 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301 United States
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