My name is: Lindsey Taylor Wood.
I’m known for being: An investor in female founders and an advocate for women’s rights.
You can find it at: thehelm.co/invest.
Before I began this work, I was: Founding and running a consulting company that supported high net worth individuals, family office and talent in their gender lens philanthropic strategies.
What inspired me to start it was: 1) learning that only 2.3% of VC is invested in female founders (yes, you read that right.) 2) realizing that, historically, women have been much more comfortable giving away their money than investing and 3) understanding that when we talk about movement-building in the feminist space, it has to include economic equality, as well as social and political, in order for us to progress
How it works is: If you are someone who would like to learn about angel investing, join a community of value-aligned individuals and have the ability to write small to medium-sized checks into female-founded companies, you can do so by becoming a member of our angel network. If you are someone who would like to write a bigger check into a female founder venture capital fund, you can join us as a limited partner. We have different products for different types of investors and can walk through them with you.
What makes it special is: Our special sauce is our community. Whether it’s our limited partners and investors, members of our angel network, the founders we’ve invested in or the Helm team, each and every person shares a passion for and a deep commitment to ensuring women have equal access and opportunity. That fervor for both social and financial returns is contagious and that—along with our desire to make investing accessible for everyone—has created a space where people can come together, no matter their financial capacity and experience, and feel like they can make a difference. When we gather, there is a palpable energy that makes me feel like anything is possible.
One thing you can’t miss is: The extraordinary founders we’ve already invested in who are doing everything from detecting early-stage ovarian cancer (AOA) to building space planes (Venus Aerospace) to reimagining plant-based meat products (Rebelleyous Foods), just to name a few!
My favorite secret detail is: Research shows that VC firms with female investing partners make more successful investments at the portfolio company level, have higher fund returns and see more profitable exits. Essentially, both female founders and funders outperform our male counterparts.
For me, what it means to be a woman warrior is: To be a woman is to be a warrior. They are synonymous in my mind.
It’s important to make an impact and think in innovative ways because: If I’m zooming out, I would say that if you’ve ever experienced pain, oppression, loss or inequity and you think about the support you had or you wish you’d had during that time, why would anyone not want to do their best to preempt others from feeling that sort of grief? If I’m zooming in, I would say that if 98% of the innovation we fund continues to be built by, led by and profiting only men, then we will continue to see the same sorts of inequities across companies, cultures, policies and products that we do now and have only ourselves to blame.
This can help us live our process because: Investing in diverse fund managers, founders and inclusive innovation leads to a more equitable and just world.