Meet Leslie A. Jump of StartupAngels.co:
Founder of StartupAngels.co, UP Global Board Member and advisor to Flat6Labs, Leslie A. Jump is a busy woman who is passionate about helping startups and entrepreneurs. We were lucky enough to have a few minutes of Leslie’s time to interview her. We hope you enjoy learning more about this incredible woman!
Who is Leslie A. Jump?
I’m the Founder and CEO of Startup Angels, a platform to inspire and enable new angel investors across the US and around the world. Prior to that, I was a Partner in Sawari Ventures, LLC, a Cairo-based early stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs across the Middle East/North Africa. I continue as an advisor to Flat6Labs, Sawari Ventures’ dedicated startup accelerator for seed stage investments. I serve on the Board of UP Global, a global organization connecting entrepreneurs and communities. I’m an alumna of St. Johns College (Annapolis, MD/Santa Fe, NM), and serve on its Board of Visitors and Governors. (http://www.linkedin.com/in/lesliejump)
What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
We’re living in an extraordinary time from an entrepreneur’s perspective — you could argue it’s the Renaissance for technology and innovation. Around the world, 95 businesses are started every minute. But while startups are everywhere, venture capital isn’t. And even though game-changing companies are being launched in communities large and small, all around the planet, the vast majority of early stage capital is concentrated in a few key markets, like Silicon Valley and NYC.
We want to change all that. Our mission is to unleash the potential of millions of new startup investors in markets across the country and around the globe. We’re building a consumer-friendly platform designed to scale beyond current VC/tech hubs to growing startup communities worldwide. We want to inspire and enable new investors, whether that’s in Baltimore or Berlin or Bogota. We see a future where every investor portfolio has a 5% allocation for startups; we want to help make that vision a reality.
What does innovation mean to you?
I always like to say that innovation means being able to see the art of the possible. Innovators see beyond what exists today; they won’t accept the status quo, and they’re relentless optimists … or at the very least relentless. They’re fearless. They see connections and solutions — or problems and opportunities — where no one else can. It’s trite to quote the old Apple campaign, but it’s really true: innovators are the ones who ‘think different’.
.CO is embraced by the global startup community as a top-level domain that’s synonymous with forward-thinking and innovation. Your company took the early initiative to support startups, back entrepreneurial events and communities, and align yourselves with technology leaders. We think that’s pretty savvy. Not to mention that some of the greatest entrepreneurial organizations out there — UP Global, 500 Startups — chose .co for their domain. How could we be in better company?
What’s next for you?
Like many of the communities we serve, Startup Angels is poised for a breakout. After laying the groundwork in 2013-2014, we’re now ramping up expansion. We’re producing a variety of startup investing programs, destination investor trips — InvesTour.CO, and AngelSummits around the world this year. We’re also expanding our digital product. We’ll release many more Market Profiles of different startup communities, and we’re building new technology and resources to support startup investors across the globe. Suffice to say, we’re excited about 2015, and thrilled to be a .CO customer and partner!