When it comes to female-founded startups receiving funding, these three angel investors in Austin are out to convince the world women business owners have nowhere to go but up; may 2018
Growing up, sisters Kelly Gasink and Jill Burns spent summers on their grandparents’ farm. Every day at 5:30 p.m. sharp, their grandfather would drop whatever farming work he was doing for his afternoon ritual of cocktail time. This treasured tradition inspired a lifelong appreciation for cocktails in the sisters, who eventually started a business together, Austin Cocktails, to disrupt the craft-bottled cocktail space with their organic, high-quality product.
The venture was very capital-intensive; such a company cannot make it without investment. Gasink and Burns initially put up their own cash to formulate their first two drinks and prove the concept. Next, they sought angel investment to begin producing higher volume and expand sales throughout the country. By 2016, they had raised $1 million through Central Texas Angel Network and another $1 million through venture-capital firm Enhanced Capital. In 2018, Austin Cocktails will be in 14 states and hundreds of venues, including Madison Square Garden, with the sisters giving all they’ve got to scale their idea.
Many may wonder what exactly angel investing is. The short answer: Financial backers, or “angels,” invest in early stage or startup companies in exchange for an equity ownership interest in the company a la TV show Shark Tank.
Throughout the past two decades, the practice of angel investing has become more common in startup culture. Facebook and Uber are just a couple of the high-profile startup success stories that got a boost early on from angel investments.
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