By Veena McCoole
Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels is changing the face of angel investing with her network of women investors and capital provision for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. After graduating from Yale with a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics, she pursued her passion for empowering women entrepreneurs.
Oberti Noguera spoke at a recent Yale Women Innovators Breakfast Series, cohosted by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and La Casa Cultural at Yale, where she highlighted the homogenous white male environment that characterizes all stages of the entrepreneurial process. Oberti Noguera’s goal is to create more capital for non-binary social entrepreneurs by leading women through a bootcamp that provides training and mentoring from seasoned angel investing professionals.
“We’ve created an encouraging environment for these first-time entrepreneurs who have never pitched before to get an additional perspective,” Oberti Noguera said.
She reminded the audience that “best mistakes” are equally valuable learning lessons as “best practices.”
“You can learn as much, if not more, from things that don’t work out,” she said.
Pipeline Angels’ signature program is a pitch summit for for-profit startups. Oberti Noguera mentioned the importance of creating different associations between women and money; people too easily assume that providing funding for female-owned businesses refers to grant money for non-profits.
“We have to change these societal associations between females and money,” she said, “these are not all grants.”
Pipeline Angels’ pitch summit criteria are specific enough to reflect their commitment to inclusivity of minorities: “if you want to be inclusive, be explicit,” she said. Over 21% of Pipeline Angels’ portfolio companies have a black woman founder.
Pipeline Angels has over 40 companies that have secured more than $4M from their 200 members, and the 2017 Spring Pipeline Angels class includes 31% black women, 23% Latinas and 46% white women.
Inc. Magazine selected Oberti Noguera as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” for 2012. Oberti Noguera was also named to the Forbes list of “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and Fortune’s “55 most influential women on Twitter.”