Stories and Articles
Female Entrepreneur Helps Women Fund Their Businesses
SDSU grad and serial entrepreneur assists women-owned and diverse gender business secure that critical next round of financing
The thrill of starting a new business and watching it grow kindles excitement and wonder in most entrepreneurs. Kim Folsom understands that feeling well. She has started five new companies, the most recent of which, FundAthena, just launched in May 2015.
What is FundAthena?
FundAthena was brain child of Rod Turner, a successful tech investor who, like Folsom, is also a serial entrepreneur. Folsom met Turner though a mutual acquaintance with whom she served on the advisory board for SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.
“Rod was aware that women business owners have made advancements in the area of business acumen, leveraging technologies and market trades to start excellent companies,” said Folsom. “He was also aware that women-led companies are also grossly underserved by the current venture market, with one research study showing that women-led organizations receive less than 3 percent of venture capital to grow their businesses.”
Folsom’s co-founder, Turner, based FundAthena on the idea of leveraging the Securities and Exchange Commission’s implementation of Regulation A+ that allows mid- and late-stage start-up companies to offer investors a simplified public offering process without the expense and complications of an IPO These companies can sell shares, allowing them to raise up to $50MM in capital. FundAthena plans assist these businesses in obtaining capital, provided they are either woman-led or gender-diverse (meaning that women make up a percentage of senior management and ownership).
"Rod was aware that women business owners have made advancements in the area of business acumen, leveraging technologies and market trades to start excellent companies."
FundAthena will be Folsom’s second business launch that has specialized in helping businesses obtain financing, so she is very familiar with the process. Her other previous business ventures specialized in online education, providing instructional information for products requiring assembly, and a service that allowed subscribers to monitor detailed viewing information for their online videos. As with many serial entrepreneurs, she has sold the technology for her previous companies to forge ahead with her next endeavor.
Folsom can tell you that an effective serial entrepreneur must have an element of internal fearlessness and persistence the prompts them to study their options and then jump into their venture. “One of the best gifts entrepreneurs can give themselves is allowing oneself the option of making missteps or mistakes and learning lessons from them,” she says. “Those that are successful will not give up when the going gets tough.”
She also offers this bit of encouragement to budding women entrepreneurs. “One of the best pieces of advice I can give to those women wanting to start their own businesses is to get started!” declared Folsom. “Many talented women (and men) entrepreneurs get stuck in the ‘prepare’ mode.”