In 2017, QCA started the Ascent program as a lower-risk way of introducing angel investing to a broader group of prospective investors. Since the beginning, the program has attracted nearly 30 members, 10 of which are women, bringing the total membership of QCA to 91.
Among the first members to join Ascent was Kathleen Jividen, who spent 36 years with P&G as a director working with chemistry-based technology and advanced engineered materials.
“I’ve always been interested in how new technologies and innovations come to the market,” said Jividen. “Before I retired, I had a special assignment that allowed me to consult with technical teams, coaching them on how to translate their technical innovation into a commercial proposition.
After she retired from P&G, she continued to coach and mentor young technologists. And after attending a couple QCA meetings, Jividen joined Ascent, bringing with her a unique skillset that complemented QCA’s members.
“The members of QCA have a strong business background, many owned companies, and many have a strong understanding of the financial aspect of running businesses,” said Jividen. “Not many have the technical background that I have, so I was able to come in and fulfill a unique role.”
She added, “QCA values my experience and knowledge in terms of evaluating potential start-ups with innovative technology. They were excited to discover my background and be a contributor to due diligence processes.”
For people interested in learning about angel investing, Jividen highly recommends the Ascent program, calling it “an easy way to get involved without a lot of commitment time and money.”
Ascent offers a great opportunity for people who are interested in investing to meet great people and learn a lot, even if they don’t want to play a major role. For those that want to spend a lot of time, the opportunities are there, but for those that appreciate the flexibility of participating in occasional meetings while learning about new opportunities to connect with people who are creating amazing things, the program is ideal for that too.
“Ascent was a great way for me to put my toes in the investing waters without the major time and financial commitment,” said Jividen. “The opportunity to help someone who has invented something cool but doesn’t understand how to get involved in the start-up community; or the opportunity to seek out inventions and inventors and get them into the community is interesting to me, and I’m sure to a lot of prospective angel investors. With the program, QCA is extending an invitation to come be a part of it.”
Each Ascent member makes a one-time capital commitment of $25,000, which is invested as an LLC into the QCA First Fund. As a member of Ascent, investors receive custom training and can participate on screening and due diligence teams and serving as mentors to local entrepreneurs.