Rose Vitale, aka The Female Angel Investor, is the founder of the Female Founders Pitch Summit as well as the host of the Women in Business Podcast. With more than 15 years of experience as an investor, Rose is passionate about improving the landscape of funding for women-owned businesses. Rose sits down with Chris to discuss how female entrepreneurs can secure funding for continue business growth.
Today’s show is sponsored by banks.com – the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products & services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands.
[00:00:44] Hello, everyone, Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder Showdown, president at Juhll Agency, and founder of Financial Services Platform Banks.com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure, told through the stories of the top entrepreneurs and executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Today's guest is Rose Vitale, a.k.a. The Female Angel Investor. She's the founder of the Female Founders Pitch Summit, as well as the host of the Women in Business podcast. With more than 15 years of experience as an investor, Rose is passionate about improving the landscape of funding for women-owned businesses. Rose is here today to share with us what female entrepreneurs can work on to secure funding for continued business growth. Welcome to the show, Rose.
[00:01:38] I appreciate, you know, just invite me on and getting to know who you are.
[00:01:43] Excellent. Well, I'm excited to have you on because we are a diverse group here. We've had a lot of women founders on this show. And I think someone we haven't had on the show yet is a is a someone who's focused 100 percent on female founders in giving those founders the opportunities and the investment dollars they deserve. So I appreciate it. Before we get into that, though, tell us a little bit about where you grew up, your upbringing and how you got to where you are today.
[00:02:12] Absolutely. So I'm originally from Michigan. I came to California and taught that insists like anybody came for California dreams. I came here literally with a suitcase and just wanting to make it. And so I ended up buying a wireless company in Fresno, California. The guy ended up ripping me off, but owing ten thousand dollars in back rent, disconnected the phone number, intercepted the inventory that I bought, stole the inventory that I actually bought. That was my life savings at the time. But I knew deep down I always had it in me to be an entrepreneur. And so that's kind of what really launched me in the wireless industry. So was a part of Wire Cricket Wireless when the first kind of started to emerge. And it's kind of started happening. And so then in 2010, I would say 13, AT&T acquired cricket. And I was able to exit there. And so I developed out a lot, lot of their markets and became number one. And then when T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS. Yes. Joined forces with them because they needed partners to launch their 13 Apollo markets. And so I was a part of that launch. And so that's kind of a little bit of my background. And so I always knew that, first of all, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But I think, second of all, I always look at this next phase of what I'm doing in the next phase of my life is how can I, you know, take what I've built and really give back. And I think that the best way that I can create impact for others is doing what I'm doing now and investing into female led companies, especially when you have 40 percent of women who are starting businesses. But only two point nine percent of them get the venture funding right. So there's a gap there, but there's a, you know, a huge opportunity. So I see that opportunity. I'm capitalizing on that opportunity. I'm creating the environments that really are against this, abstained. That in, you know, an unlike like, let's say, the DC world. Right. Where you're you know, you're hoping and praying. You invest, you know, 10 or 20 million dollars in a variety of companies and you hope to have one or two unicorns. My model's different. My model is, is that we're going to look for four women who have excellent, you know, either ideas or strategies or implementation or products and services that I can invest in and really see how I can position myself to add value to them. And then we deploy capital and see exactly, you know, instead of just throwing a million, two million dollars. We we strategically build that company. That's what it takes. Right. I mean, you could give anybody a million dollars, but let's say you give 10 people a million dollars. Maybe out of those 10, you get one person who who gives you a return on capital. That's not the way I think it should be. And that's one of the reasons how I created the environment that I'm creating now.
[00:05:14] Yeah. No, that's excellent. And one of the things you've mentioned in your intro was coming from Michigan to come and live out your California dream. Do you think there's a of a value system or a set of of codes or morals that, you know, happen in the Midwest? I actually went to school in South Dakota. I've a lot of friends in the Midwest. But that must have been a culture shock going from, you know, Michigan. I mean, maybe it was Detroit. I don't know. But that must have been a culture shock going from Michigan to California. And then the second follow up to that is what is the potential advantage of growing up in the Midwest and then coming out here and applying that that value system or that moral code? How do you see that?
[00:06:03] You know, that's a really great question. And I'm glad you asked that. You know, I was talking to another angel investor partner of mine, and we were talking about people who come from the Midwest. I think that there's just so much grit. I mean, we come from that blue collar atmosphere, right?
[00:06:20] You know, Ford Motor Company and GM, you have all the headquarters of those type of, you know, environments that are there. And so I think that, you know what? Especially when I came to California and came into the Central Valley, I saw the opportunity was golden that people weren't capitalizing on. Right. Because I come from the suburbs of Detroit area and it's big and it's a lot of people and it's condensed. You come here and everything's spread out, right. California. People don't realize the majority of California is not what they see in L.A. or San Diego or San Francisco. Right. The majority of what you see in California is it's quite diverse here.
[00:07:01] And so I think that allowed me to just know that, you know, especially coming from Michigan, where it's cold, it's it's just it's gritty. It's different, right? It's cold now. It's cold. And I think that people there what I learned. Now being away for so long is that people what I know people love to know success stories from Michigan.
[00:07:28] Like when I go back home, people like Michigan, like Michiganders. They're your biggest fan. And I just don't get that here in California. Everybody here in California, you know, they're they're kind of their own type of person. They're in their own world. People in Michigan, I just feel that they have so much heart and soul. I don't know if it's because it's cold. I don't know if it's just because of the culture, but it's definitely different. And I do remember calling home when I first moved here, like, wow, it's like it's different and people are different. But I think that I bring those values in as far as in my companies and into my organization. And people like that. And they recognize that. So I'm glad you asked that question.
[00:08:14] Yeah, I always find it. I just think it's interesting to see where people come from, because I think it you get defined as a human being much earlier in life. And it's not like you wake up one day and you're, you know, 35, 40, 50 years old and all of a sudden you move to California and you become a different person. That's not that's not your geography. Where you are today does not define you. You're the context of your upbringing defines eventually who you'll become, your your parents and stuff like that. So thanks for that. You know, another question I had as a follow up to you'd mentioned you'd always wanted to be an entrepreneur. How did you know that? Did you come from an entrepreneurial family or how does that work? Because, yeah, I mean, most people, you know, I call myself an accidental launch or entrepreneur or just, you know, not able to get hired at some of the blue chip companies that you might imagine. So, you know, I've had to make my own way. But how how did you know in your mind at a young age, like, I'm going to go be an entrepreneur? When did that strike you?
[00:09:20] Well, you know, I think I had ever since I was a young I remember being like five and six years old. My father worked for Ford Motor Company. Right. So come from that background. And so had that in my blood.
[00:09:34] And so I think that, you know, at five years old, I remember asking my parents, like, why are you guys business owners? Like, I ask that question. And I couldn't understand why they weren't right. I couldn't understand why they worked for somebody else. So it was just, you know, it's something that I always thought about. And I just remember when I was in school, I was in elementary school. I think it was a first and second grade. I would take my dad's quarters and I would put the quarter in. I'd turn it, get two pencils, and then I would go and sell it to, you know, to the kids that didn't have pencils. I think that that was my first experience in terms of, you know, being an entrepreneur. Right. But I didn't know it back then. And so I'd have thousands of pencils and, you know, negotiating things. And I mean, I remember being in the fifth grade negotiating like deals with like all these guys. And so I think that I don't know. I think that it's always people either have it or they don't. You know, a lot of times, as you know, I work with some accelerators and they say, you know, after going through this 12 week program, I realized I am not an entrepreneur. Yes, that's right. Because if it is, what I describe it as is that, you know, literally for eight months when I started my business, I cried every single day, like, what am I doing? Right. But it's like something that just keeps pushing you forward, pushing you forward, pushing you forward. And you know the lessons. Every day's a new day. I mean, let's face it, every day is a new day. And I think also, you know, being an investor and seeing others. You don't have to go through what I've gone through and how to really, you know, people use this word pivot, right? But when you're an entrepreneur, you're always pivoting. I don't know if it's the same with you, but you're always painted.
[00:11:20] It's a standard. It's it's standard. I've I've I don't cry much anymore, but it's maybe I've just I'm just numb. But, you know, I feel like, you know, the the the entrepreneur bug kind of strikes everybody when times are really, really good. You know, I think both of us probably lived through a couple recessions or downturns now. I lived through the 2001 tech crash. It was right after I graduated college and then the 2008 financial crash. Then you have to reestablish and rebuild yourself. And that's that's actually when we started or other companies was during that time because I found myself, you know, walking home with my shit in a box. Right. And so but you would as you go on that journey. And what I've noticed is I'm going to I'm really wondering how sexy a lot of folks are going to think entrepreneur being an entrepreneur is now that times are really tough. Yeah, because this is where I think you really set your legacy and define yourself. You prove yourself that you can do something hard because times have been really good for a long time. So what is your take on coming out of this Kovar thing whenever that happens? This, too, shall pass. Do you find a lot of maybe hey, we love being an entrepreneur because it sounds sexy or we think it's the right time. Do you think that there's going to be a change of people signing up to be an entrepreneur after Koven is over?
[00:12:51] You know, that's an interesting point that you bring up as well. I mean, I remember two thousand and eight. Right. And that's when, you know, everything crashed. Right. The whole world seemed to be crashing. But it was the most interesting time for myself because I was in an industry, the prepaid industry. Right. Where people were looking to save. I mean, let's face it, wireless phones were just starting to emerge. Right. IPhone. And everything was just coming out. Technology was just coming out. And people know that they needed phones. And so I was put in a position where I was in that prepaid space where everybody thought I was crazy, like, what are you doing in this prepaid space? But I realized at the time the market share was small for the prepaid industry.
[00:13:35] Right. But the times were bad. So it was a perfect opportunity. And I think the same thing here to your to your question is, is that I really, truly believe that as Americans are I just think that people are resilient. Right. And we have to innovate. I mean, I think that we're going to see some of the greatest innovations of our time that come out of Koven. I am privy to some of the things that people are working on and the amazing processes that are coming out right now during Kovin.
[00:14:12] I think it's going to be a game changer. I know people are scared. You know, obviously there's a lot of bad things that are happening. People are dying and, you know, businesses are failing. But I look at this as like the companies that are failing her or the companies that have already been weak. And I think that it's it's their time to kind of die off. And now it's time to have a new opportunity. And in a new, I guess, foster a new generation of of entrepreneurs. So I don't know. I just I'm not I'm excited. I'm I'm deploying capital. I mean, my life's not changing. I'm still doing what I do every day. And I'm looking at deals and and executing deals and and funding deals and deploying capital and in building out commercial real estate. Even though people think I'm crazy and they think, you know, what are you doing in commercial retail? That's my background. I know what it is and I know how to capitalize on it.
[00:15:02] Yeah, let's talk about that. Let's start. You know, there's there cannot be any progress without a lot of pain. I look back and you may you may be similar, but I look back on the hardest parts of my life, and that's when I was challenged the most. And that's where you get most creative. And that's you can either fight or you can or you can flee. And I think, you know, to be an investor like yourself during this time is probably you're really probably actually getting the best look at some of the toughest and best deals with the toughest entrepreneurs you're going to find. Because if they're coming to you now, they're they're probably, you know, in a in a really good spot. A really tough spot. Yes. Probably going to make it. I mean, that's the odds are they're probably going to make it. But let me ask about commercial real estate. I've done a little bit of work there with a couple large companies. We built some software programs that allow us to analyze census blocks and look at retail transaction patterns, you know, through through some of the larger, you know, companies like a visa or a master. Or some of those rails that transactions run on. It would tell us, like, what's the transaction volume on this city block versus that city block? And it would pop up on a map and it would allow investors, you know, real estate investors to really understand, hey, how much should we investors rebuild a building here? Should we leased this building? How much should be lease it for? I've got to tell you, I would be concerned right out to be in commercial real estate based on what I've heard. So what is it that tells you? Like, wait a second, you guys don't see what I see. Maybe without giving anything away proprietary that you see. What is it that you see with this baby that everybody else doesn't? Because it sounds like a disaster. It really sounds like one, you know.
[00:16:54] And to your point, yeah, it does. But I'm going to let you in on a little trade secret here. When you look at. And it's scary, right? When especially when you look at commercial retail, I mean, retail is just not the environment you want to be in. But the the opportunity that I was given in this particular area is, as it was zoned, neighborhood commercial. Oh, yes. And so I looked at it. And in that area they have I mean, just like liquor stores talk areas, but they don't have businesses that really serve that community. And so what I'm doing is, is that I think differently when everybody said, what are you doing to build space in this? I look at it as a socially impacted project. I'm going to check to this community and we are going to be that stable where we provide, you know, hair and nail salons. We provide food to go food. We provide wireless services. We provide all of that. Right. So it's really serving that community and owning that southside. So I don't know if it's a secret, but I just saw that when everybody else is nervous. You can't you know, you really can carve out that niche and own that community. I mean, I have people in that community who thank me every single day for for what we're doing and what we're giving to that community. So I don't necessarily look at it. I mean, I would be maybe a little bit skeptical if I was, you know, building, you know, a big strip mall or big shopping center. But in terms of what I'm building and where the niches for me, I like those smaller spaces because what is the heart blood of America? Small businesses, you know, we're all like for example, like Starbucks just made an announcement that they're not going to be paying any of their leases. Right. So that what they're going to do, that's going to mean crash that could crash the economy. I mean, seriously, that's going to hurt a lot of people. But at the same token, you have a small business owner whose lifeblood is that business. I can guarantee you they're going to pay their rents because this is all they have. And those are the opportunities that I see that maybe some of the big guys don't see.
[00:19:10] No, I actually it's it's almost like you're creating a micro town or some kind of micro community that does everything there. I mean, maybe there's a I mean, post covered. Maybe there's a movie theater, like you said, nail salons, boutique grocery shopping. Yeah, little corner store brochures that are affordable, but they have unique items that maybe bonds are safe where, you know, big, you know, huge branded grocery store doesn't have get all this stuff in bulk. I think that's real interesting. You know, I don't know if you've been to Marina del Rey here, they call it Silicon Beach, but they basically did the same thing in Marina Del Rey here in Los Angeles. They they basically put all these condos and all these apartments with mixed use, office space, movie theaters, bike shops, parks. It's great. Like bike trails. It's all right there. I don't think you ever have to leave. So that's a that's a great idea. And depending on the geography, it feels like we're at least the popular media is saying everybody's fleeing, fleeing for their lives from the city. I don't know how real that is, but it sounds like it's getting a lot of press to move to a community in central California that maybe is a little bit easier. Live in has a nice community that you've built there. They know everybody. Everybody's nice to each other. Sounds awesome.
[00:20:43] Well, you know, I just think that, you know, I go overseas a lot and I travel to Asia and I especially travel over to Asia. And it's interesting, you know, especially when I go to Bali. It's interesting how they create these micro to your point, these micro communities. Right, where they they create trade in the way they treat, you know, trade a variety. Different things, right? And it's amazing to see that. And to your point, that's what exactly what I'm creating in this environment, because everybody is like the South Side. Why would you go there? These people need to eat, too.
[00:21:20] And I'm going to be the ones to provide that. I mean, and then so that's why you know what? I look for projects or what I look for investments. You know, I do look for a social impact. And I think that this you know, these types of environments are perfect because they create that social impact. I mean, I've had people who have cried to me and said, thank you for caring. There hasn't been development in 35 years and that's outside. And so, you know, to really have the city on board after obviously 18 months of going through that process, which was like, wow. But I mean it to provide something like that to a community.
[00:21:56] I mean, everybody wins, right? You create in an environment where people win, the the community wins and they're getting the resources they need. You know, you win by providing, you know, great resources and businesses, you know, the business owners for those particular spaces when that those are the opportunities I really like to look for.
[00:22:14] Now, that's exciting. So taking a step back on the timeline started in in wireless data. Wireless for a while did really well. At which point did you exit wireless and decide, hey, I'm going to I'm going to become an angel investor and I'm going to focus your purely on female led entrepreneurs, and I'm going to run an organization only for female entrepreneurs. When did that happen for you?
[00:22:43] So that happened. I had a couple of exits through my career as far as in the wireless industry. Nothing stays the same in wireless, right? In 2013, when AT&T purchased Cricket Wireless, there was one exit. You had a variety of locations that I bought and sold in Chicago. And then I was asked to be a part of the T-Mobile Metro launch and merge. And so probably maybe like a couple of years ago, two or three years ago, this really evolved unlike, you know, the second phase of what I'm doing. I really want to be able to make an impact. I mean, wireless is great. Yeah. You make money and, you know, I mean, that was great. But this second phase of what I'm doing is, is how can I create, I guess, a lasting impact as far as for myself and for for what I've built. And I think that when you want others to win, everybody wins. Right. I came up with something the other day that says I'm in it.
[00:23:49] I guess it just is a testament to what I'm doing with the pitch summit is, is that, you know, when you create an environment where people can thrive, we all thrive together. Right. I want to win because I'm competitive. But if I win, I want others to win, too. And what does that really look like? Right. I mean, anybody who's been in sports. I like basketball. So anybody who's been in sports really, truly understands that mentality it takes to win. Right. It takes that team to want to win. I'm not sure if you're a basketball fan, but I mean, you know, we had our good days where the Golden State. Right. I mean, you're a Lakers fan. I'm not sure.
[00:24:30] But it's all in all sports. All sports. I don't discriminate on any sport. It's always on ESPN. That's fine by me.
[00:24:40] So, yeah, you just saw a team that was so resilient. Right. And you have to have that mentality. And so I think that this just really hit me of like, how can I create impact? But at the same time create a business model that has that impact by investing into others.
[00:25:00] Excellent. Excellent. So what kind of fund, what kind of fund are you precede seed series, eh? How do you classify yourself? These Sevy like a traditional, you know, investment class?
[00:25:15] That's a good question. So how I look at it, you know, I don't really I mean, you know, as far as the seed. Yeah. We look at that. Typically, I like to look at companies that have a little bit of traction. I like to see somebody who has a little bit experience because throwing money at just a you know, a ground up startup doesn't necessarily make sense to me personally. But I like to see a little traction. I like to see that they've put their heart and soul into this. You know, a lot of times people say, you know, they want to become an entrepreneur, but they still have their day job right up. Anybody who's been successful at that personally, maybe there's people out there. I don't know personally. And so you can't it's like that old Chinese proverb, you can't have your feet in two boats. So same thing here. I look for people who really put their heart and soul. I mean, I had somebody recently last week reach out to me through LinkedIn and told me about her project. And, you know, she literally says that she's living in her basement because she sacrificed everything to be there. I look for people who who want to win, who have the desire to win, and they have no option for failure. And you have those kinds of people on board your team. I can guarantee you there why we'll be so easy to define their how. So those are the type of opportunities I think I look for.
[00:26:40] Is it is it vertical specific or do you have a thesis around the vertical or is it commercial real estate? Is it wireless since you have a lot of experience there? Like, can you talk to us a little bit about that?
[00:26:50] OK, so great. Yeah, that's a great question too. So I do have a big heart for retail. I think that, you know, as most investors, I think it scares them. But I understand like niche retail, for example, if we look at companies like I'm not sure if you guys have them down in L.A. is like five below. Right. And you look at the four, you look at like industries that are very niche focused. Right. I mean, I think the world has evolved this year is that those type of big box retail that just doesn't work on ocus ones are the ones that are taking market share and dominating. Right. I mean, five below. I mean, where did they come from? Right. That's just like I mean, that's just amazing. I mean, so for who I think is owned by Louis Deyton group. I mean, they're just geniuses out and seeing where that opportunity for women make up industry has evolved. Right. I mean, women go there and they shop there all day long and they spend their money there. Right.
[00:27:56] It's it's super interesting now that you mention it. I don't. I mean, I've been a B2B and consumer finance, you know, Legian customer acquisition guy. So I don't I really haven't been deep, deep. We've done e-commerce and a little retail, but not deep like you have. Yeah. It's interesting now that you just mentioned that my daughter wears justice, which is a tween clothing brand. Yes. And I have I mean, she's 10, so she's old enough to make her own decisions. And by the way, if you try to make a decision for her, you're making a mistake. So but to your point, I think, you know, we used to take him to Old Navy or we used to take him to, you know, Target. I guess the target's not good enough for the kids anymore. But like you say, like, I don't know who five below is, but this, you know, shop justice girl's clothing, fashion for tweens. It's affordable. The kids love it. And if you're to get into a business like that. Look at the sock, guys. We got socks. We have underwear. We have a million different variations of retail shoe people that are probably doing 10, 20, 30 million dollars a year and top line on a hundred percent. E-commerce Shopify site. Unbelievable. Niche retail, I guess is that's a great point.
[00:29:12] So, you know, I mean, so but that's obviously not my only focus. I mean, I look for game changers. I look for, you know, companies that are really going to maybe disrupt industries, you know, looking at actually invested recently in a H are online platform that's going to integrate some unique things. So I look for four industries that are game changers. Right. And in order to be a game changers, you have to secure some, you know, some very important patents that there is going to allow that game changer to really be implemented. Right. Because, I mean, people nowadays are so innovative. And I think that we've seen a new type of innovative people. Right. Especially with. The younger generation, I think they they think it's easy to be an entrepreneur. They see all their, you know, Instagram people and they see all this world. Right. They think, oh, well, I could be, you know, Instagram famous and make millions of dollars. And they think it's easy. But the fact is, the reality is it's not easy. Right. And then you're going to go through that. You're going to get punched around. You're gonna get knocked out. And it happens. But it's how you get back up. Right.
[00:30:28] It's how you overcome those obstacles that truly define a good entrepreneur from a great entrepreneur. And then I look for people like that. You know, it's not how many times I been knocked out, but how many times they show up.
[00:30:43] Got it. Let's talk a little bit about the elephant in the room as it relates to and this has been a big issue over. This has been a this has been a it issue over many years. I think it gets brought up in fits and starts. But I think, you know, social justice and equality, there's a lot of stuff happening right now with that. And so let's talk about inequality as it relates to female entrepreneurs a little bit, OK? What are the you know, what is your view around it? What are the facts around it? You know, there's numbers in venture capital even or in investing. I read one the other day that said, you know, I think maybe two percent of all theses are are women or investors on this type of scale are women. So maybe maybe it's a little more maybe it's a little less. But regardless, even if it's 10 percent, it's still abysmal. And then on the female founder, female entrepreneur front, I don't have the specific data around that. But you have a point of view on the inequality, why this happens. Can you talk to us about what needs to change? You talk to us a little bit about that.
[00:31:52] Yeah, absolutely. And to your point is, is that, you know, my focus is obviously changing.
[00:31:59] You know, the numbers as far as the two point nine percent of the women who are getting the venture funding, yet 40 percent of them are starting, 40 percent of women are starting businesses. One of the things that I recognize as a problem is, is that, you know, wait a second.
[00:32:15] Let me let me just make sure that we understood the audience understands this correctly. So if if a hundred people are going to be entrepreneurs, you're saying of those hundred people, 40 of them are women, right? Yeah. And two of them. Three of them, two point nine percent. So three of them out of a hundred people are women and they get funded. Is that accurate?
[00:32:42] So let's say, you know, 40 like 40 women out of that hundred. Right. Are, you know, starting businesses. But out of those forty two point nine percent. So literally like one like one and a half, you know, people out of that 40 are getting funded. Interesting. It's bad. Oh, so but how I look at it in terms of equality. You know, I, I think that part of you know, when we look at what media promotes and what everybody promotes is men versus women, us versus them. I don't look at it like that. Some of my greatest partners are men. They are allies. And if and if we cannot bridge that gap and bring them in. Right. I remember some of the stories, you know, especially with Sara Blakely, who, you know, invented Spanx. Right. You know, the billionaire and he's a dad. Nobody's going to buy this. This is not this is not good. So he went home and he told his two daughters and his daughter said, Daddy, you have to invest into this. Only then he decided to invest into that company. And while the rest is history. My point is, is that they were his ally, right? They were. They. They came together. And I think that the same thing has to happen here. Men have to come together with women and we have to bridge that gap. It's not us versus them. It's really how can we come together to see the opportunity that maybe men don't see. And many women don't see. And really align. It's really not about you know, I don't really believe in like, you know, men versus women and all of that. That, to me, just doesn't make sense. I have a lot of men who work for me and a lot of my my attorneys are men, a lot of my, you know, accountants. He's a guy. And so I, I have to truly believe that. We have to make sure that we align together and they can be our greatest allies if we allow that. Right. You know, I mean, it goes on the same side. You know, sometimes women have this, you know, thought process to that like I mean, things that maybe have happened to them, right. Where, you know, you have a fairly good looking woman and, you know, and she goes out there and tries to raise capital. And maybe, you know, a guy thinks that if he funds her, something's going to happen between them or whatever the case may be. Right. And so you have to really just look at it and say, how can we align it? And then how can we add value to each of our lives? Because I truly believe that the men I mean, let's face it, the majority of the wealth are in the older white men know how to bridge that gap between the two of us to allow that to happen. They're going to have higher returns. They're going to be happier. I mean, Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank made an announcement. I don't know. I don't know. Last year, he says that some of his best investments have been in women. So thank you, Mr. Wonderful.
[00:35:40] That's excellent. So so how much of this and I agree, I don't think being, you know, divisive or critical or or having this notion of, well, we deserve it, so give it to me and just make it fair. Yeah, I don't I'm not certain that's the best approach. I don't I'm not involved very much in these issues. I try to stay out of a lot of this stuff personally. I just live my life the right way. I think I'm very inclusive of all groups. But if you had to give any advice, what kind of advice would you give to the women that you feel like, you know, maybe they think they might come to you and go, God, I'm so glad that you're doing this, because no one will pay attention to me. I go to all these meetings and all these dudes ignore me or whatever. What kind of advice do you give them when they come to you with that attitude or or or people come to you and expect that will come? Maybe because I'm a female, then I should get funded because I'm a female, not because I've got a great product or I've got a great vision. I've worked my ass off. Do you have some advice that you give to some of these budding entrepreneurs or even, you know, a little bit older entrepreneurs that feel like the kind of men walked on as it relates to being a female entrepreneur or founder?
[00:36:52] Yeah, you know, that issue is really important as well. I do have women who do thank me every single day. We're like, hey, I want to thank you. It's so refreshing to know that there are people like you out there who who believe in it. But at the same time, I want them to understand this is what I do. But at the same time, I'm not that type of, you know, investor that, you know, to just say, like, you know, this is only what I do because you're a woman. No, I mean, you still have to prove your numbers. You still have to understand your numbers. You have to still prove your business model. I want to know that I'm investing into somebody who understands that right. And gets that point. And I think that one of the advice that I do give to women is really know your numbers. I mean, I go through and it's and it's one of my I mean, I would say, you know, I just think it's just one of the things I do as an investor. I go through and I hurry up and I ramble through the like, OK. Tell me your profit and loss. Tell me what your you know, your profit margin. I mean, I go through it quickly. Right. And if there is a hesitation in their voice, you know exactly what they don't know and what they do know. And so it's the same thing. They have to get competent with the numbers. If they don't understand the numbers, how are they gonna make their company profitable? How can you understand when you have a problem and how to turn it around? Right. I mean, when you're building and growing a company, it's always about, you know, tit for tat zig zag. Right. And so if you don't understand that and you don't understand the numbers aspect, you never can make yourself profitable and you can never rise up to the occasion to the problems that you have to solve.
[00:38:33] As an entrepreneur, the truth is always in the numbers. I mean, some some folks get carried away with that and you can create, you know, 42 different KPI eyes for five things. But at the end of the day, don't know where those numbers are starting to turn. And you don't have a plan to to fix it because you haven't even identified it. That's a yeah, that's a major problem, whether you're male or female. You know, race, creed, whatever. You've got to get your numbers straight. So that's a great piece of advice. Let's talk about the Female Founders Pitch Summit. When did you come up with this idea? How big is this thing? Can you tell us about this a little bit?
[00:39:12] Two female founders pitch summit really evolved over the last several months just in terms of creating creating an environment where women have that opportunity to get funding.
[00:39:25] So what we're doing is going to be in San Diego, May 21st at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. I know some people are nervous in terms of is it going to happen? Is it not going to happen? It's going to happen either way, virtually or or lie. I signed a hundred million contract last Friday with the hotel guaranteeing that it will happen. So it will happen. So really, we're bringing together a hundred female founders. So essentially female, 50 female founders and they're either partner or C CFO or whatever the case may be. And I'm bringing together roughly about 40 to 50 private investors, family office groups, D.C. companies that I work with, private equity, who really want to support women and and really fund the next generation of entrepreneurs.
[00:40:12] So they're all going to get up. What's the format lessons pitch and then or is someone going to leave the building with a check or introductions or how does that work?
[00:40:20] So the goal here is, is that I've committed to a couple of things. So we're gonna have a general session that's going to go on for a couple of hours in the morning. It's going to go to a really nice lunch experience overlooking the bay in San Diego. And then we're gonna go into. Pitch tanks, I've created two six pitch types, six different industries. We're going to pay homage to seeing Diego businesses. So we're going to have a tank first in a local San Diego businesses and we're going to just go through a vetting process. I'm committing a million dollars in my personal capital deployed at the at the event that I'm looking for other partners who want to deploy anywhere from half a million to a million dollars as well. And if we can deploy twenty five million dollars at the event now, we're going to be talking about change and what this impact is going to do to the communities and who they represent.
[00:41:14] Well, that is a big deal. Female founders out there. Get on your horse. Get over there. San Diego right down the road. Well, for me. So. So what's actually that that actually brings up another point of mine and what's your average check size? Just so our audience knows, if they're listening to this, they have an idea. They know they have a little traction. Yeah. What can they expect out of your firm? Average Texas average.
[00:41:43] Usually about half a million to about a million. So just depending. That's my sweet spot. As far as what I'd like to deploy and feel comfortable with. You don't get too nervous about some of the losses, but really it's about creating the environments where they can thrive. Right. Because what I've found is, is that especially if somebody has never scaled a business before, how do you take that money? And where do you do you deploy that capital? Right. I mean, if you're deploying capital in the wrong areas of your company, you're going to fail. It's like anything. I mean, if you're focused in on something that doesn't give you a return on your capital, it doesn't make sense. You can deploy hundreds of millions of dollars, but it's never going to give you a return on capital. So it's important to understand that when that capital is deployed, to really allocate those resources to where they need to go in order to get the best return on that capital.
[00:42:38] Got it. So when Kofod hit it, it sounds like you're deeply involved in your businesses. This isn't write a check and then leave and then hope for the best. It sounds like you're deeply involved. So when covered hit and I listened to and talked to a number of of investors, they were they were on the phone 24/7 for like the first 30 to 45 days. I'm assuming you in the same boat with all the investments that you had made. So with that assumption, you know, what were some of the things that you guys talked about? What were some of the things that you advised on? What advice did you give? Some of the painful parts, maybe some of the more rewarding parts to those phone calls?
[00:43:18] Yeah, well, I think that, you know, when all of this came down the pipeline and, you know, the president announced that everything was being shut down, certain industries were affected more than others. Right. And so you had to what I had to do is because I have a diverse portfolio. I had to look at what are the industries that were being affected. Of course, you know, wireless is not going to be affected because people we were deemed in a central business so that al-Qaida still evolved. And so I was thankful for those type of opportunities. But when you look at like let's say, you know, the majority of retail, our restaurants especially. Right. But how can we sustain those businesses? And I have to feel thankful because I think the majority I mean, the first round of the peepee funding that a lot of people, the small businesses got unless they had, you know, big revenues. But I think the second round, I think the government did a fairly good job at deploying the capital and help sustaining those businesses over the next few months. What what is the state of California? Did some great things in terms of the sales tax, not allowing people to pay it? I think deferring it for 60 days. So there weren't there were that we have to look for opportunities to sustain the business. Right. I mean, if if the business was ultimately weak, I mean, why keep it?
[00:44:44] This is an opportunity to get rid of the old and start new. Don't keep deploying capital. That just doesn't make sense. So really, we were on those kinds of conversation of like, really, how can we mitigate some of these losses and sustain and ride it out? You know, I often heard one time I had a teacher that once said, you know, we started out Warren Buffet. Now, you know, he buys when there's blood in the street and you know, all of that. And I said, yes, that's true. But another part of that is, is that you have to have the capital to ride it out. Yeah. I mean, it's great, you know, to to find a great piece of business for a cheap for a cheap price. But if you can't ride it out and sustain it, I mean, it doesn't make sense. Right. And so same thing here. We have to look at those businesses and say, hey, you know, what are the ones that we need to do away with those, you know, stop deploying capital in those. Businesses, but the ones that were worth keeping. Let's figure out a way we can just write it out. And that's what we're doing, just writing those opportunities out. I've been very fortunate, you know, to have a diverse portfolio of companies that are doing good. And so I don't know. I mean, I just look at it that way. I'm not nervous about it. I mean, of course, when the news hit everybody, it was a shock. Right. But then you realize, OK, what do I have to do now?
[00:46:08] That's great. So last question here. And we usually end on this one. But you've got a long career and you've got a lot of advice to offer. So, you know, if you could offer, you know, one or two pieces of advice for our listeners, these are all founders, entrepreneurs, executives. You know, what would those. You know, what would those pieces of advice be?
[00:46:32] Well, you know, I you know, look back at some of the winds and some of the losses of, you know, deploying capital and developing companies and building companies, is is that the thing is, is that everything is always changing. The paradigm is always shifting, you know, and we have to be poised and ready for that and whatever that means. Right. Whether it be, you know, saving up, because that means different things to different people. And depending how big your company is, is it you know, is it a one in two employee operation or is it three or four or five hundred operation? You know, so you have to be poised for change. This change is always going to happen. But it's it's how we're poised to be ready for that change and how we implement and how we stand up and get ready for that change. That's I think the number one advice is that get ready because change is always happening. But it's our response to that change. Who defines us? That's, I guess, my my last tip of the day.
[00:47:31] Excellent. Well, everyone, Rose Vitale, a.k.a. the female angel investor. She's the founder of the Female Founders Pitch Summit. We're gonna put all this information in the show notes so you can figure out how to get to the Female Founders Pitch Summit. Rose, thank you very much for being on this show today and sharing your experiences.
[00:47:52] Yeah, thanks again. I appreciate it, Chris. OK, take care.