At Wednesday's Spirit of Innovation Awards, a group of female leaders announced a new project called The JumpFund, which is a women’s angel fund.
Seven local female leaders with The JumpFund announced they are working to raise $2 million in capital by spring 2014.
"Our investments will create an opportunity for women in our community and region to bring their strengths to the table," partner Tiffanie Robinson said in a prepared statement. "The JumpFund will change the economic landscape, the number of successful entrepreneurs, and increase the number of gender-diverse teams in our backyard."
They will invest women's capital in female-led companies with growth potential in an effort to generate strong financial returns and elevate the role of women in business.
Managing partner Kristina Montague, who most recently served as assistant dean of external affairs at UTC, said Wednesday during the announcement that too few women lead companies that make more than $1 million in revenue a year. And too few companies that get venture capital funds are run by women.
So a couple years ago, JumpFund leaders began asking, "Where are the women?"
And The JumpFund is an effort to make the Gig City a better place for female entrepreneurs by connecting them with capital. The founders want to make Chattanooga and the Southeast the country's best place for women to start a business.
Founders of the venture capital organization have plans to build a portfolio of 10 to 12 high-growth companies in the next three years.
All the investors will be women, and the companies that receive the capital will have female leaders who own a significant amount of the company.
Other managers of the fund are Cory Allison, Betsy Blunt Brown, Shelley Prevost and Leonora Williamson. Stefanie Crowe will be the chief adviser, according to The JumpFund website.
Click here to read more about why the group is investing in women.
The group will begin hearing pitches in early 2014. Click here to read more about that process.