Gale Bowman, the Managing Director of the IrishAngels investors group, shares her expertise with ESTEEM students in a class on early stage financing. Students hear a series of five lectures and also complete final projects based on real-life companies that they select at the beginning of their time in the ESTEEM program.
Bowman earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing at Notre Dame in 2005 and an MBA in entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago in 2012, the year in which IrishAngels was formed and she became the founding director. The Chicago-based group, which has grown to over 150 investors in size, invests in high-potential startups in which a founder, board member, or active investor is a Notre Dame graduate, student, parent, or faculty member. IrishAngels has already invested more than $10 million across 22 portfolio companies. “They learn about different forms of financing for a startup and how to pitch to investors for funding,” she says. “We talk about bootstrapping, crowdfunding, debt, and equity options that startups have when they need to find capital to grow.”
“We make investments in early-stage businesses across a variety of sectors that are raising $1 million to $3 million in seed and Series A capital,” she says. Bowman, who also developed and teaches an Intro to Early State Investing course to MBA students in the Mendoza College of Business, says the ESTEEM students often raise excellent, questions regarding their thesis projects and business plans that they work on throughout the year as part of the ESTEEM curriculum.
“I think the ESTEEM students are a very entrepreneurial group,” she says. “It was a pleasure teaching them this year, and I look forward to the day when IrishAngels will be able to invest in a business founded by an ESTEEM student.”