Lauren Flanagan, 55
Co-founder, Managing Director, Phenomenelle Angels Fund
No. of Angel Investments: 23
Companies funded (a sampling): Alice.com, Stealth Therapeutics, U.S. Trailmaps
After 25 years as an entrepreneur working 70+ hrs per week, Lauren Flanagan decided to reinvent herself—with the goal of having a more balanced life. In an e-mail, she said she looked at her strengths and weaknesses as CEO and realized she was best at taking a big idea or early-stage company and turning it into a real business. She founded a strategic advisory firm, SCIO Corp., and took on only clients she was willing to invest in. Seeing the lack of capital in the Midwest, particularly for women and minority-led companies, led her to co-found an early-stage fund, Phenomenelle Angels Fund.
Looking back, Flanagan said Apple is the one tech company in which she would have liked to have been an angel investor. "Not only for the financial returns, but because Steve Jobs and Apple have continuously set the bar for the rest of the computer, electronics, and entertainment industries in terms of form, function, ease of use, and aesthetics. … I’m just about to release an app for the iPhone that I designed. So although I wasn't able to be an angel investor in Apple, I've ‘co-invested’ in Jobs' vision along the way."