139: Rebecca Danta (Miami Angels)

Rebecca Danta on Innovation City

“I think that we are all driven by our personal experiences. I’m someone who could have been a stat and I wasn’t and that is because of education, that is because of mentors, that is because of opportunities, maybe a little bit of luck as well. What drives me is to be able to provide those opportunities to other people who are in those statics.” – Rebecca Danta

Welcome to Season 3 of Innovation City, a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Rebecca Danta, Managing Director at Miami Angels. Miami Angels is the largest and most active angel network in Florida, which funds Seed and Series A technology companies with early traction across various sectors. At Miami Angels, Rebecca has helped deploy over $4.5 million into 18 deals while building a sustainable, independent business model for the organization. Rebecca is a Miami native and passionate about investing into markets and teams that are often overlooked in traditional venture capital. She serves on the board of the Florida Venture Forum, Refresh Miami, and is a Class XI member of Miami Fellows. In this episode, Rebecca sits down to discuss being a minority investor, the ways she is providing opportunities for women and people of color through investments, what she looks for in a company before investing, and much more!

They discuss:

  • People are driven by their personal experiences
  • Rebecca could have been a statistic
    • She wasn’t because of education, mentors, opportunities, and a little bit of luck
    • She wants to provide these opportunities to other people
  • Great talent can come from anywhere
  • She wants to be a different type of investor and open the doors to those in underserved communities
  • What she looks for when it comes to investing in companies
    • Early stage company that can scale and have a large market
    • Invest once the product is on the market
    • She typically looks at software, medical device, and IT companies
  • Invest in people not the product. It’s more important to have the right team rather than product
  • The ideal founder is someone who is driven, motivated, and honest (but also can take feedback)
  • Others will and are feeling the affect of being a minority in different parts of the country
  • Pointing capital to women and women of color while also bringing in more investors
  • Her time as a coach and mentor at WIN (Women Innovating Now) Lab
  • Trying to attract more female angel investors
  • Trying to develop levels of membership to help women and people of color become credit investors
  • Her advice for people wanting to invest
    • Getting educated on investing
    • Meet with people and consider getting a mentor
    • Just do it!
  • Her love of hosting, playing sports, and learning anything challenging
  • A good investor is someone who is approachable, thinks about the future, and is willing to get their hands dirty

Lightning round:

  • What city or country do you want to visit next?
    • Peru
  • Last book you read?
  • Favorite recipe out of the book?
    • Apple Pie
  • Biggest risk you ever took?
    • Moving to NY after her long distance bf moved to Miami from overseas
  • Who would you want to have dinner with, dead or alive?
    • Oprah Winfrey
  • Kindest thing anyone has done for you?
    • Her boss allowing her to work from home in MIA for a month
  • Things you do too much of?
    • Getting caught up in social media
  • What is your superpower?
    • Hyper-focus and organization