An Angel in New York: Joanne Wilson



Joanne Wilson is an integral part of the New York tech startup community as an angel investor and advisor, especially for women looking to launch a startup.

After blazing her own trail as a female in the business and tech world through a variety of careers, including a Macy’s buyer, running a clothing industry company and overseeing sales for the startup magazine Silicon Alley Reporter, Wilson is considered the go-to authority for female entrepreneurs in the industry.

A majority of Wilson’s 30 investments are in female-founded companies, like Nestio, Lover.ly and DailyWorth.  She encourages women to immerse themselves in family and work, and to push past the obstacles of being a woman in business and technology.

Wilson sits on the board of Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that supports foreign-born and low-income women and men through a bakery project and training program, and Highline, a public park on the elevated rail line on Manhattan’s West Side.

She has been blogging about New York’s tech scene, food, art and other cultural events under the name Gotham Girl since 1994.

Consequently, Wilson invests in many of the same interests she blogs about, which includes a variety of food, tech, publications and fashion startups.

Wilson and her husband Fred make quite the investing pair in New York, as both are active investors in tech startups.  Fred has chosen to invest in companies like Twitter, Foursquare and Zynga.

The successful angel investor is also very active in the non-profit world.  She chaired Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools in Education (MOUSE), an organization that helps supply new technology to inner-city schools.

Angel Fund:

Founder and Investor at Gotham Gal Ventures (Founded in 2008)

Ad Tech, Fashion, E-Commerce, Publishing and Food.

Selected Investments:

3rd Ward, Blue Bottle Coffee, Cacao Prieto, CatchAFire, Curbed Network, DailyWorth, Edison Junior
EDITD, Edition01, Engagio, Food52, GIFTLAB, Have to Have, How Good, Kitchensurfing, Little Bits, Little Borrowed, Dress, Lover.ly, New York Mouth, Nestio, NG Advantage, Rick’s Picks, Red Stamp, Scoot Networks, TaxiTreats, The Talk Market, theSweeten, Venuebook, Willa, Windowfarms, Maker’s Row

Hot Bread Kitchen

Expertise Areas:
Startup Technology Companies, Venture Capital Investments, Seed Funding, Private Equity and Blogging.

Blogs, Twitter & Websites:


Memorable Quotes:

On new talent:  “I love collecting emerging artists and watching their careers blossom, just as I like watching companies grow.”

On starting her own brick-and-mortar shop:  “The reality is that I know exactly the time and energy that I’d have to put into it.  It might happen, it might not.  Never say never.  Right now I am working on the businesses that I have invested in and thinking about how we will have complete flexibility in our lives in another year or so, and what that will mean.”

On the Internet as a community:  “Thinking about the World Wide Web as a worldwide tool for community is the one piece that not only connects us to each other across many divides, but has also given us a reason to take a breath, stand back and connect with the people we see every day at a different level, because no matter what the web provides us in regards to finding our way and a community that we connect with, being able to sit around a table and break bread becomes even more important as we all ride this technology train that is taking us to a place that none of us are quite sure of.”

About the author: Meredith Lee

Meredith is currently studying Journalism and English at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she focuses on blending new and traditional medias to enhance communication for a future career in digital media. She enjoys everything related to new media, investigative journalism, international communications, cooking, traveling and music festivals.

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