Member Spotlight: Idong Essiet-Gibson, She’s Independent Investing Member and Deal Lead

headshot of Idong and quote from article

Q: How long have you been a She’s Independent member? And how did you find out about She’s Independent? 

I heard about the group from a startup founder I advise. She shared the website and I joined an office hours session with Natalie.  I was drawn to her willingness to share a wealth of information from her background and expertise with the attendees. I joined SII shortly after in May 2023.

Q: What is your background? Brag a little ; ) 

I am a scientist and public health practitioner by training, with over 2 decades in uniform first as an Army enlisted soldier, then an Army officer and finally as a US Public Health Service officer. It was fulfilling to serve my country while doing work that I loved, from biomedical research to managing multi million dollar public health programs. In 2019, I retired and started my consulting business working with life science and biotech startups seeking federal funding for early product development.

Q: Where are you on your investing journey? And how has She’s Independent influenced or supported this?

Working with startups on accessing non-dilutive funding for early product development, introduced me to the world of private investing. Prior to this, I had only invested in the public markets based on my personal interest. As I learned more about venture capital and angel investing, I became more intrigued and driven to learn more. Joining She’s Independent provided an opportunity to get involved at a granular level and really learn how angel investing works and the impact it can have, particularly in tight market conditions, like we have experienced over the last year.

Q: What was your first experience with our empowered action approach to learning? 

Participating in an Introduction to Angel Investing session hosted by Natalie.  I loved that she made the effort to explain terms and concepts that were unfamiliar for non-finance professionals.

Q: What has been your biggest ah-ha moment or benefit from the She’s Independent experience so far?

Seeing in real life, the collective impact that we can have as women, when we pull our resources and expertise together, to drive funding to founders and solutions that impact our daily lives. SII offers flexibility in how much time you commit to the process while providing numerous opportunities to be actively engaged in everything from sourcing deals to conducting due diligence on startups of interest.  It is inspiring to know that we can play a part in creating opportunities for groups that tend to be marginalized, to bring their innovative ideas to life and help to transform our world for the better.

Q: What investment stands out in your mind so far?

One that we are about to make in a medtech device startup that is offering a solution that will make a difference in the lives of millions globally. It is particularly significant to me as I got to participate in the screening and due diligence process and learned a lot from the process.

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