About the Helm
What is the mission of The Helm?
Through content, commerce, and community, our mission is to make it easy to invest in women; whether it’s by discovering and reading about their stories, buying their products, or making direct investments into their companies.
I am a founder, how do I submit a request to be featured on your site?
If you would like to be considered for our shop, an editorial feature, or for funding, please complete this form.
I am a funder, how do I get involved?
Please tell us more about yourself here!
Membership: For Founders
I am fundraising. How do I apply to be considered for funding?
What happens after I fill out the form?
If we are interested in learning more about your company and the deal, we will reach out to schedule a video call.
What is the average investment size?
That depends on you! We’ll adjust our check size to meet your parameters, but generally, we will make $10,000 – $100,000 investments.
Are there any other ways you can support me?
Yes! Please fill out our founder form to be considered for our editorial and e-commerce sites as well.
Membership: For Funders
What does Membership involve?
As a member, you will have access to monthly, curated investment opportunities into female-founded companies. We will source the deals and handle all administrative obligations and processes. You will also receive access to our investor community; a group of like-minded people to learn from and connect with, as well as other perks, like an exclusive discount to The Helm Shop.
Do I need to be an accredited investor to join?
No, you do not need to be an accredited investor in order to join and enjoy the benefits of membership. However, if you would like to invest in deals, you do need to be an accredited investor.
How do you source the deals?
We have a far-reaching network of female founders and funders. We are in constant communication with them to keep our finger on the pulse of the best and most promising companies across the country.
How do you evaluate the deals?
Our team will take an initial meeting with founders and then bring a shortlist to our advisory committee for a final evaluation before presenting deals to our members. We will evaluate the deals based on a number of factors, including the team, market, business model, and traction. While we will provide our assessment, it will be up to the individual member to do any further diligence necessary in order to inform their investment decision.
What industries will you focus on?
We will provide opportunities across all industries. In your investor intake form, you will be asked to identify industries that you are interested in. We will do our best to seek deals in these industries. Note that we also plan to present opportunities outside of traditional early-stage investing opportunities, such as film, for example.
Do I need to invest in a certain number of deals?
No, you can invest in as few or as many deals as you like.
What is the minimum investment I can make into each deal?
The minimum will vary depending on the deal, but generally, we expect minimum personal investments to be around $5,000. That said, we will only be able to facilitate the investment if collectively we reach the minimum investment size of the deal in question. If you are interested in investing in a deal that does not generate enough interest from the rest of the group, we will introduce you directly to the founder.
How much does membership cost?
The annual fee for membership is $500 for the first year.
Are there any additional fees?
In addition to your investment, we will charge a nominal fee that is proportional to your investment size in order to cover administrative expenses (roughly 2 percent). The Helm will receive a 20% carried interest on all investment proceeds, after investors receive their return of capital.
How do I become a member?
Please complete the application form on our membership page.
Are you still making investments through your fund?
No. Fund I is closed and we couldn’t be prouder of our 11 portfolio companies. We are no longer making investments through this fund.
Are you planning to launch another fund?
Yes, we have plans (and some early commitments) for Fund II and anticipate launching that sometime in 2021.
What is your investment thesis?
For Fund I, we invested in seed-stage, female-founded companies with a female CEO. Our average investment size was around $125,000, and we were industry agnostic. We have not yet determined the criteria for Fund II, but it will also be a gender-lens fund.
I’m interested in investing in Fund II. What should I do?
Please complete this form to tell us a little bit more about yourself. We will reach out when we have more information about Fund II.
The Shop: For Customers
I have a question about an order. How do I contact customer support?
Please email email@example.com with any questions you have concerning an order on The Helm Shop.
How long does shipping take?
Most orders ship within 2 days, however processing time can take anywhere from 2-7 days depending on the brand and order volume. We are working on ways to provide more expedited shipping options that will be available soon! Please find more information here.
How do returns work?
For most products, returns are accepted within 14 days of purchase. You can find full details of our return policy here.
The Shop: For Vendors
What are the requirements to be considered on The Helm Shop?
We have one simple requirement: we ask that all brands be founded or co-founded by a woman.
I’m interested in having my female-founded or co-founded brand sold on The Helm Shop. What should I do?
We love receiving submissions! Please send information about yourself and your brand to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you accept all female-founded or co-founded brands?
We evaluate all brand submissions, but unfortunately cannot guarantee a spot in the shop to all female-founded brands. In addition to supporting female-founded brands by providing them a marketed sales platform, we are also committed to making the shopping journey as curated and easy as possible for our customers–so they can spend more of their valuable time and energy investing in themselves and less time looking for products they need.
What kinds of brands or products do you consider?
We want to be a one-stop shop for all things female-founded, so welcome submissions for any type of product. Our site is a great place to reference to see the kinds of categories that we are prioritizing at any given time.