Isabel Faria on Investing in the Future of Food and Agritech
Isabel Faria, Angel Investor at COREangels Lisbon, Discusses Shifting Landscapes, Passion-Driven Investments, and the Future of Global Solutions in Our Exclusive Interview.
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Cintia Mano: Who is Isabel Faria?
Isabel Faria: I'm someone who has a deep passion for the food industry and has worked in it for many years. I'm also a mother, a traveler, and someone who's always been interested in investment. Additionally, finance has been my first area of expertise, so I have a strong connection to the financial markets. My extensive traveling experiences have broadened my perspective, and I'm dedicated to making the world a better place for my daughter. I have a mission-driven purpose in my life, as I believe we only have one life, and we should focus on making meaningful contributions.
Cintia: You've worked in the food industry for a long time. How has the industry changed since you started?
Isabel: The food industry has seen significant changes in recent years, especially with events like the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the impacts of climate change. These factors have had a profound effect on food production and agriculture, influencing everything from pricing to supply chain disruptions. To address these challenges, we need innovative solutions and greater awareness of the current state of the food industry on a global scale. This dynamic environment requires professionals to stay on top of the market and be proactive in implementing solutions.
Cintia: How did you get into angel investing?
Isabel: I wasn't familiar with angel investing until about a year ago when Rui Falcao introduced me to it. I had been investing in financial markets for a long time and had entrepreneurial experience, so the concept of angel investing was not entirely new to me. However, Rui explained the details of angel investing, and I felt a strong connection to it. It was not just about the financial aspects but also about the people involved in it. This alignment with my passions and the connection with the COREangels community led me to dive into angel investing.
Isabel: Being a COREangels Lisbon angel means a lot to me. It's not just about the investments; it's about the community and the structured approach that COREangels provides. It's about being part of a group of angels where there is strong involvement from the community. Experienced business angels offer support, training, advice, and a connected network to newcomers, helping them navigate the journey of angel investing. It's about building a strong connection with the projects and having a sense of identification with them.
Cintia: What does COREangels as a global community mean to you?
Isabel: COREangels as a global community is essential. It allows us to connect with a larger network and stay in touch with the global trends in angel investing. It's not limited to a local context, and that's crucial because the challenges we face in the world of startups and investments are often global. The support, training, and connection with other COREangels around the world contribute to a broader perspective and a more well-rounded investment approach.
Cintia: Tell us about the first startup you invested in.
Isabel: My first investment was with COREangels, and it holds a special place in my heart. Initially, I was a bit lost because the startup world had its own jargon and metrics, and I had to learn the ropes. However, with guidance from the COREangels community, reading recommended books, and stepping out of my comfort zone, I quickly adapted to the startup environment. The group was a significant support system for me, helping me make more informed investment decisions.
Cintia: From our portfolio startups, which one are you most excited about?
Isabel: I find myself particularly excited about BHOUT and Hotel Manager. I have a strong connection to these startups, possibly due to my extensive travel experiences and background in sports. However, what's fascinating about angel investing is that it's not just about what you're familiar with; it's also about learning from startups that are in different domains. The learning process in itself is exciting and enriching.
Cintia: Any advice for anyone who's heard of angel investing but hasn't made a decision yet?
Isabel: Angel investing is not just about financial returns; it's a journey that offers so much more. If you're considering angel investing, you must be comfortable with risk and understand that it's a long-term commitment. It's about building a community, contributing to purpose-driven startups, and being part of something bigger. You should ensure that this journey aligns with your values and ambitions before diving in.
Cintia: Sectors to watch as an investor in 2024?
Isabel: I believe that the food and agritech sectors, closely linked with climate tech, will be significant areas to watch in 2024. These areas address critical global challenges, including climate change, supply chain disruptions, and food production. Angel investors can play a vital role in connecting startups with large corporations to drive innovation and find solutions quickly. It's a sector that holds the potential for large-scale investments because the world can't wait for solutions to these challenges. The adoption of innovations in food and agritech needs to happen at a faster pace, and the investment opportunities are substantial.
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about the author
Cintia Mano is the CEO of COREangels. She spent fifteen years at companies such as Booz Allen & Hamilton (later acquired by PwC) and Vale in senior leadership roles and twelve years in the startup ecosystem as an entrepreneur, mentor, and angel investor.
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