Christina Bechhold, having solid experience of working in capital and emerging markets and structured finance from Summer Analytic to Vice President at “Citigroup”, is now deeply involved in the New York startup eco-system. Working as a Co-Founder and Managing Director of “Empire Angels”, she is supporting early stage technology ventures created by millennial generation tech entrepreneurs. 

Christina Bechhold, a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Empire Angels, is known as venture capital investor, focused on sourcing and leading group investments as well as supporting portfolio companies. She is also a Regular Contributor on startups and small business for the Wall Street Journal, a mentor at The Brandery and Venture for America, as well a member of VFA’s Rise partnership Committee focused on increasing diversity in entrepreneurship. Bechhold is also an investor at Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, that is focused on early stage investments in software and services.


Professional Experience

Graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Management and majors in Finance and Philosophy in 2007, Bechhold worked as an Analyst in Export and Agency Finance at Citi for 3 years, previously interned there as a Summer Analyst. In 2010 she was promoted to Associate, where she was responsible for origination, structuring and execution of debt transactions for emerging market clients in partnership with export credit, bilateral and multilateral agencies as well as management of and investor relations. In 2 years she became an Associate in Global Securitized Products, structuring and executing of asset backed securities capital markets and lending transactions as well as client coverage in auto, equipment, credit card and student loan industries. After 10-month experience there she was appointed a Vice President in Global Trade. Working there for a year, she decided to leave Citigroup.

In 2014 she entered early stage, venture backed technology company company of smart jewelry and accessories Ringly, as a Marketing and Partnerships Consutant. Cocurrently she worked as a Regular Contributer on the Accelerators at The Wall Street Journal. Later on she became an Expert Cotributor there. At the moment she continues writing on relevant topics, but for Inc. Magazine. Her articles can be found here. She also participated at TEDxRVA episodes, in one of which she reflects on the low level of women taking part in venture capital development and strongly states that “if women are the primary decision makers in a buyer’s economy then they should also be the primary investors in the consumer venture capital arena”.

“Empire Angels”: Investing In Millennials’ Initiatives 

In June 2012, together with Graham Gullans, Christina Bechhold founded “Empire Angels“, a member-led, New York City based angel fund, comprised of experienced young professionals, ready to make smart investments in early stage technology ventures. “We started out as a handful of friends looking at a few companies and have grown to a large collection of investors from a variety of industries and backgrounds”, – Bechhold says for Medium. Through this experince she became deeply involved in the New York startup eco-system, where she has most likely found her identity. Focused on supporting young, US based entrepreneurs, the group performance of “Empire Angels” is collaborative and open, and provides a democratic framework with highly filtered deal flow and member training.

“Empire Angels”, through the individual members, normally invests between $100k and $250k in Seed, Seed+ and Series A rounds in early stage, capital efficient companies “led by dedicated, young founders with a clever solution, large target market and initial user engagement, as well as a clear path to meaningful revenue generation in the next 6-12 months”. Every month it hosts pitch sessions to screen start ups before active negotiations start. The peculiarity of the fund is that it has the youngest membership of any angel group in the US and is the only organization in this field, that is aimed to train only the Millennial generation of angel investors in the following key sectors:

The portfolio of “Empire Angels” includes high octane energy tea producer Zest Tea, small, flexible patch helping to understand your physiology Kenzen, a leading energy data and analytics company Enertiv, the educational technology company promoting interactive media studying for children Speakaboos, ride sharing company Juno, now globally expending bakery Mah Ze Dahr, building employee cultures initiative named Imperative, the personal data scientist for brands on social media LiftMetrix, an interactive iPad app for kids HullaBalu, online lending platform Fundation, online fashion destination using style recognition technology My Drobe, and others.

“Samsung’s Global Innovation Center”: 

Bechhold is also an investor at Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, focused on early stage investments in software and services. Serving as a Principal, she is supporting the applied projects, leading investments in automotive/mobility, consumer IoT, virtual reality, machine learning, and financial technologies.

Via the partnership with innovators, they “build ideas into products, grow products into businesses and scale businesses that leverage and transform the Samsung ecosystem”. One of the latest initiatives supported was an IoT-inspired desalination irrigation system using Samsung ARTIK IoT platform to reduce water waste, the project won $100,000 by Samsung Awards EDDI in August 2016. In February this year the launch of Samsung ARTIK-based Cloud Power Breezie Healthcare Solution for senior care, in a new collaboration with T-Mobile, was announced.

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