AIM-HI Accelerator Fund Nominated for the 2022 Prix Galien USA Incubators, Accelerators and Equity Award
The AIM-HI Accelerator Fund is honored to be nominated for the 2022 Prix Galien USA…
“Sujuan believed in my vision for AngeLink before anyone else,” says AngeLink Founder and CEO Gerry Poirier. “She is the ‘definition’ of women’s empowerment as the leader of three innovative charities: National Foundation for Cancer Research, Asian Fund for Cancer Research, and AIM-HI Accelerator Fund.
Growing Up in China
“I grew up in China where women and girls are referred to as ‘holding up half the sky,’ and men and boys hold up the other half. So I grew up thinking I could do anything boys can do,” said Sujuan. “When I came to the United States in 1986, I thought Americans would be more advanced regarding women’s rights. I was surprised to notice that there’s a lot of unconscious bias in the US.
That bias is something that Gerry knows firsthand. “I started AngeLink because I saw a problem that I wanted to solve. Pervasive gender inequity and economic disparity continue to deny women a voice on a global level. Yet, no viable fundraising platform in the world exists to support women. So, I decided to build one.”
Sharing the Vision
To “build one” meant Gerry had some fundraising of her own to do to attract investors. Not an easy lift for a woman with such a unique vision. It requires meeting investors who would share a unique vision and finding a kindred spirit with the ability to see it. “When I met Sujuan nearly three years ago, she immediately saw what I saw – That there was a global problem that I could solve through innovative new technology,” added Gerry.
“When Gerry came to me, she was passionate about building a platform to empower women globally. I understood what she was trying to do because I spent 15-18 years exploring a platform to set up to help scientists and innovative startups get the seed money funding to move their discoveries from the labs into the clinical pipelines,” Sujuan recalled. “That is why I co-founded AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, a non-profit organization created to bridge the funding gap to advance oncology-focused startups through impact investments.
“I could see that her idea was in the arena that it could help my organization advance our future mission. We needed a better empowerment tool for fundraising to advance cancer research. I had been looking for a disruptive, innovative replacement for our traditional direct mail fundraising, another form of grassroots crowdfunding declining due to many challenges, especially the covid pandemic.
“I especially like the antifraud features of AngeLink (eight antifraud patents pending). I think people are very conscientious about fraud. With this anti-fraud feature, I am confident that it would gain people’s trust and be used.
“Secondly, I also believe in empowering women who can amplify the impact on family, community, and business. And the third thing is I think this will be a great platform to support some of our research breakthroughs. So, for me, it’s really a win, win, win!”
After several meetings with Gerry, Sujuan decided she could provide the initial seed funding for this high risk – but high reward – project. “We can provide the critically needed funding so that Gerry can bring her vision to reality and generate the MVP – minimum viable product, to attract other investors,” said Sujuan.
“It always takes the first person to recognize innovation and to jump in – to take the risk and continue to believe and be willing to bring other resources,” she added. “I gave her the seed funding to turn her concept into a product now, she has done that. She has the AngeLink app that we can show people. It’s an entirely different ball game now. I love Angelink as ‘Built by Women, Used by All.’”
Gerry shares, “Sujuan provided the critically needed funding through AIM-HI; she also brought other investors to our network. She is our first outside investor and the first woman with a shared vision of how AngeLink could change the world.”
Changing the world is a mission both Gerry and Sujuan share. Gerry chose “Fundraising with Love” as the motto for AngeLink. When asked about that, Sujuan replied, “Love powers the world. We all have to make the world better. Everyone should have some idea of their imprint in the world to make the world a better space for humanity. That’s what still drives me to work in the cancer research field after more than 23 years, continuing to push forward the cancer research mission.”
Strong-willed visionary women like Sujuan Ba and Gerry Poirier generate a personal power that radiates out and most certainly changes the world. While they are creating life-saving treatments for cancer and a new financial platform to support women around the world, Sujuan and Gerry are living proof that when women with a shared vision uplift one another, the world changes. For good.