By Jo Ann Corkran, Loretta McCarthy and Peggy Wallace, Managing Partners, Golden SeedsSeptember 10, 2020
Our work is far from done. But as it’s been 15 years since Golden Seeds was launched, it seemed like a good moment to reflect on just how far we’ve come since that time.
In 2005, under the leadership of our founder, Stephanie Newby, we began to realize our vision of achieving gender parity in investment and entrepreneurship with the creation of Golden Seeds, an early stage investment firm dedicated to championing and investing in women-led startups. Fifteen years ago, we set out to create an environment in which all women entrepreneurs would be seriously considered, treated fairly and have a real shot at getting funding.
Since then, we’ve made incredible strides. We’re now one of the largest angel investment networks in the country, having had more than 870 investors in 34 states over these years. We were one of the first organizations to actively promote the myriad research that shows all companies are better when they are gender-diverse.
We are particularly proud of our national footprint. In addition to operating our flagship New York office, Golden Seeds now includes seven additional chapters across the country, bringing mentorship and investment opportunities to women-led startups in Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, New Jersey and Silicon Valley/San Francisco. We offer angel investors the opportunity to participate on due diligence teams; invest in promising startups; attend training sessions, national forum meetings and syndication calls; and join meetings in any of the organization’s chapters throughout the U.S.
Over our 15 years of pursuing gender diversity the total investment by Golden Seeds exceeds $135 million in nearly 200 companies. Those companies have gone on to raise more than $1.2 billion of additional capital, further advancing female entrepreneurs. We have invested in nearly all industry sectors, with emphasis on enterprise technology, healthcare and consumer products/services industries.
While Golden Seeds – and overall investment in all-female founding teams – has made tremendous progress, we recognize the challenges that remain ahead. Venture capital (VC) investment in all-women teams in 2019 was $3.3 billion – a mere 2.8% of all venture capital invested in the U.S., according to PitchBook. Eight-six percent of all venture capital investments last year went to all-male teams.
“We would not be here if not for Golden Seeds,” said Susan Catalano, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Cognition Therapeutics, which recently received a $75.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to fund a clinical trial for a therapeutic to treat early Alzheimer’s disease. “They’ve brought a wealth of experience to our company and provided access to organizations that I don’t think we would have been able to access without their help. They were the folks who had a vision as big as we did. Everything the company does is historic.”
“Golden Seeds has meant viability for our company,” said Rosina Samadani, CEO of Oculogica. “They are your partners. Right from the beginning, they introduce a structure around how to think about your startup. They keep their eyes and ears open for new investors, as well as clients, customers and other partners that you need. They really are an extension of the company.”
We believe that Golden Seeds reflects a business community as it should be – one where it’s equal for men and women who work alongside one another to build great companies. Above all, it is an important sign of progress to see many organizations – from angels to family offices to institutional funders – are actively investing in women entrepreneurs. We are grateful to all of those individuals and organizations who have helped us during this fulfilling and exciting journey.
To learn how to become involved with Golden Seeds and help empower female entrepreneurship, contact us today.