Stories you loved: Our most popular blogs of 2020
By Loretta McCarthy, Managing Partner of Golden SeedsJanuary 12, 2021
This past year has been anything but uneventful. Covid-19 has upended our normal routines, exacerbating existing problems and creating new ones. While many businesses have suffered, some have thrived during this difficult time.
Over the past year, our blogs have addressed a broad range of issues, from helping businesses survive the pandemic to ensuring equitable funding for minority entrepreneurs. And as always, we’ve reported on many of our promising investments.
Here’s a look at five of the many blogs that resonated with our readers in 2020.
Boards step up in a turbulent economy
With society and the economy in turmoil, many companies are facing major challenges and CEOs must make tough decisions. They’re counting on the board of directors for help, but it’s far from “business as usual” in a world transformed by the pandemic.
The partnership between CEOs and board members is always important, particularly at a time when rapid change is the new norm, feedback loops are accelerated and urgent decisions must be made. Many boards are holding meetings more frequently – and sometimes less formally – and board members’ responsibilities have grown and changed.
Some ways board members are expanding their role, include:
- Helping businesses identify and address growing risks such as potential supply chain disruption, cybercrime, credit risks and more.
- Assisting CEOs in preparing for a range of scenarios, from best case to worst.
- Urging transparency and regular communication with stakeholders.
Written by Deb Kemper and Kathryn Swintek, Managing Partners of Golden Seeds Funds, this blog offers advice about how boards can help ensure the survival and health of the companies they serve.
Our reflection on racial equality, access to capital
Founded in 2005 with the mission of gender diversity and inclusion, Golden Seeds has funded 200 women-led companies. While we’re proud of the progress made to date, we are still humbled by the challenges of achieving real parity for female entrepreneurs, especially black female founders.
Even after all this time, more than 85% of venture capital still goes to all-male teams, with only a tiny fraction of the remaining 15% going to black women founders.
In this blog, we talk about expanding our efforts to create conditions that foster the likelihood of funding and the support of more diverse entrepreneurs.
A principal goal of Golden Seeds is to create an environment in which women entrepreneurs are welcomed, seriously considered for funding, treated respectfully and benefit from constructive feedback. Similarly, we endeavor to create an environment for angel investors that is inclusive and productive. We must ensure our environment is equally welcoming for entrepreneurs and investors of color.
We acknowledge we are not where we should, nor want to be, and we are committed to continuing our work to improve.
Tackling the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
Many of us, sadly, have firsthand knowledge of the devastation wrought by Alzheimer’s disease. The statistics are staggering:
- There are more than 16 million cases worldwide, including 6 million in the U.S.
- The disease costs the U.S. $244 billion a year in direct expenses, plus even more in indirect costs.
- Experts say this one disease, alone, could bankrupt Medicare.
Cognition Therapeutics, a clinical-stage drug development company focused on the protection and restoration of synaptic function in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, continued to make progress in the development of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the company received a $75.8M grant for a trial of a promising, and unique, new treatment called CT1812.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the grant for the trial, which will be conducted over five years at 35 leading academic sites with expertise in Alzheimer’s clinical trials. Early tests have already yielded some very exciting findings that suggest it can help with Alzheimer’s and also be used to treat other diseases.
This blog post, written by Peggy Wallace, Managing Partner, Golden Seeds and member of the Board of Directors of Cognition Therapeutics, features an interview with Cognition Therapeutics’ Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Susan Catalano, and CEO Lisa Ricciardi.
Doing good while doing well
Conventional wisdom says you can’t make money investing with your conscience, but a promising company called CNote intends to do just that – deliver competitive returns with 100% positive social impact.
This blog, from our “How Did She Do It” series, features CNote CEO and co-founder Catherine Berman, and is written by Gwen Edwards, Managing Director of Golden Seeds. Catherine left a high-level corporate job to launch an investment platform that harnesses finance as an instrument for social change.
CNote is enabling investors to align their portfolios with their values by offering individuals and institutions fixed-income opportunities that support Main Street America. Among its strategies:
- Provide small business loans for female and minority entrepreneurs.
- Drive more capital into underfunded communities, which are suffering disproportionately in this crisis.
- Offer customized investments around themes such as gender equality, immigration and the environment.
If you’d like to make your money work for the greater good, while doing well as an investor, this blog is a must read.
Harnessing technology to aid entrepreneurs
Another popular blog addressed the difficulties facing women, minorities and veterans striving to build businesses. Hello Alice, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, aims to give them access to the funding, opportunities and connections they need to thrive from day one.
Named after the character Alice from “Alice in Wonderland,” (who, like many entrepreneurs, “believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”) Hello Alice is making the business ecosystem more inclusive and accessible.
Here’s a quick overview of how this free digital platform works:
- It develops a unique profile based on user input.
- It then uses artificial intelligence to build machine-learning algorithms and decision trees that present personalized recommendations specific to that user.
It’s encouraging to know there are such efforts underway to make the business ecosystem more inclusive of companies owned by women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, military veterans and those with disabilities. Give this “How Did She Do It” blog, written by Gwen Edwards, Managing Director of Golden Seeds, a read.
These are just five of the many blogs we’ve posted this year. We found these stories inspiring and hope you’ll check out these and other blogs highlighting the work of Golden Seeds and many of our companies.
Learn more about the work of Golden Seeds and how we propel women entrepreneurs.