First Lady Tammy Murphy and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) yesterday announced office hours for the first half of 2020 for the recently-formed New Jersey Chapter of Golden Seeds, a national angel investor network dedicated to investing in women-led companies. Announced in July, this collaboration between First Lady Murphy’s Office, the NJEDA, and Golden Seeds will advance Governor Phil Murphy’s efforts to make New Jersey the “State of Innovation” by providing new funding sources and mentorship opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
“Mentorship is an essential resource for female entrepreneurs, and studies have shown that these relationships can be a key determinant of success,” said First Lady Murphy. “These monthly office hours, hosted by the newly established New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, will bring together female entrepreneurs for an opportunity to network and establish relationships that will support the next generation of female business leaders.”
The First Lady added that creating new opportunities for women entrepreneurs to connect with mentors and receive funding will help to fuel economic growth that creates good jobs and benefits communities throughout the State.
The information session and office hours will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST at The Co-Co Collaborative LLC (The Co-Co), 115 Summit Ave., Summit, NJ 10022. Following a welcome by the First Lady, a Golden Seeds member will kick off the office hours with an information session about Golden Seeds and its investment process. This will be followed by 15-minute one-on-one sessions with experienced angel investors who will provide feedback to entrepreneurs or answer questions about the angel investing process. Please register in advance, as this event is limited to 10 registered female entrepreneurs, and time slots will be assigned at 4:00 p.m. as participants arrive. Registration information is available here.
The Co-Co, a coworking and co-learning space dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs, presents an ideal setting for the Golden Seeds office hours. In addition to office space and networking opportunities, the co-working space also hosts six to eight learning events per month.
“Golden Seeds’ mission aligns with The Co-Co’s vision for providing women entrepreneurs with the resources and community support they need to be successful in an incredibly competitive market,” said Suzanne Willian, Co-Founder of The Co-Co. “We are delighted to host this first office hours session for the New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds and look forward to introducing attendees to all that The Co-Co has to offer.”
The Co-Co recently became one of the latest collaborative workspaces approved to participate in the NJEDA’s NJ Ignite program, which helps technology and life sciences startup companies realize the benefits of collaborative workspaces – incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces – by providing up to nine months of rent support for startup technology and life sciences businesses that are moving to an approved collaborative workspace.
“This inaugural round of Office Hours is an important milestone for the New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, as we begin to share our members’ expertise and resources with a new audience of talented women innovators,” said Loretta McCarthy, Managing Partner at Golden Seeds. “Women-led businesses will play a key role in rejuvenating New Jersey’s innovation economy and we are delighted to support their success.”
Golden Seeds is a firm dedicated to pursuing investment returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. The group was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in New York City. Golden Seeds membership of over 300 people consists of women (80%) and men (20%) dedicated to evaluating, funding and helping companies with at least one woman in a management role and commensurate equity. The New Jersey chapter of the organization was the seventh, joining established Golden Seeds chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York City, and Silicon Valley.
The NJEDA’s partnership with Golden Seeds supports Governor Murphy’s efforts to create a diverse innovation ecosystem in New Jersey by increasing the availability of angel capital for women-led businesses and mentoring opportunities for women businesses leaders. It will also foster a strong, cohesive angel investing community in New Jersey by bringing members together to identify investment opportunities, conduct due diligence, and support companies in which they choose to invest. The partnership builds on the NJEDA’s long history of partnering with funding groups such as Jumpstart NJ Angel Network and TechLaunch to bring more capital to New Jersey’s Innovation economy.
“The advancement of the New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds demonstrates Governor Murphy’s commitment to fostering a vibrant, inclusive innovation economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Golden Seeds will help to ensure not only that female entrepreneurs have access to the capital that they need to establish and grow their businesses in New Jersey, but that they will also benefit from the expertise of seasoned, savvy investors.”
The chapter’s establishment coincides with an expansion of the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit, which took effect on January 1, 2020. The program provides refundable tax credits against the New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for qualified investments in emerging technology businesses with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conduct research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. The recently-enacted legislation increases the base tax credit available through this program from 10 percent to 20 percent, with an additional 5 percent credit available for investments in businesses located in qualified opportunity zones or low-income communities or that are certified minority- or women-owned businesses. This second provision will be particularly important in attracting investors to the New Jersey Golden Seeds chapter and supporting women-owned startups in the state.
Angel investors interested in joining New Jersey’s Golden Seeds chapter are encouraged to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org.