Golden Seeds, one of the first and most active female-focused investor networks, has opened for business in Atlanta. This is the New York-based group’s sixth office and its first in the south.
“Golden Seeds has been watching the Atlanta market for a few years,” said Golden Seeds Managing Partner Loretta McCarthy in a blog post. She cited figures showing that, in 2017, Georgia saw its highest level of venture capital funding in almost two decades, as well as an analysis declaring Georgia the number-one state for women entrepreneurs.
Golden Seeds was founded in 2005, at a time when female entrepreneurs represented less than 3 percent of total early-stage funding. They have a highly-active venture capital arm — over three funds, Golden Seeds Ventures has closed the second-most number of deals backing female-founded companies, according to Pitchbook — as well as an angel network and a Knowledge Institute that trains future investors.
Kim Seals, one of three Atlanta-based Golden Seeds partners, explains that the group always had Atlanta residents as part of its 600-member strong network, as Golden Seeds is location-agnostic. But late last year, she and Golden Seeds leadership began evaluating the possibility of formalizing their Atlanta presence with an official chapter.
Seals, who is also a General Partner at Chattanooga-based women-focused venture firm The JumpFund, now serves as co-chair of the Atlanta Golden Seeds chapter. The chapter’s other founding members are husband-and-wife team Susan and David Nethero, founders of a multi-million-dollar retail chain.
The Atlanta partners connect with companies during office hours, which they hold monthly at Atlanta Tech Village. If an entrepreneur seeks to go through the full Golden Seeds evaluation process they must apply online.
Though the entire executive team doesn’t need to be female, the group requires at least one woman in the C-suite. Companies are typically seeking a first round of funding of $250,000 to $2 million.
Seals says the group is actively seeking deals as well as new members — they’re hoping to swell to about 15 angels by the end of the year.