Arizona Group Wants To Invest In Women-Led Companies

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 6:05am

women standing and smiling at camera
Golden Seeds Arizona Chapter
Arizona Chapter founding members (left to right): Sidnee Peck, Francine Hardaway, Mitzi Krockover, Kathy Sacks, Carrie Borgen, Mara Babin, Kathy Lynn-Cullotta and Ulya Khan. Not pictured: Heidi Jannenga, Jenny Holsman Tetreault and Teri Twarkins Kelley.

A new group in Arizona is looking for women led companies that need financial backing to grow.

Golden Seeds is a New York-based angel investment firm focused on women-led ventures. Mara Babin helped start the newest chapter in Arizona because she and others saw a need.

“What we lack is a group here that is really committed to providing capital to women-led businesses and a group that’s committed to supporting investors, especially women investors, who want to become more confident and experienced investors," she said.

Golden Seeds members are investors and Babin said when they give their money, it’s not an act of charity or philanthropy or charity, it’s an investment.

“We expect that companies will have a liquidity event where they are sold or perhaps go public-most often they’re sold to a bigger company within seven to 10 years, which produces liquidity on our investment and hopefully a profit on our investment,” she said.

Women who are running businesses with growth plans and investment capital needs can meet Golden Seeds members and get advice during office hours. They start Nov. 13, 2019, and will be held the second Wednesday of every month from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at Gateway Community College located at 275 N. Gateway Drive, Phoenix.

Business owners and prospective members can get more information by emailing [email protected]. The volunteer-run Arizona chapter currently has ten members with a goal to grow to twenty by year’s end and fifty members by the end of 2020.

Nationally, Babi said Golden Seed’s 300 members who are accredited investors are 80% female and 20% male. The group was founded in 2005 and reports more than $120 million in investments in more than 170 companies. Other chapters are located in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York, New Jersey and Silicon Valley.

Research published in 2016 by multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley found investing in gender diversity can be profitable for both companies and investors. After analyzing data and ranked more than 1,600 stocks globally, the company reported high gender diversity companies have delivered slightly better results with less lower volatility.