The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is pressing ahead with a plan to expand business opportunities for women in the Garden State.

The Authority has approved a proposal to organize a New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, a national network of “angel investors” dedicated to investing early seed money in women-led startup companies.

NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said this is part of a strategy “to build the most diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem in America, and that means really focusing on women and communities of color.”

He noted experience has taught us “when you have a more diverse innovation ecosystem it does better, and so having more women founders, more women employees of startups and innovative companies we think is great for New Jersey’s economy.”

He said EDA will “hopefully be the convener and the spark that gets this going. We’re hoping within a year or two its members will carry this on.”

Sullivan pointed out the chapter’s establishment coincides with a recent expansion of the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit, which 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.

EDA will connect with the Golden Seeds chapter in New York City and host training sessions covering a series of angel investing topics, as well as organize monthly meetings across the Garden State where women entrepreneurs will be able to get advice from investors.

“It’s a sort of networking and mentoring forum for young companies that are seeking to grow and seeking funding," he said.

He said this will help to open the door for businesswomen, connecting them with “potential funders and investors and if they’ve got a great idea, connect their great idea to funding to make it a reality.”

New Jersey will be the 7th Golden Seeds Chapter in the nation, joining chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York City, and Silicon Valley

Founded in 2005, Golden Seeds has a 14-year track record of supporting women-led businesses. Nationally, it has more than 275 members that include credentialed investors from various locations, sectors, and backgrounds.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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