Angels in the investment field
By Julie Fishman-Lapin
December 22, 2006
Liddy Karter has heard the story all too often.
An entrepreneur with stellar qualifications, a promising
business idea and solid business plan gets the funding
door slammed shut, all because she's a she.
When it comes to getting a business funded, women have
it tougher than men, the numbers show. Some 4 percent
of women-owned million-dollar-plus firms have raised
private equity, compared to 11 percent of million-dollar-
plus businesses owned by men, according to the Center
of Women's Business Research.
That's a statistic Karter and her peers are trying to
change with Golden Seeds LLC, an angel investor group
that invests solely in women-owned ventures.
Angel investors put their money into startup and early-
stage companies. Since it often entails considerable risk
to their capital, angels tend to fund what they are
familiar and comfortable with, Karter said. That often leaves women entrepreneurs in the lurch, because about
97 percent of angel investors are men.
Greenwich resident Stephanie Hanbury Brown, who spent the majority of her 20-year Wall Street career with
J.P. Morgan, began looking at the phenomenon a couple of years ago. She launched Golden Seeds with the idea
of filling the funding gap.
"We really feel there is a market inefficiency, and that creates an opportunity," Karter said.
"We think that women are underserved in their ability to raise money, but there is every reason for them to
make equal returns as the companies run by men," said Stamford-resident Nancy Harrison, who co-leads the
Connecticut chapter with Karter and Hanbury Brown.
The group meets monthly in Stamford. With chapters in Manhattan, Boston and two more slated to launch in Palo
Alto, Calif., and Boston, the organization is quickly becoming a national presence on the angel investor scene.
Golden Seeds has received more than 260 funding proposals from woman-owned businesses since its launch in