Ceres Venture Fund, L.P. signs on with Springboard Enterprises to promote women-led startups

NEW YORK 11/1/2011—Venture Catalyst Springboard Enterprises will hold its 5th Annual Winners' Circle Celebration Dinner in New York City, a town that has seen a tremendous surge of start-up activity of late, especially those that are women-led. In a special announcement, Startup America Partnership Founding Board Member Dr. Pamela Contag and the Partnership team will announce that thirty (30) organizations representing the nation's women entrepreneurs have signed on as affiliates of a national campaign to promote the engagement of women-led high growth startups with the Startup America Partnership. The Partnership has launched an effort to provide young, high growth companies access to strategic and substantive resources from its partners Startups can apply today at www.startupamericapartnership.org to begin utilizing these offerings.

Springboard has committed to sign up its national network of women-led companies to connect with the Partnership's corporate and financial partners. "Springboard is all about connecting high potential women-led companies to the financial and human capital they need to build big businesses starting small," said Kay Koplovitz, Chairman of Springboard Enterprises. "We are serving as a catalyst for this initiative to rally all the organizations representing women leading high growth companies. We want to make sure that women entrepreneurs are counted, participating in significant numbers and benefit from the opportunity."

Earlier that day, Springboard hosted a venture forum at The Paley Center for Media showcasing a number of the 37 women-led companies that are now part of the international network of 481 Springboard portfolio companies. Springboard has been recruiting and connecting women-led companies to investors and trusted advisors since 2000. The companies have raised over $5.5 billion in growth capital and include in their ranks enduring brands like Zipcar, Constant Contact, iRobot and hundreds of other tech and lifesciences ventures that have become the engines for innovation and job creation.

Among the honorees to be feted at Springboard's 5th Annual dinner are Wenda Harris Millard, President of MediaLink and digital media pioneer; Meg McCarthy, EVP of Aetna in charge of innovation for the company; and Lauren Flanagan, founder of Belle Capital and one of the top 25 Angel investor in the US.

Ceres Venture Fund, L.P. is dedicated to funding high growth businesses in the Midwest and focuses on investment opportunities in the information technology, healthcare and business services areas. Ceres' principals, Sona Wang, Donna Williamson, and Laura Pearl, have over 60 years of experience in venture capital and operating early stage companies and have collectively invested more than $130 million in capital. The partnership is one of the few venture funds focusing its efforts on young growing businesses in the Midwest. Ceres has a particular but non-exclusive interest in financing women-led companies. Ceres is based in Evanston, Illinois.