Seedfunders, the early-stage investment firm headquartered in St Petersburg has added Dr. Tonjua Williams and Bridgette Heller to its Opportunity Fund Board.
The Opportunity Fund, a committed capital fund, will be used for investments in Black-owned startups throughout the state of Florida.
Dr. Williams, a St Petersburg native, is the President of St. Petersburg College. Her deep understanding of the challenges facing young Black entrepreneurs in St Petersburg will help shape the opportunities the Fund provides. Dr. Williams will also act as a conduit to St. Petersburg College entrepreneurs. SeedFunders has committed to making at least one Opportunity Fund investment in an SPC-student led company.
Heller, also a St. Pete native, spent more than 35 years driving growth for large corporations including the Global Baby Unit (as President) at Johnson & Johnson and the EVP and President of Merck Consumer Care. Heller is committed to transforming the educational experience, outcome, and growth for children in St. Petersburg through her nonprofit Shirley Proctor Fuller Foundation. She currently sits on the boards of Novartis, Dexcom, and is a Seedfunders Partner.
Leading the fund will be the investment Management Board, led by Founding Partner Irv Cohen. His extensive experience on Wall Street, as well as local successes as co-founder of Florida Funders and Seedfunders, will ensure that the Fund will implement proven processes and techniques in selecting, evaluating, and mentoring Fund portfolio companies.
Cohen is joined on the Opportunity Fund Board by Seedfunders partners Geoff Keith, Ruth Ross, and George Lange – along with the most recent additions, Bridgette Heller and Dr. Tonjua Williams.
About the Seedfunders Opportunity Fund:
Seedfunders believes that Black entrepreneurs matter.
Research shows that entrepreneurs of color often have uniquely positioned ideas for technology-driven businesses, but cannot raise the capital to get started in what is typically referred to as the “Friends and Family” round. The mission of the Opportunity Fund is to supply that capital.
The Seedfunders Opportunity Fund is open to all accredited investors. For more information, contact Co-Founder Dave Chitester, Dave@Chitester.com. For information on applying for funding, please contact Jonah Hanowitz, Jonah@stpete.co
Seedfunders was founded by Dave Chitester and Irv Cohen in St Petersburg, Florida, in 2017, with a mission to invest in pre-revenue technology companies throughout the state. In just over two years, the company made 24 investments in a wide range of technology startups. It also launched SeedfundersOrlando in 2019, as well as Seedfunders Miami this year. Collectively, there are now 44 partners in Seedfunders organizations.