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Launch With GS

Launch With GS is Goldman Sachs' commitment to invest $500 million in women-led companies and investment managers. In our efforts to narrow the gender investing gap, we are also building a global network of business leaders to facilitate connections, share ideas, and uncover opportunities. Ultimately, we believe investing in diverse teams – diversity of gender, thought, and background – leads to outperformance and will drive growth for our clients, shareholders and communities.

The Opportunity

 

Women founders and investors receive less capital than their male peers – a phenomenon often referred to as the ‘gender investing gap.’ In the US, all-women founding teams raised only 2.2% of VC funding in 2018, and just over 5% of PE firms in the US are women-owned. More broadly, fewer than 1 in 20 CEOs in the S&P 500 are women 1

We know that tackling the gender investing gap is a challenge that’s far larger than any single company, but we believe that Launch With GS is a step in the right direction.

 

 

Our Approach to Driving Value and Change

Investing in women-led companies

through Goldman Sachs’ principal investing businesses, focusing on later-stage growth equity

Backing women-centered* investment managers

by investing client capital across venture capital, growth equity, and private equity strategies

Building a community

of entrepreneurs, investors and other business leaders to facilitate connections and grow the pipeline of future investment opportunities

Our Perspectives

“I would love to meet more women who do what I do. But more broadly, this is about investing $500 million in the right companies, getting good data on performance, and creating an ecosystem that has a lasting impact. That would make Launch a success.”

Pooja Goyal
Managing Director
Americas Special Situations Group

“I believe in the power of community in growing businesses, and that having a diverse network can make the difference in getting to that next level, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an investor. That’s what we’re building with Launch With GS.”

Jemma Wolfe
Vice President
Business Lead for Launch With GS

“Entrepreneurs think differently than everyone else – otherwise their idea would already exist. If you’re looking for entrepreneurs in the same place over and over again, you’ll get the same ideas, over and over again.”

Jade Mandel
Vice President
Principal Strategic Investments

“When we invest in growth companies, amongst other things we are really backing management teams. We look for resilience, passion, and a demonstrated track record of making good decisions. And we believe that diverse teams make better decisions.”

Nishi Somaiya
Managing Director
European Special Situations Group

“We want to use capital to affect the supply-and-demand dynamics – increasing the number of women investors, while generating meaningful proof points for women’s investment performance.”

Suzanne Gauron
Managing Director
Alternative Investments & Manager Selection

“We want to work with entrepreneurs who are humble and willing to do the work with us, because in the end they care about creating a great business that lasts. There’s a vision component to investing – what are you trying to build? And a values component – how are you going to build it?”

Darren Cohen
Managing Director
Global Head, Principal Strategic Investments

“Having worked in this industry for going on nine years, I’ve seen the gender investing gap firsthand. There’s a real economic benefit to having more women in board meetings and on investment committees, and in enabling women to create businesses that serve the broader economy.”

Olga Kaplan
Vice President
GS Growth

“The bottom line is this makes sense for our business – because investing and helping companies grow is our business. We also hope it makes a difference for women who have big ideas but find themselves cut out of the funding ecosystem.’”

Stephanie Cohen
Chief Strategy Officer

“We believe that having a diverse team makes investors better at understanding risk. The investing industry as a whole has a long way to go when it comes to gender diversity. We can accept that as the way it is, or we can try to change it.”

Julian Salisbury
Managing Director
Head, Global Special Situations Group

“We’ll measure our success through our investment returns. We want to prove that investing in female-led businesses is not a trend – it’s good economics. That’s important.”

Rana Yared
Managing Director
Principal Strategic Investments

“A successful investment firm requires a special combination of great investment thinking and great business building. We’ve found that the most thoughtful firms recognize these two skill sets are really distinct. The best managers work hard to build teams with a range of talents that complement, where the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts.”

Chris Kojima
Managing Director
Alternative Investments & Manager Selection



News and Events:

[VIDEO] LA Female Founders Panel - Goldman Sachs partnered with the WomensVCFund II to convene female entrepreneurs and investors in the Los Angeles community.
Watch Video

Launch With GS Commits $100mm in First Six Months - LinkedIn, Stephanie Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer, Goldman Sachs
Read Article

Goldman Bet on Women-Run Startups Takes Shape With $100 Million - Bloomberg, by Sridhar Natarajan
Read Article

Women Investors Call for More Competition—From Other Women - Fortune, by Jen Wieczner
Read Article

What Goldman Sachs Is Doing to Close the Gender Investment Gap - "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas", Bloomberg TV
Stephanie Cohen, chief strategy officer at Goldman Sachs, discuss the bank's "Launch With GS" initiative providing a $500 million investment in females in business and fund management. 
Watch Video

Financial World’s A-List Could Take Hollywood’s Cue on Inclusion - The New York Times, by Andrew Ross Sorkin 
Read Article

Goldman Sachs Pledges $500 Million for Female Founders - Bloomberg, by Jordyn Holman 
Read Article

 


 

Videos you may be interested in:

Catch-Up With David : with Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar
Sarah Friar, chief executive officer of Nextdoor, discusses her experience growing up in Northern Ireland, her journey to Silicon Valley where she first entered into the startup world as CFO and face of Square and her commitment to expanding opportunities for women-run businesses.
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Emily Weiss: Rethinking the Business of Beauty
Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss discusses her mission to reinvent the beauty industry, the importance of brand authenticity and her company’s emphasis on deep online engagement with its customers.
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Episode 110: Founders’ Spotlight: What It’s Really Like to Start and Scale a Business
In this episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, from the 2018 Builders + Innovators Summit, Dan Dees of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division joins entrepreneurs Jen Rubio of Away and Josh Hoffman of Zymergen to discuss what it’s like to start and scale a business.
Listen Now

 

 

Beth Comstock: Creating a Culture of Innovation
GE’s former vice chair Beth Comstock shares insights on how people and organizations can confront challenges, embrace new ideas and lead with imagination to become “change makers.”
Watch Video

 

 

Catch-Up With David: ThirdLove’s Heidi Zak and David Spector
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon sits down with ThirdLove’s Heidi Zak and David Spector at the seventh annual Builders + Innovators Summit to discuss how the husband-and-wife co-founders are using technology and data analytics to disrupt the lingerie industry. 
Watch Video

 

 

Virginie Morgon: A Global Outlook on the Future of Finance
As (then) deputy CEO of private equity firm Eurazeo, Virginie Morgon aims to expand the firm globally, while also driving a diverse corporate culture. Morgon gives her outlook on the global markets and her thoughts on how to create an inclusive culture from the top down. 
Watch Video

 

 

Jennifer Hyman: Redefining the Future of Fashion and Workplace Equality
Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman discusses the company’s disruptive impact on the fashion industry, her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and how she’s leading by example to advocate for workplace equality.
Watch Video

 

 

 


Notes:

Stats on VC funding as of December 2018: Fortune, Pitchbook; PE firm data as of December 2018; Bella Private Markets. Women-owned is defined using a 50% equity threshold; CEOs in S&P as of January 2019; Catalyst, Pyramid.
 
*Women-centered firms may include 1) firms that have at least one female voting investment committee member (or a firm’s equivalent to a risk taking authority) or 2) firms where women take 25% or more of ownership or incentive compensation



The material provided herein is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities relating to any of the products referenced herein, notwithstanding that any such securities may be currently being offered to others. Any such offering will be made only in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the offering documents pertaining to such fund. Prior to investing, investors are strongly urged to review carefully all of the offering documents. No person has been authorized to give any information or to make any representation, warranty, statement or assurance not contained in the offering documents. As of September 2018 unless otherwise indicated.

GSAM leverages the resources of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC subject to legal, internal and regulatory restrictions.

Private equity investments are speculative, highly illiquid, involve a high degree of risk, have high fees and expenses that could reduce returns, and subject to the possibility of partial or total loss of fund capital; they are, therefore, intended for experienced and sophisticated long-term investors who can accept such risks. There can be no assurance that any objectives or targets stated in this material can be achieved; any targets provided are subject to change and do not provide any assurance as to future results. The ability of underlying funds to achieve their objectives or targets depends upon a variety of factors, not the least of which are political, public market and economic conditions. Any historical performance of individual partnerships shown is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee their future performance, which can vary considerably. The trading market for the securities of any portfolio investment of the underlying funds may not be sufficiently liquid to enable such funds to sell such securities when it believes it is most advantageous to do so, or without adversely affecting the stock price. In addition, such portfolio companies may be highly leveraged, which leverage could have significant adverse consequences to these companies and the funds offered by AIMS Private Equity. Furthermore, restrictions on transferring interests in AIMS Private Equity funds may exist so prospective investors should be prepared to retain their investments in any AIMS Private Equity fund until the fund liquidates. For a complete discussion of risks that are unique to a particular AIMS Private Equity fund, please refer to the respective fund’s offering documents, which should be carefully reviewed prior to investing.