The Chautauqua Seed Fund is a collaboration among Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards, the Chautauqua Region Industrial Development Corporation, the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator and the city of Dunkirk. Created in 2009 with an economic development grant from the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, the fund provides early-stage capital investments from the Chautauqua Region Industrial Development Corp. with strategic guidance from the incubator’s management to its entrepreneurial clients. A committee comprised of representatives from each entity and a local certified public accountant chooses companies to receive funds. Investments typically range from $15,000 to $30,000 with a minimum 30 percent equity investment required of the business. In most cases the investment will take the form of a convertible note that converts into stock, usually at the time of the next round of funding. This is the sixth Seed Fund note approved by CRIDC with $145,000 distributed to date.
Since George Floyd’s assassination in 2020, the venture capital sector has been grappling with its lack of diversity. Despite companies’ increased efforts to hire more