Karen Cahn, founder and chief executive officer of iFundWomen, was appointed the inaugural entrepreneur-in-residence at Montclair State University.
Cahn will mentor students, including winners of the Startup Montclair 2020 pitch contest, and advise Montclair’s Feliciano School of Business and Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation executive director.
The program aims to leverage the experience and expertise of exceptional startup founders, bringing their insights, wisdom, and energy to the center and business school.
“iFundWomen is a full-stack start-up funding platform designed specifically to female entrepreneurs,” Cahn told NJBIZ. “It provides access to capital through crowd-funding and grants, expert business coaching and a private community for our entrepreneurs to collaborate, commiserate and celebrate.”
About 98 percent of venture capital goes to men. What do other people do? Go into debt.
A start-up founder must be great at pitching to investors.
Cahn used to be a digital media executive at Google, YouTube and AOL. She will receive a co-working space at the Feliciano Center plus access to the MIX Lab, a maker space housing more than 60 3-D printers and digital fabrication machines.
“Montclair is chock-full of amazing women founders including Bobbi Brown, Geraldine Laybourne, and Mimi Feliciano,” Cahn said. “I’m excited to walk in their shoes and mentor even more women entrepreneurs of Montclair. I am swelling with hometown pride. The Feliciano Center’s commitment to women entrepreneurship makes this a no-brainer for me and iFundWomen. We share the same goals.”
The Center’s Executive Director Carley Graham Garcia said that Cahn was a perfect fit to be the first entrepreneur-in-residence.
“Karen’s success not only as a media executive but as an entrepreneur now focused exclusively on closing the funding gap for female founders makes her the perfect advisor to our student startups,” Garcia said in a statement. “As an inaugural member of New Jersey’s Golden Seeds Angel investing chapter, Karen is focused on growing our region to be an innovation hub, especially innovation led by women. And as a Montclair resident since 2005, Karen loves and actively supports our vibrant community. She is the perfect addition to our expanding program.”
The Feliciano Center offers programming and events for students and the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Center has a special mission to nurture and encourage women entrepreneurs. The Center created and manages Women Entrepreneurship Week (WEW), which was celebrated by more than 240 universities and colleges in 32 countries and 49 states in 2019. Cahn spoke at the 2018 WEW Conference at Montclair State.