Recognizing Outstanding NYC Professionals For Their Entrepreneurial Leadership 

December, 2018 – New York, NY – The OPEL Award (Outstanding Professionals for Entrepreneurial Leadership) is a tribute to the pioneering and selfless work Maria Gotsch has performed since the earliest days of the burgeoning New York City startup community. 

“I am so honored on behalf of all my colleagues at the New York Angels, and the rest of the wonderful NYC startup community, to be presenting this award to Maria,” said Brian Cohen, Chairman of The New York Angels. “Maria’s determination and will to support entrepreneurs is truly remarkable.” 

“The word OPEL means “jewel,” (a Sanskrit variant of the name Opal), and according to folklore and mythology, the gemstone gives the effect of enhancing one’s innate characteristics, leading to expanded creativity and true spontaneous action, and heightened visions and dreams,” Cohen continued. 

For more than 18 years, Maria G. Gotsch has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership Fund for New York City (, which is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City. The Fund, which has invested over $150 million, has built a network of top experts from the investment and corporate communities who help identify and support New York City’s most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and non-for profit sectors.  

In addition to leading the Fund’s operations, Maria has spearheaded the creation and operation of a number of the Fund’s strategic initiatives, including: FinTech Innovation Lab; New York Digital Health Accelerator; NYCSeed (seed financing for IT/digital media companies); BioAccelerate Prize NYC (proof-of-concept funding for university-based biomedical research); Arts Entrepreneurial Loan Fund (low cost loans for mid-size arts groups); and ReStart Central and Financial Recovery Fund (assistance and funding for small businesses impacted by 9/11/01). 

Maria has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study international relations at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Maria also is a member of the boards of the New York Venture Capital Association and the Lang Fund and serves on the business advisory board of ProPublica (investigative journalism non-profit). 

Previous OPEL award winners include: Howard Morgan, Murat Aktihanoglu, Jeanne Sullivan and Alan Patricof. 

About the New York Angels 

The New York Angels is a member-led organization that is committed to finding, funding and mentoring great young companies from pitch through a successful exit. 

The New York Angels are composed of 130 members. Our members are entrepreneurs, CEO’s, venture capitalists and business leaders who have founded, funded and built world-class companies. They bring a wealth of experience across industry sectors and together create an extensive network of entrepreneurial support. They mentor and coach the entrepreneurs in whom they invest, serve on their companies’ boards, provide contacts and assist with team building, strategic planning and fundraising. 

The mission of the New York Angels is to foster an engaged and inclusive New York City angel investment environment, enhancing the opportunities for entrepreneurs to be financed and succeed through exit. They lead deals ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. The New York Angels have been the leading seed investment organization in NYC for more than a decade, having invested over $150 million in more than 250 venture companies.