“We have all the right ingredients to build a trusted network and what better way to give women entrepreneurs’
In order to accelerate Austin’s ratio of women in business, female entrepreneurs need three core areas that W@A will support:
Role Models- Women leaders are still a relatively new phenomenon and there is no existing ‘old girls network’ to turn to as a sounding board for advice. Women at Austin events are designed to bring together both experienced and aspiring women leaders for cross-pollination, early vetting and to boost connections with both women and men.
Funding Process - Fund raising is a relationship that relies heavily on investors wanting to deal with people they know or who have been vetted by a trusted network. A trusted network is essential for gaining credibility for inexperienced teams and to get feedback for course corrections.
Increased visibility - By focusing on actively celebrate the growth and success of women-led companies, W@A wants to increase the amount of exposure entrepreneurs and role models receive.
“An inclusive business culture is not just good for women right now, it’s a business imperative and an opportunity for Austin to lead by example,” says Morgan Flager, Partner at Silverton Partners.
National trends show that women will be a driving force of entrepreneurial growth in the future, despite the current gender gap that continues to go unaddressed. Last year only 4 to 8 perfect of venture funding went to women-led businesses nationwide with Austin only mirroring that number at best.
Women at Austin’s public debut will be the first in a series of events to be hosted at Capital Factory once a quarter. As the center of gravity for entrepreneur momentum in Austin, the Capital Factory has a growing number of women incubating their early stage companies in the popular accelerator.
“We have an above average number of women at Capital Factory for tech businesses, but we still jump at every opportunity to target women entrepreneurs and programmers,”
Speakers at W@A events will come from both inside and outside of Austin as members on peer panels will share valuable lessons learned. In the near future W@A plans to offer programs that encourage women’s full participation in the startup ecosystem by providing mentorship, early vetting of ideas and increased access to capital as well as the development of leadership and financial skillsets through privately curated lunches for investor meet-ups and themed mentor breakfasts.
At the heart of W@A is an experienced Steering Committee (https://www.facebook.com/