What We Have Accomplished So Far! #InternationalWomensDay
Many of you may not know the backstory of the Female Founder Initiative. It's not a long or particularly complicated story. Rather, it's the realization that many women have when working for a technology company. You look around and see there is a need for more women.
In late summer of 2016, Megan, our Global Head of Admissions, and Rachel, our Global Marketing Manager, realized that there was a lack of women joining the Founder Institute program and network. So they decided to do something about it.
The Founder Institute's Female Founder Initiative began in August of 2016 with the goal of creating more opportunities for women to start companies around the world. In the last few months of 2016, we worked on formulating a plan and outlined the tactics necessary to not only encourage women to join our program, but help them succeed.
We decided on a multi-pronged approach & Outlined the following goals & tactics:
The Female Founder Initiative was formed to create more opportunities for female founders through the Founder Institute, and enable women to build successful companies.
How will we accomplished this goal in 2017?
- Provide a scholarship for leadership and technically focused applicants to every FI Chapter across the globe.
- Increase the number of female mentors and directors in the Founder Institute by improving our recruitment tactics.
- Provide female entrepreneurship-focused events around the world to educate more women about startups and innovation.
- Increase the number of female founders in our program by forming partnerships with female focused organizations all across the globe.
- Increase the success of female founders in our program by improving our curriculum to address the unique problems women face in entrepreneurship.
In November of 2016 we ran the first of many Female Founder Roundtable events in Silicon Valley, gathering a panel of successful female startup founders to discuss the most pressing topics facing women in technology. In December 2016, we hosted our first Female Founder Online Demo Day showcasing 5 of our top women-led startups.
As 2017 arrived we encouraged our global community to get involved!
We launched a partnership with Girls in Tech, ran more than 20 women-focused startup events around the world, and grew our network of female Directors and Mentors.
At the end of the year, we sat down to measure our progress and we graduated 50% more women from our program than in 2016! Reaching a total of 550+ female graduates from Founder Institute.
With the Female Founder Initiative, we firmly believe that the only way to change the ratios in the startup community, and in technology, is to grow the number of women starting companies year over year, so that more women can become board members and investors. This philosophy helped shape our goals and plans for 2018, which include working with organizations like One More Woman to help our women-led graduate companies grow and reach new milestones.
We look forward to what this year has to bring and we wish you a very happy, and empowering, International Women's Day!