Fostering More Female Tech Entrepreneurs [VIDEO]

When it comes to women working in Silicon Valley technology businesses — particularly women at the helm — the numbers remain painfully small.

Less than 5 percent of tech startups are founded by female entrepreneurs, estimates Shaherose Charania, co-founder and CEO of Women 2.0, an organization that helps foster female tech entrepreneurs.

We can bicker all we want about the reasons more women aren’t starting tech companies. The good news is there is an increasing amount of attention and resources available for would-be female tech entrepreneurs.

Women 2.0 offers opportunities for women who want to take the leap into starting a tech company. It organizes panels and networking events to help connect female entrepreneurs. Last fall, it also hosted an American Idol-style competition that let early stage startups compete and pitch their businesses before a panel of influential Silicon Valley investors and executives, with the winner receiving a startup package that included legal, marketing, and other business services.

It also offers an incubator program, Founder Labs, an intense five-week training ground for entrepreneurs. The selected participants — both male and female — learn about raising capital and other startup lessons, present their business plan before advisers, and build their startup so they can seek funding and attract customers.

Women 2.0 isn’t the only group focused on increasing the number of female tech entrepreneurs. Girls in Tech holds regular networking events around the globe to connect women in the technology field. Change the Ratio has also been talking up female tech leaders.

Last fall, Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan, and former U.K. first lady Sarah Brown also teamed up with i/o Ventures, a San Francisco early-stage tech incubator, to offer a $25,000 prize to the “next female tech trailblazing entrepreneur.” It was ultimately awarded to Charlene Kuperstein, co-founder of AppRats, which distributes videos to social networks.

And those needing inspiration can turn to TEDWomen, a conference held last December. One of the speakers included Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, whose speech calling on more women to “keep their foot on the gas pedal” has been widely circulated online. Check it out below.

About Ellen Lee

Ellen Lee is a business and technology freelance writer in San Francisco. Reach out to her at ellenleeonline@gmail.com.
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1 comments
Shante' Monae Pledger
Shante' Monae Pledger

Hi Ellen,I just wanted to comment on the video and say that you are right that women need to stand up and work hard to do what they need to do and do it to the best of their abilities. I'm a business women who enjoys computer technology and seeks to share what I have learned over the years with other women. We have to all try to understand the importance of challenging and making a difference in others lives. I want to say to be encouragin and live your live to the fullest. I'm a very dedicated person willing to challenge and excell in everything that I do. And, you are right in your video if women ran the majority of everything the world would be much better. I also strive to tell my 4 adult children to succeed and do the best that they can and accomplish therir goals and remember to share and help others. Me and my daughter are in the health care field. I've graduate with my asssociate degree in Medical billing and coding and furthering my studies in the Health technology field and she is in to becoming a Pediatrician doctor. We both want to help people today with the latest technology and to forfill our jobs to our advantage. It's important to us to love people and give back with our skills. It is so important today for us all to help and make the world today a better place to live and enjoy live. And, in my close Ellen once again it's nice that you thought of a website to encourage women to join and represent their knowledge in the technology field.

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