Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Posted by JumpStart Team
Springboard Enterprises is a great organization whose goal is to help female entrepreneurs achieve greater access to venture capital. The team at Springboard runs various boot camps and venture capital forums that have been very successful. In fact, since 2000, they have run 18 forums with 383 companies presenting. Those companies -- all led by female entrepreneurs -- have raised $4 billion in capital, and seven of the companies have gone public.
Springboard’s next “forum” is a series of investor/entrepreneur events for women-led life sciences and healthcare companies, AllThingsLifeSciences. What most intrigued me about these was that of of the 31 presenting companies selected from a very competitive pool of applicants, the largest portion is from the Midwest. There are nine from the Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana). The Mid-Atlantic has eight. The West Coast has seven. And the Northeast has two (not sure why that number is so small).
I think it’s great that Midwestern women healthcare entrepreneurs are so well represented in this. Historically, the statistics for women raising venture capital have been disappointingly low (Diana Project), and for Midwestern women they’ve been even lower -- see page 14 of this SBA report. So, here’s to encouraging numbers! May they enjoy an ever upward trajectory.
Becca Braun is a past president of JumpStart Ventures. She founded and led a number of early-stage companies and organizations, as well as worked as a private equity investor and management consultant. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in Linguistics from Harvard University. She is keenly interested in the intersection of wealth creation and broad-based regional economic growth.