The Wall Street Journal Small Business blog – Digits – features an article on a New York based incubator that is recruiting women founders and co-founders starting mobile businesses. We are beginning to see quite a number of incubators focused on particular industries or technologies or market spaces. So it is not surprising to see incubators focused on underserved segments of the start-up communities. Anything that encourages broader participation in start-ups and entrepreneurship is valuable.
Women Innovate Mobile opened its application today to start-ups with a woman founder or co-founder and a product that is related to mobile. The accelerator will offer two to five start-ups free New York office space, mentoring and coaching, access to venture capitalists and other investors in addition to $18,000 in seed funding, $10,000 worth of product development and design support, and $10,000 worth of mobile marketing promotions.
Next month I will be participating in a Women in LAVA program on effective business plans. So I’m beginning to look at articles/studies that highlight various ways that start-ups and business plans put together by women entrepreneurs are unique or differentiated. The number of women starting up businesses or participating in startups is rising significantly. Yet the majority of businesses, especially tech businesses, that appear before Angel screening sessions or pitch VCs are founded and run by men. Angels and VCs undoubtedly care much more about the team, markets, scaling and viability of the business than about the gender of the founders and early executives. The goal of the program next month is to help founders and early team members be comfortable and confident when interacting with investors by being prepared with a pitch, plans, strategies and business models that work.