The program named WomenIN, is aimed to enrich the statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing resources normally reserved for Purdue Foundry clients, to all women, and also is aimed to engage more women in technology and entrepreneurship.
The program is geared to increase the total representation of women in technology and entrepreneurship and establish a network for supporting one another.
"Our goal is to increase the participation of women in Indiana's entrepreneurial community," said Juliana Casavan, entrepreneurial programs manager at the Purdue Foundry. "Purdue University and the Purdue Foundry are at the forefront of this movement, and we have the ability to activate a change in women's involvement in entrepreneurship."
Members of the WomenIN program will have access to Purdue Foundry resources such as online ideation workshops, entrepreneur-in-residence assistance, and open invitations to quarterly networking events and educational opportunities.
The initiative was announced at the Women in Entrepreneurship luncheon, sponsored by the Purdue Foundry and Purdue Krannert School of Management. The event had more than 70 attendees and featured guest speaker, Karen Griffith Gryga.
Griffith Gryga is the chief investment officer of Dreamit and founder of Dreamit Athena, a startup accelerator that provides access to a network, mentors and early-stage capital, in order to obtain more funding for female company founders. She spoke about the unique barriers that women face in entrepreneurship and in getting backed by venture capitalists and angel investors.
"Just 12 percent of venture-backed companies have women in executive ranks, yet studies have shown that companies with women in top management achieve a 35 percent higher return on equity and a 34 percent better total return to shareholders. Regardless of diversity or fairness, this is about straight economics," she said. "Women have challenges in attracting funding because of things such as access to female role models, access to capital, the confidence gap and women's need to multi-task which can limit scale as well as give the tendency to take on too much personally versus aggressively delegating."
Gryga Griffith's presentation was followed by a panel discussion led by Sherine Abdelmawla, co-founder of AkanoCure; Lalita Amos, a senior executive at Total Team Solutions; Mary Pilotte, director of Engineering Education Undergraduate Degree programs at Purdue; and Sarah Sparker, director of ISEEK.
To learn more about the WomenIN program email firstname.lastname@example.org.