By Emily Glazer (Writer, Wall Street Journal)
When it comes to programs that nurture new startups, women often don’t make the cut. A new “startup accelerator” hopes to combat that gender disparity in at least one booming market: mobile technology.
Women Innovate Mobile opened its application today to startups with a woman founder or co-founder and a product that is related to mobile. The accelerator will offer two to five startups 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.
“Companies and entrepreneurs that have the opportunity to participate in an accelerator program are given an advantage because of their access to networks and mentoring,” says Kelly Hoey, co-founder and managing director of Women Innovate Mobile. “There are a lot of women entrepreneurs out there but without access to networks, without access to feedback and mentoring and guidance and funding.”
Even though the rate of additional startups each year is at a 15-year high, women represent only 35% of startup business owners, according to a recent study by research group Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
One Internet startup seed fund and incubator program called 500 Startups is a leading investor of women, with around 25% female founders or co-founders in its portfolio, said Dave McClure, venture capitalist and founding partner at 500 Startups, in July.
And some programs already cater to women, including NewMe, a startup accelerator and incubator for businesses geared toward under-represented minorities in technology; and women-focused organizations like Astia, Golden Seeds, the Pipeline Fellowship and Women 2.0.
Pictured Above: Women Innovate Mobile founders Veronika Sonsey (left), Kelly Hoey and Deborah Jackson
» Read the full article at Wall Street Journal.
About the guest blogger: Emily Glazer covers personal finance and dabbles in tech for the Wall Street Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyGlazerWSJ.