WomenLaunch began as an inspiration from a talk by Kay Koplovitz, founder of USANetwork, at the TEDxBayArea Women Global Entrepreneurs Event, December 8, 2011. Specifically to establish an organization with the mission of empowering women entrepreneurs to create and successfully build scalable businesses with mentoring, coaching, resources, encouragement, supporters and cheerleaders, and money. Kay’s idea envisions women being like dolphins, surrounding each other with all that’s needed to be empowered and successful. This appeals to us more than the culture of having the business success supercede the success of the individuals and the team. A successful business, successful people, and a good return on a VC investment are all possible at once with a culture that starts from that premise.
We were also galvanized by the numbers Ann Winblad, of Hummer Winblad, reeled off about women-founded startups: only 3% of funded startups in California are founded by women, 27% in Boston – time for a change! That kind of disparity (in all directions) calls us to action.
Together we at WomenLaunch are creating a collaborative culture among women entrepreneurs – taking what’s best about how women network and connect with one another and adding to that the skills, resources, approach, focus, tools, and culture of leading and scaling a startup idea into a full-fledged scalable business. This is about creating a new dynamic around startups, VC money, and women in business.
In keeping with the collaborative orientation, we are committed to collaboration as the culture of our efforts. We are starting with some ideas, vision, and inspiration and will put that forward. The creation, refinement, and incarnation are a community effort.