Bold Women Big Ideas: Springboard’s 2013 Accelerator Program

A few might wonder if there is demand or a need for a group with a laser-like focus on helping women entrepreneurs. There is, it’s called Springboard – John Backus. NavFund

Recently when Yahoo! floundered in terms of brand and direction, they turned to a woman for leadership.  Over the last decade, the growth rate of women-led businesses was twice that of their male counterparts and the industries they were choosing to enter were the “non-traditional sectors” such as finance, manufacturing and technology. Whereas the barriers to these sectors might have been lowered, women were still not accessing the equity capital necessary to finance these non-traditional businesses. Enter Springboard Enterprises, co-founded by Amy Millman. Amy is as an advocate working for and with business and government officials to develop and implement national business development and policy initiatives.

Venture-catalyst Springboard Enterprises is a platform where influencers, investors and innovators meet to help women build ‘big businesses starting small’.  A non-profit organization, it is dedicated to accelerating women entrepreneurs’ access to the equity markets. The organization recruits, educates, showcases and supports women-led high-growth businesses as they seek venture capital and grow. The co-founders include Kay Koplovitz, Amy Millman, Denise Brosseau, Cate Muther, Jim Robbins, Andrea Silbert amoung others.

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Springboard sources, qualifies, showcases and supports women-led growth companies seeking equity capital for product development and expansion. Over 500 women-led companies have gone through Springboard’s accelerator programs; raising over $6 billion in financing, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, and generating billions of dollars in annual revenues. More than 80% of Springboard companies are currently doing business including 10 IPOs and many that are now the technology engines of publicly traded companies.  The Springboard Accelerator Program was originally designed to support and promote companies led by women with innovations across the entire spectrum of healthcare and life sciences but now focuses as well on the digital media and tech world.

Joining the 527 companies of the Springboard portfolio, ten women-founded and led companies will meet in New York City to participate in a Bootcamp to kick off its 24th Accelerator Program. These technology companies, selected by the experts from Springboard’s esteemed Media/Tech Council and global network of experts, have built products and services that offer attractive investment opportunities for investors or potential partners.

“We have found a group of the most remarkable entrepreneurs with some serious successes already under their belt,” said Kay Koplovitz, CEO of Koplovitz and Co. and Chairman of Springboard Enterprises, “and it is an honor to have these women join the Springboard Expert Network, adding an incredible breadth and depth of expertise to our entrepreneurial talent pool.”

Since 2000, Springboard Accelerator Programs have recruited and promoted high-growth technology and healthcare companies with globally recognized brands like Zipcar, Constant Contact, iRobot, ViaCell, Achillion, Blurb and Minute Clinic, all of which are led by or founded by women. By joining Springboard, they benefit from access to hundreds of other innovators, investors and industry experts that are the human capital in this powerhouse network.

The Springboard: 2013 Media/Tech Class consists of ten early-stage companies led by women entrepreneurs with the potential to build the next generation of global brands:

    • 30 Second Mobile, Elisa All, Founder & CEO
    • Blueye, Shannon Smith, Founder
    • Cream.hr, Caitlin MacGregor, CEO & Co-founder
    • Crowdnetic, Luan Cox, Founder & CEO
    • FEM, Inc, Rachel Payne, CEO
    • Indira, Carrie Mantha, Founder & CEO
    • Modalyst, Jill Sherman CEO & Co-founder
    • Tactile Finance, Nicole Hamilton, Founder & CEO
    • weeSpring, Allyson Downey, CEO & Co-Founder

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image credit:Springboard Enterprises