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Female Founder Fellowship Program

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2011-02-11

We Can Do it.

The Founder Institute Aims to Graduate
175 Female Tech Founders in 2011

16% of the Founder Institute's 250+ graduated technology companies are founded by females. This beats the average, but quite frankly the average sucks, and we know we can do better. The Institute is currently on pace to graduate over 600 companies in 2011 across our 17 locations - if we double our percentage of female founders to 30%, we will graduate 175 female tech founders in 2011. This is our goal.

Here's Why 'We Can Do It:'

Being a tech founder is not seen as a viable option for most females. This is wrong. In fact, of all applicants to the Founder Institute, the acceptance rate amongst women is equal to that of the men, while the graduation rate amongst women is almost 20% greater than that of the men (data compiled from all completed Founder Institute semesters worldwide, totaling over 1500 total applicants and over 250 total graduates).

The widespread debate and publicity surrounding the 'females in tech issue' over the last year had zero impact on the the number of female applicants to the Institute. However, earlier this week the Institute quietly announced a scholarship for the best female applicant for our Berlin Spring 2011 Semester, and the response in both applicants and support has been overwhelming.

Here's How We Will 'Do It:'

The Institute is rolling out the female scholarship concept that was successful in Berlin across all ten of our Spring Semesters:

The Female Founder Fellowship will provide extraordinary female applicants the opportunity to launch their dream company with the Founder Institute's pre-seed incubation program, free of charge. To reach our goal of launching 175 female-founded tech startups in 2011, the Institute will subsidize the Course Fee for the most extraordinary female applicant in each of our ten Spring Semesters: including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., San Diego, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, New York City, Boston, and Singapore. Any female who applies to any of these Spring Semesters is automatically eligible. Many of the deadlines are approaching, so apply today at http://founderinstitute.com/join.

This is not about providing special treatment - the majority of applicants to the Founder Institute do not get accepted, and this will always be the case because we employ a quantitative Predictive Admissions Test in our application process. This test was specifically designed, and is constantly calibrated, to identify entrepreneurial personality traits and remove all forms of subjective bias. Mentor, Aaron Patzer, provided a great primer on the test here. The Female Founder Fellowship program is designed to double the number of female applicants to the Founder Institute, which, according to the previously stated data, will double the number of accepted females, and more than double the number of graduates - getting us to our goal of 175.

For reference, here's a sampling of some graduates with female Founders who are out of stealth, across a few different locations:

  1. 2RedBeans – Q Zhao (Bay Area)
  2. Fashioning Change – Adriana Herrera (San Diego)
  3. Memetales – Maya Bisineer (Seattle)
  4. Micromobs – Himani Amoli (Bay Area)
  5. Skimble – Maria Ly (Bay Area)
  6. Zebraminds – Oza Klanjsek (Denver)

A special thanks to our partner, Women2.0, for posting the story. Women2.0's mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. We encourage you to sign up for their mailing list, or check out their great Founder Labs Program.  

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