Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chicago’s 1871 To Launch FEMTech To Help Women Rule The Tech Industry

Chicago’s 1871 To Launch FEMTech To Help Women Rule The Tech Industry

MARCH 13, 2014 5:00 AM0 COMMENTS


Incubator Space For Tech Entrepreneurs and Startups Will Provide More Exposure, Opportunities for Women

1871, a tech startup hub in Chicago, is launching FEMTech, a women’s entrepreneurial incubator, this month. Will the incubator blast inspiring tunes by Beyonce and Madonna? Probably not, but theChicago Tribune reports that the program will accommodate both the workaholic and the working mother.
1871 has been providing resources and a common ground for the tech industry in Chicago. Now they’re partnering up with GoogleMotorola Mobility, and The Lefkofsky Foundation to provide a launch pad geared specifically towards the female demographic of the entrepreneur and startup community.
This program has potential to boost startup culture and success in Chicago, and also bring positive exposure, generate resources, and open doors for women entrepreneurs, a vastly under-represented demographic of the tech industry.
Aside from tailoring the incubator to accommodate tech entrepreneurs from the working mom to the single woman, 1871’s venture program plans to provide workshops, tutoring, shared workspaces, and other crucial resources to help women-led startups get on their feet.
So this is great news and all, but what does 1871’s new venture really mean? It means that it’s game time for the tech industry. And 1871 is more than ready to go.
Women have been in the tech and startup industry for a long time, yet the majority of the glory has gone to companies led by the dudes of the industry. In fact, only 5% of tech startups are founded by women. How many women-founded tech startups can you name? Probably not many.
This is due in part to the limited resources, such as venture capital, women-founded startups receive in comparison to those founded by men.
1871 is clearly ready to take more than a stab at leveling the playing field and this business-centered program is just the kick in the pants that feminism in the tech industry needs, according to a recent blog postThe startup center has pledged to provide a family-friendly, yet success-focused environment for women entrepreneurs.
While some may argue that women have already carved out quite a large space in the startup and small business industries (just look at Etsy!), the main focus of 1871’s incubator is to help make more of a name for women-led startups in the tech industry, an area that has a staggeringly unbalanced women-to-men founder ratio.
By providing access to additional resources on top of their already-hefty tool box, 1871 plans on striving to bring more women in to the tech industry spotlight without making them choose between their business or their family.
1871’s incubator has some heavy-hitting support behind their initiative and hopefully this will mean that Chicago will soon start to see more women making an impact in the tech industry. In a year or so, we should see more headlines regarding the blast-off of a woman-led initiative and hopefully more women-focused startup incubators created in the footsteps of 1871′s FEMTech.
Women just might rule the world after all, even without the girl-power tunes.

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