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© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups
Ewits®
By
Jane M. Muir
University of Florida
Septembe...
© 2014 University of Florida
• 99.7% of companies in Florida have fewer than 100
employees
• Those same companies provide ...
© 2014 University of Florida
Critical Components for Creating Companies
• Technology – Most abundant resource
• Funding – ...
© 2014 University of Florida
4
• During Fiscal Year 2014 Universities generated new
discoveries that created companies tha...
© 2014 University of Florida
Entrepreneurs are Scare
• Two Fundamental Approaches to Finding
Entrepreneurs to Start Compan...
© 2014 University of Florida
• Less than 6% of venture capital is invested in women-
led startups
• Women represent less t...
© 2014 University of Florida
• Investors preferred entrepreneurial ventures pitched by a man than
an identical pitch form ...
© 2014 University of Florida
• Women need to perform at
extraordinarily high levels, just to
appear moderately competent
c...
© 2014 University of Florida
• Women are getting degrees at a faster rate than men
• Women represent two thirds of country...
© 2014 University of Florida
Barriers to Entry for Women
• Life balance choices
• Confidence
• Lack of training
• Lack of ...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
Mission: Educate, inspire, and empower women
to purs...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
• Experiential learning program
• Launched in 2012 b...
© 2014 University of Florida
Ewits® Program Learning Objectives
• Gain a basic understanding of technology
commercializati...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
14
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
• Prequalified 7 patented technologies
• Cross-funct...
© 2014 University of Florida
Ewits® Program Schedule
Sessions (3-hour sessions once weekly):
•Session 1: Technology Matchi...
© 2014 University of Florida
Target Audience
Eligibility criteria for participants:
• College degree, preferably advanced
...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
Breakdown of Degrees
Including:
• Science
• Engineer...
© 2014 University of Florida
Ewits® Program Outcomes
• Survey sent February 2015 to first three Ewits cohorts
• Response r...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
Janalyn Peppel, B.S.
Head of Market Development, emb...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
Laura Adamson-Small, Ph.D.
COO, MyeloJAK
Co-founded ...
© 2014 University of Florida
Empowering Women in Technology Startups®
Stephanie George
Former CEO, TAO Connect – Ewits™ me...
© 2014 University of Florida
Participant Comments
– I had a great group of intelligent, resourceful women who each
brought...
© 2014 University of Florida
Participant Comments
– Now I really have an idea what it means to start a business, how to wr...
© 2014 University of Florida
The Future Looks Bright for Ewits®
• 3 pilot programs in 2016
• Reach at least 50 women in 50...
© 2014 University of Florida
Key Players: Critical to Program Success
• Steering Committee = community leaders, key
stakeh...
© 2014 University of Florida
Ewits® Steering Committee
• Guide program planning and implementation
• Build a network of ad...
© 2014 University of Florida
Resources Available to Implement Ewits®
• Proven experiential learning program and roadmap
fo...
© 2014 University of Florida
Training Resources for Pilot Programs
• Shared workspace and repository for documents and
exc...
© 2014 University of Florida
Diversity Drives Innovation
• Greater diversity leads to greater innovation
• The tech indust...
© 2014 University of Florida
Thank You!
Jane M. Muir
Director Florida Innovation Hub at UF and UF Tech Connect
Associate D...
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UEDA 2015 Annual Summit - 9/28 - Empowering Women in Technology Startups

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Empowering Women in Technology Startups (ewits®) Program was created to provide both classroom and experiential learning to introduce women to the principles of entrepreneurship. The program participants—highly educated professional women with untapped and unlimited potential—are immersed in a rich, supportive environment with access to experts from all segments of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Over ten weeks, ewits® introduces the processes required to start a technology-based company and develop a commercialization strategy for a patented technology developed at research universities. Working together, each team submits a business plan for their technology and gives an investor presentation during the last session. Through this specially-designed curriculum and mentorship, women gain the knowledge and confidence to pursue leadership and career opportunities they would not have otherwise considered. To date, 200 women from the north Florida area have completed the program and, due to the success, we are looking to bring the opportunity to 50 women in 50 cities in 50 months. 
Jane M. Muir, Immediate President, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)

Published in: Economy & Finance
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UEDA 2015 Annual Summit - 9/28 - Empowering Women in Technology Startups

  1. 1. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups Ewits® By Jane M. Muir University of Florida September 2015
  2. 2. © 2014 University of Florida • 99.7% of companies in Florida have fewer than 100 employees • Those same companies provide 82.4% of all jobs in the state • 62.9% of Florida businesses employ between 2 and 9 people • Consistent with National figures • Source: Florida Trend January 2011 Small Companies/Startups Are Key to New Jobs
  3. 3. © 2014 University of Florida Critical Components for Creating Companies • Technology – Most abundant resource • Funding – Follows opportunity appropriately matched with an experienced entrepreneur • Facilities – Incubators provide a space for companies to start and a venue to foster connections among critical components • Entrepreneurs – Least abundant resource
  4. 4. © 2014 University of Florida 4 • During Fiscal Year 2014 Universities generated new discoveries that created companies that created jobs: – $62.8 Billion total research expenditures – 6,363 U.S. Patents issued – $28 Billion net product sales – 914 startups created • 77% operating in the home state where research originated Technologies/Ideas are Abundant & Available for Licensing
  5. 5. © 2014 University of Florida Entrepreneurs are Scare • Two Fundamental Approaches to Finding Entrepreneurs to Start Companies – Recruit experienced entrepreneurs – Implement programs to grow our own • Thus, Ewits was created
  6. 6. © 2014 University of Florida • Less than 6% of venture capital is invested in women- led startups • Women represent less than 15% of Fortune 500 CEOs • Only four percent of U.S.-based venture capital investors are women • Gender biases are very real • Ingrained deep in society • Women are equally biased against women • “Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills, a new study by researchers at Yale concluded.” Research Shows: 6
  7. 7. © 2014 University of Florida • Investors preferred entrepreneurial ventures pitched by a man than an identical pitch form a woman • 68% verses 32% in study by HBS, Wharton, and MIT Sloan • Males were rated as more persuasive, logical & fact based • Randomized double-blind by Yale rated identical application with male name as significantly more competent & offered higher salary • In 248 performance reviews of high-performers in tech, negative personality criticism showed up in 85% of reviews for women and just 2% for men • Harvard and CMU study reading from identical scripts to negotiate salary; found women were rated as being more difficult to work with and less nice – men were not perceived negatively Research on Unconscious Gender Bias 7
  8. 8. © 2014 University of Florida • Women need to perform at extraordinarily high levels, just to appear moderately competent compared to our male coworkers • Women’s salaries are lower than men performing the same tasks • Women's earnings were 78.3 percent of men's in 2013 in the United States • Up by less than 3% from a decade ago Research Shows: 8
  9. 9. © 2014 University of Florida • Women are getting degrees at a faster rate than men • Women represent two thirds of country’s purchasing power • People prefer to work for women • Women-led startups generate significantly higher returns for venture capitalists • Women-led startups have much higher rate of IPOs • Dow Jones Study: “We claim with statistically significant evidence that there is a dependence between a company having female executives and its success.” More Encouraging Research 9
  10. 10. © 2014 University of Florida Barriers to Entry for Women • Life balance choices • Confidence • Lack of training • Lack of support system (mentor, network) • Lack of role models • Self-initiative (i.e., We wait to be asked or invited) 10
  11. 11. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® Mission: Educate, inspire, and empower women to pursue leadership roles in technology-based companies worldwide 11
  12. 12. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® • Experiential learning program • Launched in 2012 by the University of Florida • Four programs conducted to date • Nearly 200 women empowered Program # Enrolled # Completing 10-Week Program Completion Rate Fall 2012 56 52 93% Fall 2013 47 43 91% Spring 2014 43 42 98% Spring 2015 50 48 96% 12
  13. 13. © 2014 University of Florida Ewits® Program Learning Objectives • Gain a basic understanding of technology commercialization, how to start a technology-based company, and the landscape of the entrepreneurial ecosystem • Develop skills in working effectively in a team, creating a business plan, and delivering an investor pitch • Expand awareness of opportunities, resources, and networks available for technology startups • Gain confidence to pursue leadership roles in technology-based companies 13
  14. 14. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® 14
  15. 15. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® • Prequalified 7 patented technologies • Cross-functional teams with an experienced woman entrepreneur mentor • Provide entrepreneurial training over ten weeks • Participants develop a business plan and investor presentation • Replicating the program around the country 15
  16. 16. © 2014 University of Florida Ewits® Program Schedule Sessions (3-hour sessions once weekly): •Session 1: Technology Matching and Mentor Introduction •Session 2: Understanding the Value Prop and Forming the Team •Session 3: Market Analysis and Strategy •Session 4: Commercialization Strategies and IP •Session 5: Financials •Session 6: Company Presentations •Session 7: Corporate Structures •Session 8: Sources of Funding •Session 9: Work Session (Business Plan and Pitch Slides) •Session 10, Investor Pitch Competition 16
  17. 17. © 2014 University of Florida Target Audience Eligibility criteria for participants: • College degree, preferably advanced • Early in career • Preferably employed, pursuing degree, and/or post-doc • Experience (broad for diversity across teams) • Attendance in person 17
  18. 18. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® Breakdown of Degrees Including: • Science • Engineering • Computer Science/IT • Business • Marketing • Communications • …and more 18
  19. 19. © 2014 University of Florida Ewits® Program Outcomes • Survey sent February 2015 to first three Ewits cohorts • Response rate of 37% (52 of 137) • Reported outcomes: o 38% (20 of 52) reported improved job status change since completion o 19% (10) moved into jobs in the technology sector – with 30% (3) of these starting their own companies • 3 now employed at technology startup companies • 4 now employed at technology companies (non-startup) • 3 started technology businesses o 21% (11) reported actively seeking funding after program o 17% (9) reported applying for funding after program • 2 SBIR/STTR • 7 other grant funding 19
  20. 20. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® Janalyn Peppel, B.S. Head of Market Development, embr labs - Embr Labs, a startup spun out of MIT, hopes to make the average worker more comfortable in their cubicle with a “thermoelectric bracelet” called the Wristify that straps onto your wrist and heats your skin. After participating in Ewits™ Janalyn moved from Gainesville to Boston to join the company; something she never would have done had she not participated in the program. “It was energizing. We worked through obstacles, made tough decisions, explored areas that were unfamiliar and, ultimately, learned that as a team we could figure out whatever we needed to keep moving forward. We also formed strong friendships within our group. Throughout the program, they encouraged us to stretch our limits. Just the exposure to new ideas has given me the confidence to take on new challenges.” 20
  21. 21. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® Laura Adamson-Small, Ph.D. COO, MyeloJAK Co-founded MyeloJAK Biomarkers with Dr. Sayeski in 2014. MyeloJAK Biomarkers is a biotechnology research and development company aimed at creating improved diagnostic tools for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. 21
  22. 22. © 2014 University of Florida Empowering Women in Technology Startups® Stephanie George Former CEO, TAO Connect – Ewits™ mentors, while experienced business women, always comment that they believe they gained as much from the program as did the participants. After serving as a mentor, Stephanie became CEO of TAO Connect. TAO is an innovative online platform of tools that allows mental health therapists to deliver effective treatment to students anywhere, anytime. While she has since moved on to another opportunity, the program gave her the confidence to assume that role. 22
  23. 23. © 2014 University of Florida Participant Comments – I had a great group of intelligent, resourceful women who each brought so much to the table. I enjoyed working with people different from myself! – Very thankful for this opportunity. Learned a lot and enjoyed every moment of it even though I felt overwhelmed at times. – The program was excellent and the results exceeded my expectations. I was hoping to learn at least something, but in fact, I learned much more than I expected. I have also communicated with people with business backgrounds and this was very interesting. – I gained an overall understanding of the processes involved in starting a business and the confidence to pursue business ideas while learning about other shared experiences in the business & technology field 23
  24. 24. © 2014 University of Florida Participant Comments – Now I really have an idea what it means to start a business, how to write a business plan and what it takes to get there – The program has worked. I am now interested in helping to create a start- up company and plan to talk further to all of you about possibilities of what is out there for me. I am not a scientist, but I know a lot of other stuff that I could utilize to make a new company a success. – This is a great program. I saw a lot of growth and confidence in the women on my team. Please continue to grow this program. I am honored to have been a part of it. – Not only did I learn a lot of helpful information, but I grew in self- confidence and self-esteem 24
  25. 25. © 2014 University of Florida The Future Looks Bright for Ewits® • 3 pilot programs in 2016 • Reach at least 50 women in 50 cities in 50 months “50 Women, 50 Cities, 50 Months” Initiative • 2,500+ women empowered nationally through 2020 Vision: A world in which gender issues are neutralized 25
  26. 26. © 2014 University of Florida Key Players: Critical to Program Success • Steering Committee = community leaders, key stakeholders, program sponsors • Participants = college-educated professional women • Mentors and guest speakers = female entrepreneurs, business executives, business leaders • Judges = VC investors, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs 26
  27. 27. © 2014 University of Florida Ewits® Steering Committee • Guide program planning and implementation • Build a network of advocates within the community • Secure funding to support launch and expansion • Help with outreach and impact • Identify and access opportunities 27
  28. 28. © 2014 University of Florida Resources Available to Implement Ewits® • Proven experiential learning program and roadmap for successful implementation • Access to video presentations and supplemental reading materials • Comprehensive toolkit, including train-the-trainer resources • Collaboration and support from the UF Ewits® Leadership Team 28
  29. 29. © 2014 University of Florida Training Resources for Pilot Programs • Shared workspace and repository for documents and exchanges • Full-day training program for Program Coordinators • Recurring teleconferences with UF Ewits® Leadership Team • Training Manual for Program Coordinators • Access to videos and supplementary reading materials • Project plan with key tasks and timelines (checklist) 29
  30. 30. © 2014 University of Florida Diversity Drives Innovation • Greater diversity leads to greater innovation • The tech industry is global and it needs to represent and understand consumers as a whole • We need more women solving problems and starting companies to: • power the growing tech industry, • drive the economy, and • help shape our future
  31. 31. © 2014 University of Florida Thank You! Jane M. Muir Director Florida Innovation Hub at UF and UF Tech Connect Associate Director Office of Technology Licensing 747 SW 2nd Ave | Gainesville, FL 32611-5500 Ph. 352-846-1646 www.ewits.org www.otl.ufl.edu www.floridainnovationhub.ufl.edu Immediate Past President AUTM Association of University Technology Managers

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