By Jonathan Greechan (Partner, The Founder Institute)
As you may or may not know, we introduced the Female Founder Fellowship program two years ago in an effort to increase the number of female-led companies graduating from the Founder Institute’s entrepreneur training program. By giving the best overall female applicant in each city a free course free, we anticipated that the number of females applying to the program would rise, along with the number of female graduates.
Well, we were right. Two years in, we can definitely say that the program has been a success:
- Since we introduced the Female Founder Fellowship, we have seen a 62% global increase in our percentage of female graduates, which has now reached 26% worldwide.
- Our most recent Spring and Summer 2012 Graduating classes consisted of 36% female founded-companies.
- We have graduated over 150 female-led companies across the globe, including CakeHealth, Zirtual, Fashioning Change, Skimble, Memetales, Ecobold, Kindara, Piggybackr and 2RedBeans.
Our most recent Female Fellow, Penny Bauder from the San Diego Founder Institute, has already shown incredible promise as an entrepreneur. Her company, Green Kid Crafts, distributes environmentally-friendly arts and crafts projects for small children through a monthly subscription service (mothers – definitely check it out!). Since enrolling in the program, Penny has made incredible progress, and Green Kids Crafts has already been featured in Parenting Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Wired. According to Penny:
“When I entered the Founder Institute, I had zero confidence in myself as an entrepreneur. Once I finally set foot in the classroom, I was hooked, and thrilled with the realization that the other Founders were no different than myself, and that the mentors were very human and completely approachable. The Founder Institute gave me the confidence, and the skills, needed to effectively run and scale my company. The feedback I’ve received from mentors who have been through the same challenges I am facing as a startup has been invaluable. But maybe more importantly, going through the program helped me to redefine myself as an entrepreneur.“
We are now looking for the next batch of Female Fellows, and there are over 10 Fellowships available for the upcoming Spring 2013 semesters across the globe.
To be eligible, you must apply and complete the Admissions Test before your local Founder Institute’s Early Application Deadline. Many of these deadlines are coming up in the next two weeks – see the full list of Fellowships available here.
I hope you’ll join us and launch a company in 2013.
For more information on the Female Founder Fellowship program, check it out here.
Women 2.0 readers: Have you been through the Founder Institute before? Let us know about your experience(s) in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Jonathan Greechan is a Partner at The Founder Institute, a global network of startups and mentors launching hundreds of companies per year in over 20 locations worldwide. He is also a Partner at TheFunded, the web’s leading online community of technology entrepreneurs to share fundraising advice, and produces the Founder Showcase, a quarterly startup pitch and networking event in Silicon Valley. Throughout his career he has advised hundreds of startups on marketing and PR. Follow him on Twitter at @jonnystartup.