About Astia

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dive right in! The water is fine!

If last year’s We Own It Summit in New York was a dip of the toe in to the water to see if it was warm enough, then this year’s Summit in London was a dive in to the deep-end followed by a forceful free-style firmly charging to the finish line in 2020.

The Decade of the Woman Entrepreneur is upon us and the collaboration has firmly embraced the opportunity and the challenge this presents. The Summit participants have validated that the moment is now to propel women in to the high-growth, innovation economy – as entrepreneurs, investors, and ultimately beneficiaries of the wealth and influence created.

Our next steps have been identified in the goals below. It is now the responsibility of we, the collaborating organizations, to maintain the momentum and deliver on these shared commitments:

In 2011-12, we will:

Create and implement collaboration processes for research and training.
• The annual research agenda will work to address 1-3 questions annually. This work is critical as the current dearth of data pertaining to women high-growth entrepreneurs is pronounced and does not allow us to measure our progress.
• The training objectives ensure that women gain exposure to the opportunity of high-growth entrepreneurship, investment, and board participation. The goal this year is to create a shared curriculum - via the many that already exists within the collaboration - that provides access to networks and access to maps to success.

Communicate to the market the stories of successful women entrepreneurs and investors as well as clearly articulate the problem, issues and opportunities. This year, we will complete and publish:
• 12 profiles each of female investors & entrepreneurs.
• A statement of why women’s participation matters for key constituents (LPs, VCs, government, etc.)

Take action that we believe will create real and measurable change in the market.
• A group, led by successful VCs, angels and LPs, has been created to raise an Astia Innovation Fund to invest in women-founded, women-led, high-growth start-ups.
• Borrowing from the model used by the Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley a decade ago, we will work to get women to invest in women (as well as the men who love women entrepreneurs), thereby owning the solution for ourselves.
• Where we have influence as industry leaders, LPs, Fund of Funds, family offices, VC firms, government funding agencies, etc. we will work to get women in to decision-making bodies.

The nearly 200 thought-leaders who participated in this year’s Summit have identified the above goals for the coming year as the deliverables that will lead us to the success in 2020.

And for those new to this race, the finish line has been mapped. Through this Summit and this collaboration – and any other means available to us - we will:

• Increase number of women investors.
• Increase number of women high growth entrepreneurs.
• Increase likelihood of success of these businesses.
• Get more women on public and private boards.

Come on – dive right in. The water is lovely!

Sharon Vosmek, CEO