At UCSD’s Rady School of Management, developing women in business has always been a priority. In fact, just this year, the full-time MBA class welcomed 39 percent female students. And now, they’re taking their work one-step further. In partnership with Athena San Diego—which has worked for 20 years to connect and support women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)—Rady is offering mentorship to female founders and leaders as part of its mystartupXX accelerator.
MystartupXX’s mission is to address the gender gap in STEM fields. The reality is that though half of the students who graduate with STEM degrees are women, less than 30 percent of professors and executives within STEM career fields are women, and it’s even worse for startups. In fact, only 4 percent of VCs are women and only 3 percent of VC-funded CEOs are female, according to a blog by the Life Science Network.
That’s exactly why Rady and Athena San Diego are working together to make a change. Athena will provide STEM leaders to mentor mystartupXX teams while Rady provides pre-seed funding, co-working space, mentorship, networking events, and workshops. “Most of the mentors in other startup programs are men,” said Lada Rasochova, the Executive Director of the California Institute for Innovation & Development at UCSD’s Rady School of Management. “That is the reason we are partnering with Athena. Athena’s members are women in leadership positions in STEM fields. This partnership is a great synergy that is beneficial to both organizations.”
As for Athena San Diego, it’s the perfect partnership. Their member base represents 20 years of top tech and biotech female leaders who are actively working to close the gender gap. “This partnership will tap women as an ‘emerging market,’ rounding out the crucial innovation pipeline in San Diego’s innovation economy,” explained Cheryl Goodman, Executive Director of Athena.
To participate in mystartupXX, teams can submit their applications for the 2017-18 here.
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