Washington U launches pitch competition to support women entrepreneurs — techtransfercentral.com
By Jesse Schwartz
There’s a new pitch competition launching in St. Louis next year to support academic women entrepreneurs, a group that is significantly underrepresented in the commercialization universe.
Hosted by Washington University in St. Louis and branded as “Equalize 2020,” the competition will serve as a platform to mentor and promote women researchers as they navigate the start-up landscape and engage with investors and industry partners.
“We believe this competition will be the first of its kind in the nation, focusing specifically on women academic inventors who are ready to engage the startup community,” says Nichole Mercier, assistant vice chancellor and managing director of the university’s Office of Technology Management (OTM).
“Because of the disparity in how women approach start-up companies, this effort must be national, as no one institution can drive success on their own,” says Mercier. “Washington University is already a national leader in promoting women inventors. We expect people from all over the country to attend, because there is critical mass around interest in this topic and changing the outcomes.”
Applications for Equalize 2020 are due November 15. The program will begin in January, with finalists receiving mentorship from industry leaders to prepare and perfect their pitches before the June 25 competition.