It seems there's an incubator or accelerator launching every month across the country. But there's only one accelerator, that I've seen of late, that is focused specifically on women-founded start-ups focused on mobile technology. It's called Women Innovate Mobile. Talk about specific!
I caught up with Deborah Jackson, an investor and entrepreneur, who co-founded the program with two other women Kelly Hoey and Veronika Sonsev. Watch the interview to hear why the group decided to create this accelerator in light of the many programs (albeit non-gender-focused ones) that already exist.
"We saw a number of accelerator programs being created," said Jackson, in our interview. "And those accelerators tend to have a smaller representation of female entrepreneurs. [Yet] we see a tremendous number of women interested in starting companies."
Here are some highlights:
- WIM is a NY-based accelerator focused on women founders in the mobile space. The program offers $18,000 for a 6% stake (similar to other accelerator programs) and three months of office space in NYC, and mentorship. The start-ups will have to re-located to NYC to participate in the program.
- WIM has received 600-plus applications and plans on taking up to five start-ups. The accepted start-ups will be announced as early as next week.
- How is WIM's model different from other models? "We’re starting very small, the first class is three to five companies [vs. accelerators that take 20 to 50 start-ups in one class," she said. "Wer’e planning to be hands-on. Providing serious mentorship. What I’d say is that we’re offering greater concentration of resources and mentors. We’ve got a list of 80 mentors that have come forward [to help]."
- Is WIM looking for homeruns? "The stats are if you have 10 companies, generally two will go under, six will breakeven, and you hope to make profit on one or two of the companies," she said. "We’re trying to move the needle on that ratio."