Female Founders Initiative
I-Corps South launched the inaugural Female Founders program in the fall of 2020 with a virtual 4-week introductory program. We developed this initiative to provide a space for female-led entrepreneurial teams to explore a first business model, engage with an all-female coaching team, interact with successful female entrepreneurs, and receive non-dilutive funding. Georgia Tech has done an excellent job of recruiting both male and female students equally, but those efforts had yet to be reflected well in the entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus. The Female Founders Initiative is our response to that gap, and the need - both on campus and nationwide - for more equitable opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
The Female Founders program is open to all women and those who identify as female who are considering a startup. Though most startups we coach are STEM-related, the program accepts applications for projects outside of the STEM category. Please note: Applicants do not need to be affiliated with Georgia Tech.
The program provides the lean startup method modules supported by advice, resources, networking opportunities, coaching and modest funding to enable participants to do early customer evaluation (20 to 30 interviews).
Upon successful completion of the program, participants may be recommended to apply to the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Teams program and/or Georgia Tech’s Create-X Startup Launch, among others.
For the foreseeable future, all Female Founders programs will take place in a virtual setting.
Upon successful completion of the program, accepted teams are eligible to receive a number of non-dilutive awards/benefits.
Funding may be used for the following:
Fees associated with attending industry-specific tradeshows and conferences, either virtually or in-person. (Fees may include registration costs, airfare, ground transportation, hotel, etc.)
Upgrading professional networking platform subscriptions, such as LinkedIn Premium, video conferencing platforms, etc.
Traveling to visit potential customers for one-on-one interviews. (Please follow the guidance of the CDC when deciding whether to travel.)
Paying a salary or stipend to any member of the team.
Developing a minimum viable product (MVP) or a prototype.
What funding may not be used for:
Providing gift cards or other incentives to interviewed customers.
Costs associated with conducting written surveys or focus groups.
Upcoming and Ongoing Events and Programs