Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Unlocking Doors for Female CEOs in Miami

Venture capital firms are “bright, clannish and almost exclusively male,” according to a recent Economist article. For many start-ups, access to VC connections and funding determines success or failure. And when only 6% of VC partners are women, female-led businesses are left at a disadvantage.

Babson WIN Lab

That’s why the Babson College Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® in Miami is a golden key for women entrepreneurs. The women’s accelerator, now entering its second year in Miami, unlocks connections and opportunities for exposure that drive businesses to the next level.

“WIN Lab has knit a network—a community of people who are helping me grow my business,” says Carla Curiel, WIN Lab Miami 2016/17 graduate and CEO of Mundo Lanugo, a digital media brand inspiring cultural pride among Latino children.

WINners meet once a week for three hours. Experts come in and talk about everything from legal advice to negotiation to operations. The program surrounds participants with stakeholders who provide office hours, share topic-specific expertise and open more connections based on the entrepreneurs’ needs.

“Whatever business challenge I was going through at the moment, I had someone I could go talk to about it,” says Jacqueline Stetson Pastore, CEO of UXGofer and a WIN Lab Miami 2016/17 graduate.

Carla, who opened a $750,000 seed round of funding while at WIN Lab, says the program put her in touch with top notch advisors, lawyers and angel investors who helped her finalize her pitch deck. WIN Lab opened up doors, one of which, Carla says, may lead to a significant investment from a large media company that would be “game-changing.” Even though she officially started fundraising just one month ago, she already has $200,000 committed.

Exposure to opportunities for investment and business relationships is a constant for WINners. The accelerator helps place participants front and center at events like SUP-X, where 2016-17 WINner Appollonix won $15,000 in capital, and at Emerge Americas, where two WINners have been selected to showcase for a chance to win up to $175,000 and network with more than 13,000 global attendees.

If you are a passionate business leader ready to step out of the old boys’ club and into an energizing network full of opportunities for exposure, consider applying to join the WIN Lab Miami class of 2017/18.