Closing the startup gender gap

A new startup accelerator program designed to promote and fund women-led ventures in St. Louis has been announced by Prosper, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

The Prosper accelerator will invest $600,000 in 12 startups begining in January 2015. Olin alumnae Mary Jo Gorman, founder of Advanced ICU Care and Kasey Grelle, a principal at Cultivation Capital, will play major roles in a new for-profit division to be called Prosper Capital.

ProsperProsper Women Entrepreneurs was created to address the entrepreneur gender gap in the St. Louis region.  It was established by a group of business leaders, thinkers, doers, innovators and students who want to make sure that our community is well positioned in the new economy and, more specifically, that women entrepreneurs area vital part of its future.

The organization has two divisions, Prosper Institute and Prosper Capital:
Prosper Institute is a non-profit organization that focuses on training and mentoring women in the entrepreneurial community through our Mastermind, Youth & Collegiate, and Entrepreneurship Resource programs.

Prosper Capital is a for-profit division that focuses on increasing women entrepreneurs’ access to growth capital and the number of women investing in early stage capital markets. The Prosper Accelerator makes equity investments in women-led technology, life sciences, and consumer product startup companies.  Selected companies take part in a three-month accelerator program with training, mentoring, and curriculum designed specifically to help women scale their business and raise follow-on capital. Prosper Women Entrepreneurs is dedicated to investing in women-owned and women-led businesses through our Angel Network.

Image: Women vs Men by goliardico, Flickr Creative Commons

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