September 26, 2013, 9:08 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Babson College has launched the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab business accelerator - the first of its kind - designed specifically to support women entrepreneurs in their startup and early-stage ventures.
Developed by Babson's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), in partnership with serial entrepreneur, Sharon Kan, the WIN Lab offers Babson women entrepreneurs -- undergraduates, graduates and alumnae -- the road map, expertise, inspiration, and community they need to successfully reach their entrepreneurial goals.
“From our research, we know that there are more than 126 million women entrepreneurs active around the world,” said Babson President Kerry Healey. “Yet more can and must be done to help women further grow their businesses. Babson's WIN Lab is designed to do just that. This first-of-its kind incubator will help women entrepreneurs build new collaborations, develop their entrepreneurial abilities, and access the resources necessary to both expand their businesses and create much-needed jobs.”
The WIN Lab is a residency program that meets weekly throughout the school year.
• Series I -- September-December -- will focus on pushing boundaries as entrepreneurs in order to develop market-ready prototypes.
• Series II -- January-April -- will help shape an entrepreneurial team and develop a launch and funding strategy.
WIN Lab entrepreneurs will:
• Explore the topics necessary to build strong functional knowledge and skills to navigate their entrepreneurial paths.
• Learn from accomplished entrepreneurs and Babson's coaching team - including Sharon Kan, Chief Visionary Officer; Susan Duffy, Chief Learning Officer and CWEL's Executive Director; and Heatherjean MacNeil, Chief Operations Officer and CWEL's Program Director.
• Deliver monthly updates and pitch their entrepreneurial ventures to WIN Lab peers and to special guest entrepreneurs, angel investors and others with links to potential funding sources.
The WIN Lab Experience includes:
• Links to strategic partners
• Business pitch practice
• Access to bank loans, loan funds and guarantee programs
• Accounting/financial management basics
• Strategic networking activities
• Customer acquisition and marketing strategies
• Introductions to angel investors and the venture capital community
• Comprehensive business training programs
• Access to advisory boards and mentors
• Management team identification
• Help with regulatory compliance
• Exposure to “near peer” entrepreneurial leader experts
WIN Lab kicked off with “Startup of You”, a special two-day retreat September 6-7 where participants set goals, learned about entrepreneurial ideation, design thinking, team formation, and had some fun at play with circus yoga.
The WIN Lab's first group of 16 Babson women come from nine countries: Malaysia, Venezuela, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, the U.S., India, Ecuador, and Puerto Rico. The WIN Lab will be held on Babson's Wellesley campus and Boston campus in the heart of the innovation district. Potential applicants interested in The WIN Lab should contact Heatherjean MacNeil firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership
Founded in 2000, the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College (CWEL) fulfills and extends Babson's mission by educating, inspiring, and empowering women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world. For more information, visit www.babson.edu/cwel.
About Babson College
Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society -- while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information, visit www.babson.edu.