The Women Entrepreneur Festival

We_logo_5 The Gotham Gal is involved in an event in late January called The Women Entrepreneur Festival. They are doing it with and at NYU's ITP program.

I love the idea of calling it a "festival." This is a celebration of women entrepreneurs. Exactly what we should be doing to showcase role models and make the point that women are just as good at starting companies as men are.

They also came up with an innovative format. They have four groups of entrepreneurs; social, media, design, and green. Each group has a bunch of women entrepreneurs and at least one male entrepreneur. In the morning each group will do "show and tell" so you can see what each of them has built. In the afternoon, the groups will go on stage again to talk about their sectors and the role that women play in them.

It's great to see ITP getting involved in something like this. ITP is one of the secrets of the NYC tech startup scene. It is a program that focuses on the intersection of design, media, technology, and communications. It is all about the things that makes NYC's startup sector special. And it was started by a women entrepreneur, Red Burns. So it makes so much sense that they are hosting a festival for women entrepreneurs.

The festival is limited to 150 participants due to space limitations. You can apply to attend here. Acceptances will be made on a rolling basis. If you are accepted, it costs $50 to attend if you are a student and $200 to attend if you are not a student.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Dave Pinsen

    It would be cool if they added a fifth category, “industrial”. During World War II women proved their mettle at… well, working with metal. Rosie the Riveter. It would be great if there were more institutional encouragement and facilitation of manufacturing start-ups — companies that could create more jobs for average Americans.

    1. fredwilson

      the new manufacturing is happening around ideas like shapeways, etsy,quirky, and kickstartercheck this out…

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Attaching watch straps & housings to iPad Nanos? Crafty, but not exactly the arsenal of democracy there.

    2. ea cpe

      Like this idea. I’m also not sure what the distinction is between “media” and “social”– I feel like a lot of things could fit into both categories.

      1. fredwilson

        social means caused based efforts

  2. panterosa,

    I heard rumblings of this type of event brewing. I will be interested to see what it’s like.

  3. Mark Essel

    if any all girl bands need a token male to apply let me know :).I bathe regularly and hack.

    1. Tereza

      Do you put the toilet seat down?:-)

      1. Mark Essel

        nobody’s perfect 😉

  4. Carrie

    I’m glad to see this taking place. Just sent in my application. It looks like the primary category for engineering types is “Green”.

  5. awaldstein

    Glad to see Jen Beckman involved. She’s broken some very new ground in a very old, staid, scarcity creation gallery world. I’m a fan.Puzzled though that education isn’t a category.Great stuff, big step forward.

  6. ianb

    Seems to me that the people who most need convincing that women can make good entrepreneurs is women, not men. The time is long past when investors and executives actively worked to keep women out of the boardroom. We need to encourage women to be more accepting of risk and more enthusiastic about chasing their inspirations in business. We need to show them what they can achieve through hard work and dedicated effort and encourage them to stretch.

    1. Tereza

      I appreciate your saying that. I think there’s much truth in what you say, Ian.I’ve been thinking/reading/observing a lot about how women think, what we respond to, for implications for specifics to my business (and serving women as users and customers), but also for broader life.And there’s a lot of sweeping generalization in here, so bear with me. An evolving hypothesis on my part.An (early) conclusion is that women need more affirmation, on an regular ongoing recurring basis, than men do. Or, perhaps said better, they respond very favorably to regular, incremental affirmation. We’re our own toughest critics so constant inputs of “you’re doing great” are like oxygen. And ‘no response’ is like a negative to us. Like waiting for the phone to ring when you like a guy. It’s probably a part of why girls perform well in school. It’s feedback-rich. We know what buttons to push for people to “like us”.We do see this appear in women’s gaming. Providing random affirmations feeds a hunger that women have and drives us forward.This probably ebbs and flows over various life stages as well. For example as we get older we care less what others think. But counter to that, motherhood as a vocation provides almost no regular affirmation.Also I’ve been thinking a bit about invitations. Women really like giving and getting invitations. It’s an important communication and filter for us. It’s that “Hey! I want you there!” and “Hey! She wants me there!” that gives us some delight. Men on the other hand find them kind of annoying and possibly a turn-off. Very different response. So, yes, I think when men say “Hey, we want you in here,” it means a lot to us.Ever notice how tough women can be on other women? Can be brutal. I think one thing that’s really special right now is there is just a great vibe of women helping women. It’s essential to keep that going.I’m also interpreting that many of the women who broke through the glass ceiling or started something that got big were outliers in the sense that they either due to life circumstances did not care or require affirmation, or were in financially desperate straits without other options so they HAD to make the situation work. I think we all know stories where, when backed into a corner, a lioness jumped out fought like no one imagined.But we also know plenty of stories where a woman said: ‘Screw this…I don’t need to be doing this. Why subject myself to the grief? I’m outta here.’ Which is why I think, if she’s going to take on something like a startup, there has to be an emotional hook for her. It’s a bit unseemly for us to be asking for stuff/money/etc. for ourselves. But if it’s for ‘the team’…’the children’…’the cause’…something ‘more important’, we shed our self-consciousness faster than it takes Steve Jobs to pick a black turtleneck.There is of course also cultural variation (in the US)…pockets where it’s OK + expected for women to swing for the fences and others where it’s really not. My town has a large number of working moms, the town next door that’s 4x the size has almost none. Big differences in ways the schools and other infrastructure are able (and willing) to deal with working moms and other kinds of alternative family situations. Cultural pressure looms large, even if we try not to let it.It’s also worth noting that, overwhelmingly, women who have been highly successful had exceptionally strong relationships with their dads. This is documented.It’s all to say that support and encouragement from men is an appreciated and in fact essential part of the equation.Thanks, Ian!

  7. ShanaC


  8. William Mougayar

    I’m a fan of following women in tech developments. I just put together this Eqentia aggregator to track it:… and/or @womentechnews233 Women tracked and counting…feedback if anyone missed.

  9. TanyaMonteiro


  10. Rob Frieman

    ITP Rocks. I graduated in ’97 and would love to go back again now for another 2 years.