Springboard is a key part of our success since it is where we met up with the VC firm that invested in the company early on. Without Springboard and the opportunity that it generated for us, we would not be where we are today!
— Kathleen Chien, 51Job, Alumna (SV 2000; Listed on NASDAQ: JOBS; September 2004)
Bold Women, Big Ideas
In 1997, women led 9 million businesses with revenues of $3 trillion and a work force of 27 million. The growth rate of women-led businesses was twice the rate of their male counterparts and the industries they were choosing to enter were the “non-traditional sectors” such as finance, manufacturing and technology. Further research revealed, however, that while access to capital sources had improved for women-led businesses, women were not accessing the equity capital necessary to finance these non-traditional businesses. According to Venture One, only 1.7% of the billions in venture capital investments made in 1997 had been invested in women-led businesses.
Conceived in 1999, Springboard 2000 Enterprises, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating women entrepreneurs’ access to the equity markets. The organization recruits, educates, showcases and supports women-led high-growth businesses as they seek venture capital and grow. The co-founders include Kay Koplovitz, Amy Millman, Denise Brosseau, Cate Muther, Jim Robbins, Andrea Silbert, Debra Filtzer, Penny Pickett, Ginger Lew, Mary MacPherson, Hedy Ratner, Patty Abramson, Wendy Kanarek and Karen Bixby as well as countless investors, accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs and leaders in academia, government and business.
Springboard companies have raised capital, grown their businesses, expanded their networks and made new business connections through their involvement with Springboard.
Springboard has aligned itself with the most successful corporations and academic institutions. Our programs have been hosted by Oracle Corporation, AOL, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Kellogg, Babson, The Paley Center for Media, Fidelity Investments, UNC, Covington & Burling, The George Washington University, Columbia, SUNY/Levin, PWC, Venable, Microsoft, and the Kauffman Foundation.