One of the few female founder accelerators to exist is burning through the startup atmosphere and levitating women-led businesses to new heights. LaunchPad2x‘s three-day core intensive bootcamp and yearlong education program helps selected participants go through high-intensity training on everything ranging from accounting to operations and funding.
While initiatives to support female entrepreneurs are cropping up across Atlanta, harrowing statistics are far from skyrocketing. Women only make eighty cents for every dollar made by men, tend to underestimate their qualifications, and exude less confidence in their abilities . This does not include their limitations in the big “f” word — funding.
“Do you know the amount of women who get funded?” asks Bernie Dixon, founder of LaunchPad2x. “Women get less than 7% of the venture capital available. There are studies showing that women are slightly more successful, with facts coming out from Silicon Valley. They are more successful with less money (but then we tend to ask for less money, right?). We ask for less money and we get it less of the time. 10-20% of companies get funded with outside funding. 7% of the capital available today goes to women. So, 7% of VC and angel capital deployed today is going to women. Neither of those numbers have really changed in the last 10 years.”
While Dixon’s statistics can feel harrowing, LaunchPad2X has much to be proud of since their founding five years ago. Over that time, LP2X has had a $130 million impact on the Atlanta economy, with an average growth rate of 300% per year. It’s no wonder that startups like Borrowing Magnolia, Futurus, and Motor Queen will give their all during presentations in an attempt to solidify their spot in this invaluable ecosystem.“After they get out of LaunchPad2x, they have everything they need to be successful,” says LaunchPad2x Executive Director Sheyda Mehrara. “We have graduated 100 CEOs of companies so far, 96% of them are still in business, and 4 exits . LP2X defeats national statistics. Through hiring and actual revenue, these ladies are making an economic impact in Atlanta that’s in the millions. That’s something to be proud of.”
“When you ask someone to describe an entrepreneur, you think ‘Silicon Valley’-esque 30-year-old male,”continued Mehrara. “When the truth of the matter is that the average age of a woman entrepreneur in Atlanta is in the mid-40s. It is important to talk about that. Many of these women have had successful careers elsewhere and need a community where we reinforce that the challenges they face as entrepreneurs are normal. The need for LP2X has grown so much that it’s now a regional program, with sights for national stage in 2018. We’ve already started syncing up with incubators and accelerators in Nashville, Chattanooga, and New Orleans.”
“See those who participated in the 2016 LaunchPad2X cohort below. We’re confident these female-led startups will continue to enrich Atlanta’s startup ecosystem.
Lillii RNB/Freeing Returns
Rebel & Reason
The Stair Barrier
Volts & Watts