Google Inc. (Nsadaq: GOOG) is investing in nurturing Israeli female start up entrepreneurs. UpWest Labs, the Silicon Valley accelerator for Israeli entrepreneurs, announced the new program, financed by Google for Entrepreneurs, which is focused on closing the gender gap in Silicon Valley. The Google for Entrepreneurs initiative, called the ‘#40Forward: 40 startup communities rethinking the gender gap,’ is a $1 million program supporting the initiatives of like UpWest Labs to increase female representation in the start up community. With Google’s backing, UpWest Labs will invest heavily in growing the community of female entrepreneurs both in Israel and Silicon Valley.
The UpWest Labs Female Entrepreneurship Program includes: partnering with key programs in Israel that specifically encourage women to apply to the UpWest Labs four-month accelerator program in Silicon Valley; establishing a network of mentors in Silicon Valley and Israel in order to increase visibility and access to female entrepreneurs; expanding access to a pool of investors motivated by investing in female led startups.
To date, UpWest Labs has supported 33 start up companies, which have raised more than $20 million in funding. 20% of UpWest Labs companies have included female founders, a level of representation that is four times higher than the average gender ratio.
UpWest Labs co-founder Shuly Galili said, “Israel leads the world in empowering women to take command. The applicants in this year’s class proved no exception with two female-led companies out of the six companies accepted to our program.”
Galili added, “Building on our success, the goal with Google’s initiative is to further provide support to our female founders with more visibility, tools and mentorship. That has always been the mission of UpWest for all our startups. The backing of such a powerhouse in Silicon Valley, focused on women, will absolutely take our efforts to the next level and help us empower female entrepreneurs.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2014
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