May 11, 2011

National Center for Women & Information Technology Award Recognizes Tech Women Entrepreneurs

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced that the winner of its annual NCWIT Symons Innovator Award is Audrey MacLean.

Over the course of her career, MacLean has founded and invested in over two dozen successful high-tech companies. She founded Network Equipment Technologies (NET) and Adaptive, and has been a seed investor and advisor for numerous startup companies and venture capital firms. Since 1995 MacLean has been a consulting professor at Stanford University in the School of Engineering, and she has been featured in the Forbes “Midas Touch” List, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, and Businessweek’s Top 50 Business Women in America. She currently serves as Executive Chair of Coraid®, Inc.

The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award honors an outstanding woman who has successfully grown and funded an information technology (IT) business. The Award is named in memory of Jeanette Symons, founder of Ascend Communications, Zhone Technologies, and Industrious Kid. The 2010 NCWIT Symons Innovator Award winner was Kim Polese, Co-founder of Marimba and original Product Manager of Java at Sun Microsystems. The 2009 winner was Anousheh Ansari, Co-founder of Prodea Systems and Telecom Technologies, Inc., and the first private female astronaut.

“Audrey MacLean is a terrific example of a woman who’s built a successful entrepreneurial career by combining technical knowledge and business savvy,” said Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO. “To those who ask, ‘Where are the women tech founders and investors?’ We are happy to direct their attention to Audrey.”

MacLean will be recognized at an award celebration the evening of May 25, 2011, sponsored by NCWIT and MTV Networks.  The celebration is open to the public and a limited number of tickets are still available at EventBrite.

Nominees for the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award are selected from among more than 50 NCWIT “Entrepreneurial Heroes,” a free podcast series featuring interviews with notable women IT entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurial Heroes series and the Symons Innovator Award are among several initiatives supported by the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance, a member of the Startup America Partnership. The NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance provides startup companies with tools to create and capitalize on a gender-diverse workforce, and also works to raise awareness of women’s contributions as technical founders. The Entrepreneurial Alliance is sponsored by EMC Corporation, and its members include Applied Trust, AppsTech, Geomagic, Get Satisfaction, Gowalla, Integrate, Lijit Networks, Memeo, Oblong, ReturnPath, SendGrid, SpotXchange, Standing Cloud, SwiftPage, Syntience, Task Rabbit, Twilio, and ViaWest.


NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit coalition of 250 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to increase women's participation in IT and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance girls and women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers; provides statistics, research, and best practices; and serves as a national voice of awareness and advocacy for the increased participation of girls and women in IT and computing. Find out more at