February 27, 2007

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today formally announces the formation of the first Entrepreneurial Alliance, created to address the causes and solutions for the small number of women who invent information technology, file patents, and start businesses in the IT arena. The NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance brings together representatives from more than 20 established entrepreneurial organizations, as well as national experts in research related to women and IT entrepreneurship. No other alliance exists with the sole, explicit purpose of improving the participation of girls and women in IT entrepreneurial endeavors. NCWIT launched the Entrepreneurial Alliance with funding from the Kauffman Foundation.

Organizations represented in the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance include: ACTiVATE, the BizWorld Foundation, CommonAngels, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives, Foundry Group, Indiana University, J.P. Morgan Partners, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, Mobius Venture Capital, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), the National Venture Capital Association, Netform, Springboard Enterprises, Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Women's Technology Cluster.

The NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance will work to:

  • Leverage the efforts of multiple groups to dramatically increase the number of women involved with IT entrepreneurism and innovation
  • Inspire girls and women to be more aware, confident, and interested in IT entrepreneurship
  • Advocate for these issues at a national level

This spring, the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance will launch its IT Heroes Campaign, a series of podcast interviews with 20 successful women IT entrepreneurs. By highlighting the opportunities and achievements of women – including Donna Auguste of Freshwater Technologies and iRobot (Roomba) co-founder and chair Helen Greiner – the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance hopes to inspire young women to choose a career in IT entrepreneurship.

The Entrepreneurial Alliance also is working with the BizWorld Foundation to design a K-12 curriculum that teaches entrepreneurship and business. BizWorld programs attract students to technology by allowing them to become real-life entrepreneurs, who start and run a company in which they design, manufacture, market, and sell a technical product.

About the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT): NCWIT is a capacity-building coalition of over 80 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working aggressively to increase women's participation in information technology (IT.) NCWIT believes that women's participation is a compelling issue of innovation, competitiveness, and workforce sustainability. NCWIT's work connects efforts along the entire pipeline, from K-12 and higher education through industry and academic careers. To find out more, please visit www.ncwit.org.