Each week, Octane will be highlighting one of our five key initiatives as part of Octane Foundation for Innovation. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here. In week two of this six-part series, we are featuring the Women Leaders of Octane. The mission has four core goals which are noted below.
In 2018 Octane launched this new initiative, Women Leaders of Octane, which focused on two very important opportunities within our technology and life science regional ecosystem. Forbes research in 2018 indicated that less than 3% of venture funding is received by women- founders. Additionally, in 2017, McKinsey & Company research stated that women continue to be hired and promoted at lower rates than men, and at senior levels, the gap in promotions is more pronounced for women of color. Octane was staggered by these statics and saw them as an opportunity that Octane can influence and impact, so we took action with women and men leaders in Southern California.
Our specific mission with this initiative is focused on four core outcomes:
- To increase the number of women-operated companies in SoCal that go through Octane’s LaunchPad Accelerator, an award-winning pro bono resource
- To increase the capital available to women-operated companies in SoCal
- To support women in their career development and growth by providing access to resources and power networking opportunities
- To connect women leaders with public and private Board opportunities
As Octane continues to expand and move towards our goal, we are finding ways in which we can shed light on the statistics and goals we are looking to achieve. We have featured women leaders throughout our Signature Event keynote sessions, hosted networking events to provide thought leadership and foster new relationships, increased our pipeline of women-operated companies applying for LaunchPad, and expanded our network of investors that can fund women-operated companies. Our Women Leaders of Octane Committee is working diligently on creating new programming, developing strategic partnerships, and building out our Board engagement program for 2020.