Help tell the stories of women in the Innovation Economy.
Inspire more women to become engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in their fields.
"...much more needs to be done to encourage talented women to pursue tech entrepreneurship."
"Look at the executive teams of any of the Valley’s tech firms – minus a couple of exceptions [...] you won’t find any women CTOs."
"It is possible for Silicon Valley to become the meritocracy it claims to be. The first step is to admit that we're not quite there--yet."
Women & the Innovation Economy
Advancements in technology and innovation across all disciplines are making it possible to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Although women are half of the population, they have historically been left out of the innovation economy. Things are getting better, but still, just 14 percent of engineers are women in the U.S.
The future depends on the full and active participation of women and men together, and we need to encourage, inspire, and educate more women in STEM and innovation.
That's why we are launching Innovating Women: Past, Present & Future, a new campaign to crowd-create a book featuring research, stories, and perspectives about women's global participation in the innovation economy.
And we need YOUR support and participation to make it happen!
Research-Inspired Discussion Platform
In 2013, Vivek Wadhwa, Vice President of Innovation & Research at Singularity and Researcher at Stanford and Duke Universities — working with lead researcher Neesha Bapat and a team at Stanford University, the Kauffman Foundation, and the University of Virginia — presented initial findings of their study about women entrepreneurs in technology at the Women 2.0 Conference. The team’s original goal was to survey 200 people from around the world. However, over 500 women entrepreneurs responded and participated in the study, and it became evident that a discussion platform was needed to engage and document the many examples of the successes, opportunities and obstacles women face in their professional and personal lives.
Innovating Women will bring this research to life by crowd-creating a book to share the stories of women and discuss how they are solving humanity’s grand challenges.
Developed in partnership with Singularity University, and powered by Google For Entrepreneurs through a dollar-for-dollar matching sponsorship, Innovating Women: Past, Present & Future will bring together, on our discussion platform, hundreds of women from around the globe to share their perspectives on a diverse set of topics including entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, career, culture, personal and professional identity, finance, education and more.
Our crowd-created book will be produced by award-winning journalist and author, Farai Chideya along with Vivek Wadhwa and a growing community of over 300 Ambassadors — women who will share their ideas, experiences, and perspectives. Together, the content developed through Innovating Women will be curated into a powerful collection of stories and published as an e-book and companion web site.
We welcome your input and encourage you to share your stories by signing up at: www.innovatingwomen.org.
Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Program Through Google for Entrepreneurs
Google for Entrepreneurs — Google’s umbrella effort to support startups and entrepreneurs around the world — has agreed to match every dollar Innovating Women raises through Indiegogo up to $50,000. The proceeds from Google for Entrepreneurs, the Indiegogo campaign, and the book will go toward programs that work to increase the role of women in shaping the future of science, technology and innovation.
About the Book
The crowd-created book will start with a historical perspective and highlight the contributions and challenges of women in innovation over many centuries.
Moving into the present era, the book will discuss how things have changed and delve into research conducted on women in innovation, including the recent study led by Vivek Wadhwa about women entrepreneurs in technology. The crowdsourced content will help illustrate the challenges women face, the strategies they employ in the workplace, and how organizations strive to diversify and support the career advancement of women.
The book will also frame the future of entrepreneurship and employment in innovative industries, particularly looking at the opportunities that advancing technologies will bring and how the landscape will transform with regard to women in innovation.
Where Your Funds Will Go
Your contributions will go toward funding and celebrating women who are changing the world one innovation at a time. More tactically, this will help cover the operational costs for producing the book, including:
- Research, writing, and editing costs
- Resources for facilitating the community of Ambassadors participating in the campaign through the discussion platform
- Management expenses (Indiegogo, payment processing, platform fees, and personnel expenses)
- Audio transcription for interviews and media production
Proceeds of the campaign and book
In addition to the matching funds by Google for Entrepreneurs and book sales and royalties, all Indiegogo funds raised for the Innovating Women campaign in excess of operational costs will be used to support women to learn about advancing technologies at Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program and in the Singularity University Labs accelerator. Lynn Tilton's contribution of $9,000 will also be used for the women's education and accelerator programs. All together, these funds will be split 50/50 between the two programs.
Q & A
Who owns the copyright to the crowd-created material?
After the campaign, SU will own the copyright to the finished work, intends to publish the book, and may as a result receive proceeds from book sales or royalties. All these book sales or royalties will go toward funding SU programs to support women to learn about advancing technologies in SU’s Graduate Studies Program and to women-led startups in the Singularity University Labs accelerator.
What are matching supporters?
Innovating Women is asking companies and leaders in STEM and innovation to match the amount we raise on this campaign. Matching supporters will be asked to make their contributions to a charitable fund being established by Singularity University at a community foundation. Grants from this charitable fund will help increase female participation in future Graduate Studies Programs.
Vivek Wadhwa is a longtime advocate of diversity in STEM-related fields. He is Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University; Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University; and distinguished visiting scholar at the Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. He is a prolific writer and author of The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent – which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year in 2012.
Farai Chideya is spearheading the writing of the book, and will curate the crowd-sourced content into a powerful book that will share the stories of these Innovating Women. She is an award-winning journalist and professor, who has worked in print, television, radio, and digital media. Now a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, she began her career as a fact-checker at Newsweek magazine and was promoted to a Washington-based reporter. Chideya has been a producer for MTV News, an on-air political analyst for CNN, a reporter and guest host at ABC News, a host at Oxygen Media, and the host of the NPR program “News and Notes”. She is the author of four books: Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans; The Color of Our Future; Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters; and the novel Kiss the Sky. She began her first web property, PopandPolitics.com, in 1995. She currently blogs at Farai.com; is a contributor to New York Public Radio; and appears on cable television programs and radio programs regarding politics. Awards include a National Education Reporting Award; an award for best radio documentary from the National Association of Black Journalists; and a special award for coverage of AIDS in communities of color from the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists' Association.
Neesha Bapat is the Project Director of the Innovating Women campaign. She is the Lead Researcher and an author of a forthcoming study on women entrepreneurs in technology, a collaborative effort by the Kauffman Foundation, Stanford University, the University of Virginia, and Women 2.0. Bapat was also the Lead Researcher of “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now,” a 2012 study, which examined immigrant-founded tech startups in the U.S. She is a graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, where she studied international development, international economics, and business.
Kristen Van Nest is a Research Associate for Innovating Women and another upcoming book on U.S. competitiveness in the international economy. Prior to joining the campaign, she worked at a tech startup in Nairobi, Kenya, and as a Fulbright Scholar in Luxembourg. Van Nest has written for EDGE, brandchannel, and D’Lëtzebuerger Land. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Special thanks to Jen Myronuk (Producer, Marie Curie Living History), an Ambassador of Innovating Women, for her marketing support for the Innovating Women campaign, including suggestion of campaign name.