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female-founders

FEMALE FOUNDERS ROCK!

Let’s start there. Female founders are making waves in all corners of the world and in practically every industry. But, they only make up 9.7% of funded startups according to Pitchbook.

Why aren’t there more of them? The answers on Quora are distressing (excluding Amy Chan’s) and range from general discrimination to oversimplification.

There are countless programs trying to #fixtheratio and #addwomen in the tech startup space and we want to help.

CYRUS: a part of the solution

As a small technology organization, we originally thought we couldn’t do more than recruit female engineers. Now, we realize that there’s much more that we can do.

If Steve Blank is right, and NYC is beating Silicon Valley in having more startups with women at the helm, that’s an advantage we want to help thrive.

Therefore, we’ve started an initiative to be the most Female Founder Friendly dev shop in NYC.

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN?

I reached out to a dozen or so women I know who have been on the founding team at startups. Once they got over the potential insult of what it might mean that a dev shop wanted to be “female founder friendly”, we came up with some good principals.

1) NO ONE treats a woman like she’s stupid about technology and EVERYONE takes the time to explain.

2) ALWAYS treat everyone with respect and provide an environment where women will NEVER be objectified.

3) PROVIDE women as developers, designers, and product people to join a startups TEAM.

4) CREATE a space where women have their specific needs met and can feel comfortable.

5) CONNECT female founders to the awesome network of Angels and VCs who are looking to invest in them.

WHAT’S THE IMPACT?

As Amy Wilkinson noted in her post about getting female founders capital, “if women entrepreneurs in the U.S. started with the same capital as male entrepreneurs, they would add a whopping 6 million jobs to the economy within 5 years – 2 million of those in the first year alone.” [Research done by Babson College]

And anyone in the startup community will tell you that you to get big investment, you need traction. Brian Cohen, Chairman of the NY Angles, adds that you “can’t get traction without action” and emphasizes the importance of execution.

That’s where Cyrus Innovation comes in to help. We have special discounted packages created to help create an MVP in 6 weeks. We want to help founders quickly execute on their ideas so that it can be validated by the marketplace ASAP. This way, they can show future investors how quickly you turned a good idea into a great product that people love.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

First, we’re going to improve our office. This means feminine supplies in the restrooms, conference rooms that aren’t too cold, and a space to nurse if that’s needed. Other ideas? We’re all ears!

Then, we’re going to hire a new full-time female developer. We’ve had a few in the past and one is a current freelance contractor, but none are currently on our roster. Know anyone who wants to join a dev shop run with two female executives?

Finally, we’re going to connect with the local and national organizations that foster and support female entrepreneurship. Want to make an introduction?

Stay Tuned for More!