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ESD's 'NY Ventures' & NYSTAR announce 'Built by Women: Frank Conversations with Women Founders and Funders' series

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Mon, Mar 15th 2021 03:15 pm

First webinar to begin March 18; designed to amplify voices of women, particularly during pandemic, which has been especially difficult for women founders & women in the workforce

Empire State Development announced the “Built by Women: Frank Conversations with Women Founders and Funders” virtual speaker series will begin on Thursday, March 18, with the first event, “Lift Off: Raising your Seed Round” at 12:30 p.m. This event will be led by Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO of The Cru; and Jenny Fielding, managing director of Tech Stars NYC and founder and general partner of The Fund. The event will be kicked off by introductory remarks from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

"When the COVID-19 tsunami came crashing on our shores one year ago, the tidal wave swept over our most vulnerable, and now left in the wake are women of all ages struggling to stay afloat," Hochul said. "The ‘Built by Women’ series will host important conversations on how we prioritize women's economic empowerment and create opportunities that lead to sustainable financial independence. Our goal is that, by next year’s Women’s History Month, we will celebrate how women came back stronger, more resilient and more empowered than ever through this pandemic."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “It is imperative that we call attention to the challenges small businesses face, especially those issues that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has taken a particularly hard toll on women and minorities, and this series of virtual talks are a great way to learn from the experiences of women who are meeting today's challenges and want to share their stories.”

“NY Ventures” and NYSTAR is launching a series of conversations between women founders and funders to amplify women’s voices, explore the current challenges that women founders face, and address diversity as a key to startup growth and success. Women founders historically have received less than 3% of all investment capital and, for women of color, that number drops to less than 1%. Additionally, the pandemic has led to nearly 2.5 million working women leaving the workforce as compared to 1.8 million men. According to a 2015 study by McKinsey and Co., women's full participation in the workforce could increase global GDP by $28 trillion.

Other topics to explore in this series will include:

√ How to identify unconscious bias and address it

√ Taking the first step: Saying yes to your entrepreneurial pathway

√ The value of a board

√ Where are the women? Recruiting diversity and creating an inclusive environment

√ What kind of company are you?

√ Developing your sales strategy

For more information, or to register for the March 18 event, visit https://esd.ny.gov/built-by-women-series.

“New York Ventures” is the venture capital investment arm of ESD, New York state’s chief economic development agency. It supports and invests in diverse entrepreneurs and their high-growth companies across the state to secure a healthy, sustainable and economically vibrant future for all New Yorkers.

ESD’s division of science, technology and innovation advances technology innovation and commercialization in New York. NYSTAR offers programs that assist companies from start-up through maturity, leveraging the state’s investment in world-class technology assets and expertise. It provides roughly $55 million annually in funding to support over 70 centers that provide direct assistance to New York companies – a network of vital assets for enabling technology- and manufacturing-led growth and job creation. For more information, visit esd.ny.gov/nystar.

The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on regional councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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