The city of Chicago contains one of the most vibrant startup communities in the country – a community which welcomes female entrepreneurs in every industry.
Chicago Connectory partner 1871, hosted the WiSTEM C8 Showcase on the evening of Dec. 11. The event celebrated 10 inspirational women founders who were part of the eighth WiSTEM cohort at 1871.
WiSTEM is 1871’s 12-week pre-accelerator for female founders that was founded as part of the Google for Entrepreneurs’ #40Forward initiative. WiSTEM now has 86 portfolio companies that have collectively raised $7 million in capital and created more than 200 jobs. That success is due to a variety of factors: A strong curriculum which focuses on capital, community and technology resources, and strong partnerships with marquee organizations.
The Chicago Connectory and Bosch also support the WiSTEM efforts of 1871 by providing mentors to the developing entrepreneurs and other sponsorship activities.
The showcase event began with networking and opening remarks by Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. Betsy welcomed attendees and discussed the importance of WiSTEM, and other programs like it, for growing entrepreneurs. She also mentioned how incredibly proud she was of how the women of the eighth WiSTEM cohort have learned, celebrated, struggled, and grown together in the past 12 weeks of the program.
Shortly after, 10 women founders who were part of the eighth WiSTEM cohort pitched their companies to raise funds, build strategic partnerships and grow their customer base.
The participating WiSTEM startups included:
After the event, the 10 WiSTEM startups become alumni of the WiSTEM program, which is currently 98 alumni strong and includes 110 female founders.
Congratulations to these 10 amazing companies and their inspirational women founders!