General Catalyst Joins Sponsor Group for Capital W, Boston Women's Venture Summit, Set for May 6
Nationally renowned event to feature new tracks for life sciences and ecommerce in addition to speed pitching with leading venture capitalists
BOSTON, February 26, 2016 – For the second year in a row, venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners has joined the sponsor group for the second annual Capital W, the Boston Women’s Venture Summit, founded by investor and local businesswoman Sheryl Marshall, and co-chaired by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College (CWEL). The annual event will be held at Boston’s District Hall on Friday, May 6. The Summit will expand on its focus of connecting local women entrepreneurs with investors while also bringing to light top of mind issues regarding the state of venture capital for women today.
On the heels of last year's sold out event that garnered national attention and featured more than 250 attendees, the second annual Capital W conference will bring another day chock-full of expert speakers, dynamic networking and fierce female-led pitching. The Ada Lovelace Award will also once again be presented at the event to the man who has done the most to contribute to the advancement of women in venture capital.
This year's program will also expand to include new life sciences and ecommerce tracks as well as a speed pitching session that allows female founders to spend one-on-one time with leading venture capitalists.
The added focus on life sciences widens Capital W's impact by providing women entrepreneurs in the sciences with a chance to connect to venture firms focused on that specific market. The life sciences panel, moderated by WGBH radio host Kara Miller, is made up of remarkable and deeply respected professionals in the field, including:
Vicki Sato (@VickiSato): Professor, Harvard College, Harvard Business School and Special Advisor, Atlas Venture
Alexandra Drane (@adrane): Founder, Chair of the Board at Eliza Corporation
Daphne Zohar (@daphnezohar): Founder & CEO, PureTech
Ecommerce - a growing area for venture capital investment - will also have a new place at the conference. The ecommerce panel broadens the reach of Capital W by providing an opportunity for female entrepreneurs in the growing sector to share their experiences while enabling newcomers to learn the best routes to fundraising in the space.
"We're thrilled to build on last year's incredibly successful event with an even bigger and bolder Capital W in 2016," said Sheryl Marshall, Founder, Capital W. "Study after study proves that women entrepreneurs do not have the same access to venture capital as their male counterparts. We're here to change that by bringing together the local community of venture capitalists with those female entrepreneurs looking for funding."
General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that makes early-stage and transformational investments. The firm backs exceptional entrepreneurs who are building innovative technology companies and market leading businesses, including Airbnb, BigCommerce, ClassPass, Datalogix, Datto, Demandware, Gusto (fka ZenPayroll), The Honest Company, HubSpot, KAYAK, Oscar, Snapchat, Stripe, and Warby Parker.
Capital W also announced yesterday that Gesmer Updegrove, Bain Capital Ventures, Atlas Venture and Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS) will be among the sponsors of the event. Gesmer Updegrove LLP is New England’s premier law firm for technology companies and emerging businesses. The firm's mission is to be a trusted advisor, providing quality legal services, outstanding business advice and value-added services to its clients. Bain Capital Ventures invests from seed to growth in technology companies and has helped to launch and commercialize more than 200 companies since 1984. Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage venture capital firm that creates and invests in life sciences companies. Atlas Venture is currently investing from its tenth fund, which closed in April 2015 with $280 million in capital commitments. WE BOS, a City of Boston program, advances Boston’s women entrepreneurs by providing the skills, technical assistance and network they need to launch and grow their business.
Details on additional sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.bwvs.org.
Capital W will feature workshops, lectures and networking opportunities for both entrepreneurs looking to pitch investors and venture capitalists and angel investors interested in promising women-led startups.
Tickets for the day are $100 for early birds then will go up to $125. Seating is limited. To register, please email email@example.com.
About Capital W, the Boston Women’s Venture Summit
Motivated by research from Babson College’s Diana Project, Capital W is a one-day event founded by investor and Boston businesswoman Sheryl Marshall that will bring together local women entrepreneurs and members of the investment community to address the current funding gap for women-owned businesses. Capital W will feature presentations from successful CEOs and venture capitalists about their business journeys and viewpoints on women in the industry, interactive pitching workshops and on-site coaching.
About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership
Founded in 2000, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College (CWEL) fulfills and extends Babson’s mission by educating, inspiring, and empowering women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world. For more information, visit
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