by Lisa Rabasca Roepe
Originally published: July 21, 2016
Women and minorities don't participate in accelerators at the same rates as white men. A new virtual program aims to change that.
Most accelerators require entrepreneurs to spend three to six months in residence, which can be difficult for women entrepreneurs, particularly if they have families. So, in 2015, serial entrepreneur and former investment banker Carolyn Rodz founded Circular Board, a virtual 90-day accelerator for women entrepreneurs.
Circular Board’s first class was held this winter with 170 women and is now gearing up for a new class that will begin this September with 500 women. The 12-week program ends with a virtual demo day where members upload video pitches to receive feedback from mentors, investors, media, and other influencers on how to improve their pitch, and to find out if investors or advisors are interested in partnering with them. Circular Board also has partnered with the UN Foundation to create Pitch with a Purpose, a pitch competition for women entrepreneurs whose businesses support one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.