Start-Up Chile Launches Pre-Accelerator For Female Founders | TechCrunch

Posted Jun 16, 2015 by Christine Magee (@christinekmagee)

Start-Up Chile, the government-backed accelerator program that’s funded over a thousand international startups in the past four years, is launching The S Factory, a pre-accelerator for female founders.

The 12-week program is designed to educate first-time women entrepreneurs with an intense course load that includes pitch training, an investor preparation lab, and progress reports from mentors.

“This is not a gender equality program, this is a diversity program,” says Sebastian Vidal of Start-Up Chile.

“Eighty-five percent of our startups [from the accelerator program] are founded by men and 15 percent by women, and if you look at the stats of each group separately, the results are not different at all. So why not increase that number and encourage more females in the country to get into tech?” Vidal says.

The percentage of female-founded startups that have participated in Start-Up Chile’s accelerator is on par with the percentage of venture-backed female founders in the U.S., which has hovered around 15 percent for the past three years.

Instead of establishing a gender quota for the accelerator, Start-Up Chile decided that a bootcamp for less experienced entrepreneurs would have a bigger impact on changing this ratio. Ideally, graduates of The S Factory will be qualified for acceptance into Start-Up Chile at the end of the three months.

Audrey Cavenecia