Google Encouraging More Women-Led Startups

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-03-06 Print this article Print

Kelly Hoey, the co-founder and managing director of Women Innovate Mobile, a New York City-based mentorship-driven business accelerator that aims to help with early-stage investment in mobile-first female-led startup ventures, told eWEEK that Google's involvement in the program makes sense because the global expansion of entrepreneurship is important for Google and its future.

At the same time, though, providing money for such projects isn't the whole answer to the large gender inequity seen in the world of business and startups, said Hoey.

"Doing something is better than doing nothing," she said. "Money helps."

But it's also about contacts, introductions and the business networks that have to be built, grown and encouraged to change perceptions and help more women become successful entrepreneurs, said Hoey. "To encourage women to get into technology, money is nice, but what about the networks and the relationships and the trust?" she said.

With Google's involvement, those kinds of assistance and resources certainly could also follow, she said.

"It's really great to have a new incubator program, a new accelerator, but then what?" asked Hoey. "It's just one piece, and it's great, but other people shouldn't step back and think, 'Oh, good, Google got it done.' There's more to be done. We need women to be more successful and, yes, we need programs like this from Google and others."

What would be great is for young girls today to see more female role models in business who have the same larger-than-life reputations as the late Steve Jobs of Apple, said Hoey. "We need to see role models and highlight them. We need to show who these people are and really celebrate what they've done."


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