08 Mar 2013

Happy International Women’s Day!

By Lily

Opening applications for BGV this year, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of women founders approaching us. In the last week alone, we have been at three women in tech events all of which have been packed to the rafters with women who want to do startups. At the same time sexism in the sector is being increasingly highlighted and people are getting angry (in a good way) at the paucity of women at conferences, on panels and in offices. It feels like a real change taking place in the demographics of the tech sector, which hopefully means that brogramming will soon be  a thing of the past.  Last year applications for Bethnal Green Ventures from women made up only about 13% of the total; this year, if interest so far is anything to go by, this number will be significantly greater.

This is partly that we have put a lot more effort into seeking women and publicising applications through women in tech networks. More money and growing networks has probably also helped with our visibility.

Whatever the reason, we are super excited. We have supported some fantastic women entrepreneurs in the past and hope to back many many more in the future.

A few examples…

Sarah Drummond – came to our first Social Innovation CAmp in Glasgow in 2009 with an idea for an online feedback system for the police service. 48 hours later MyPolice was born, providing a an online platform for0 direct, open conversations between the public and the police. The success and networks developed during the launch of MyPolice led Sarah and Lauren Currie, to start Snook, a service design agency in Glasgow. Snook has garnered a reputation all around Scotland running projects with clients such as the National Government, the NHS, local government clients, and Barnardo’s. They recently won the Design Council’s Working Well Challenge with their new venture to help young people become more employable: The Matter

Fran Bennett – was part of our BGV cohort last year, CEO of Mastodon C. Having previously worked at Google and Ask, she decided to set up her own Big Data company. Mastodon C are agile big data specialists who offer an open source technology platform and data skills on zero carbon infrastructure.

Denise Stevens – won our first ever Social Innovation Camp in 2008 with Enabled by Design, her project to connect designers with people with disabilities, to design assistive equipment that didn’t make people’s homes look like hospitals. They provide a space to share and talk about independent living products and services and how these can be hacked to make them more accessible and easier to use.