Three women sitting at a table with notebooks and pens
Women's Innovation Network

Fewer than 11% of university start-ups have a female founder or co-founder. Women submit 35-40% fewer invention disclosures than their male peers. Women-led startups received a mere 2.3% of venture capitalist funding during the pandemic, and Portland-area women founders earned only 1.6% of VC funding in the first quarter of 2021.

The Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) contributes to the conversation to change these realities.

The Women's Innovation Network (WIN) is a nine-month, cross-disciplinary program that helps UO faculty, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs in our community build skills that minimize gender-based barriers to success in innovation so that they can bring their research to market or launch and sustain their businesses.

A cohort of twenty participants attend monthly seminars, social events, and dedicated mentor calls to learn, explore, and discover together. After they complete the program, participants will have the knowledge and confidence they need to engage with private industry or move forward with an accelerator to launch their business.

WIN fosters long-term relationships among participants, mentors, and industry leaders. We also offer access to leaders in company formation, fundraising, business pitches, grants, rhetoric and pragmatics, and public-private partnerships.

All WIN seminars are open to the public.

Seminars help build skills to address gender-based differences in perspectives on risk, readiness, and language use. All seminars are hands-on and include an opportunity to experiment with the monthly topic.

Key Features of WIN

  • Nine-month program, October 2021 - June 2022
  • Each month includes a social event, hands-on learning seminar, and mentor call.
  • Participants receive a stipend for the time and energy.

WIN provides funding to compensate participants for their time and energy in the program, thereby reducing the amount of their unfunded obligations - a major hurdle for women.

WIN is a collaborative effort between the UO and Onward Eugene.

Social events for the cohort are facilitated by Catalyze and Because Human.