Women's Innovation Network

The Women's Innovation Network

The Women's Innovation Network (WIN) is a nine-month program that helps UO faculty, graduate students, and entrepreneurs in our community navigate gender-based barriers to bringing their research to market or to launching and sustaining their businesses.

WIN is a community of executives and industry leaders offering guidance, encouragement, and alternative pathways for women to succeed in male-dominated industries.

We intend for the words "women" and "woman" to include anyone who identifies with the word. We recognize that gender is a broad spectrum, and we aim to celebrate everyone on this spectrum. We always welcome allies and accomplices to join us.

WIN is a collaborative effort between the UO Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and Onward Eugene.

Our Program Structure

    Our program includes:

    • Monthly seminars to increase knowledge and challenge assumptions
    • Intentional monthly networking events to begin building long-term relationships with industry executives and leaders
    • Dedicated mentor calls to learn, explore, and discover

    We deliver high-quality programming and, throughout the nine-month program, help participants build long-term relationships with seasoned entrepreneurs who serve as mentors and with industry leaders.

    Key Program Features

    • Nine-month program, October 2022 - June 2023
    • Each month includes an intentional networking event (1 hour), a hands-on learning seminar (1 1/2 hours), and a mentor connection call (1 hour).
    • Participants are matched with a mentor who has expertise that align with their goals. Mentors receive an honorarium ($500) for being a mentor in the program.
    • Participants receive a stipend ($2,000) for their time, energy, and effort.

    Your Goal is Our Goal

    WIN fosters long-term relationships among participants, mentors, and industry leaders. 

    Participants are matched with a mentor who provides customized, dedicated support to help each participant meet their goals.

    Program staff offer participants additional resources based on what stage their ideas are at. Examples include setting up informational interviews, connecting participants to programming offered by professional or community organizations, and making introductions to industry leaders in company formation, fundraising, business pitches, grants, and public-private posters.

    Don't feel like the label of entrepreneur fits you?

    No problem. WIN also supports women who are solving problems right where they are. Many of our participants are intrapreneurs championing DEI initiatives in STEM and other male-dominated fields. Others use WIN to advance their careers and join leadership positions in their industries.

      What Our Participants Are Saying

      "I’ve learned a great deal, and will likely start my own design-build business in about five years. I would not have considered that without WIN. I’ve also researched possible products and met wonderful people."

      - Erin, WIN Participant 2021-22

      "I also enjoyed the seminars. Excellent speakers and topics. I feel like the unique content provided filled in some of the gaps left by my business school program."

      - WIN Participant 2021-22

      Photo of WIN mentor Smriti Zaneveld holding a microphone and talking with WIN participant Kylie Nash
      Photo of Shula Jaron, WIN mentor, and Grace Kuhl, WIN participant

      "[The Women's Innovation Network] has been a great source of professional development and social support."

      - Grace, WIN Participant 2021-22

      We'd love to meet you.

      Photo of attendees talking at high-top table during WIN reception

      All WIN seminars are open to everyone - regardless of their gender identity or affiliation with the UO.

      Our seminars help build skills to address gender-based barriers to success in business and entrepreneurship. Past topics have included:

      • Exploring perspectives on risk and readiness
      • Failing forward
      • Making genuine interpersonal connections
      • Protecting your brand and intellectual property
      • Company formation
      • Accessing capital
      • Conducting market research
      • Talking with customers
      • Writing grants and business pitches

      We love connecting with our community and hope to meet you at an upcoming seminar. We also encourage you to reach out with ideas for future seminars, interest in being a mentor or participant in the program, and questions or requests for resources.

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      Innovation at the University of Oregon

      UO's Innovation Initiative fosters a community of partners and serves as a hub of resources and activities. The initiative bolsters research commercialization, enhances entrepreneurship in Oregon, and propels the work of UO students, faculty, and staff into the world.

      Innovation at UO Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

      Looking for other mentoring resources or opportunities?

      The University of Oregon is committed to developing an ecosystem that supports mentoring. The Office of the Provost has a number of resources that support faculty as they build their own network of mentors in addition to resources for developing skills to serve as a mentor to others.

      UO Mentoring