Project: Women's Technology Cluster
Year of Inception: 1999
The Women's Technology Cluster (WTC) was founded as an operating project of the Three Guineas Fund in 1999, as an entrepreneurial community of technology businesses in which women have a principal ownership stake.
The central objective of the WTC is to facilitate access to capital by women entrepreneurs. While the rate of new business formation by women has grown at a rapid rate, barriers to access to capital persist as a systemic problem for women entrepreneurs. The National Foundation of Women Business Owners reports that of the nearly 8 million women owned businesses in the United States, only one percent have used venture capital financing. The WTC is designed as a model for breaking structural and cultural barriers by accelerating the growth, reducing the perceived risk, and facilitating access to angel and venture capital financing for women technology entrepreneurs.
A second objective of the WTC is to educate entrepreneurs to give back to the community. The WTC is establishing a culture and value system of giving back, influencing entrepreneurs in the formative stages of their businesses. Each new business entering the cluster contributes a small percentage of the firm's equity into a Venture Philanthropy Fund. As Cluster companies achieve liquidity through merger/acquisition or an IPO, funds become available for social investment in the non-profit sector. Income from the Fund will provide grants to sustain the WTC and to support other non-profit programs in the community addressing social and economic change.
In March 2003 the WTC "spun-off" into an independent non-profit organization with its own governing board and executive leadership. For more information on the WTC and its companies, see www.wtc-sf.org.
May flowers, valley's successful women in bloom
unanimous declaration of the independent business of america
FIRST LADY PICKS UP POINTERS FROM S.F. BUSINESSWOMEN (PDF)
AUTHOR: ILENE LELCHUK, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
MARCH 30, 2000
THE NEW GIRLS' CLUB (PDF)
JANUARY 19, 2000
BREAKING DOWN THE BOYS CLUB (PDF)
AUTHOR: MARGIE WYLIE, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
OCTOBER 24, 1999
A FUNDING CHANCE (PDF)
AUTHOR: VICTORIA COLLIVER, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
DECEMBER 16, 1998