When COVID-19 hit last year, Senator Patty Kuderer asked, “How are the WIC founders doing and is there any meaningful data to share with legislators? And how will you be serving the new landscape?”

After talking to WIC Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors we commissioned COVID-19 Impact Survey to understand the state of the ecosystem and also impact on businesses. 

When we saw the data, we were devastated with the results and it was much worse than we had anticipated. The report indicated that the average loss of revenue in the next 24 months, across women tech entrepreneurs surveyed expanding 16 industries, is $500 thousand to $1 million per company. An additional $1 million to $5 million per company is expected in opportunity loss over the next three years. 

Women entrepreneurs face many complex challenges in setting up, growing and sustaining their tech businesses. 

Gender stereotypes, a lack of access to finance and complex societal threats like political instability, enormous uncertainty and a range of different barriers can prevent women’s businesses from thriving. It is particularly striking that the majority of women reported that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was the single greatest challenge they had ever faced.

In partnership with M12 Ventures, they commissioned a second edition of COVID-19 research to understand the comparison and see if something changed or if it is getting worse. 

What did the 2021 Edition OF COVID-19 research reveal?

Respondents of the survey in 2021 reflected those who responded in 2020, companies serving small-to-medium sized and enterprise level businesses, as well as nonprofit and public sector organizations, serving a wide breadth of more than 15 industries.

DOWNLOAD THE 2021 EDITION of COVID-19 RESEARCH MATERIALS

Recommendations: What’s Next?

While the outlook moving forward in a post pandemic world isn’t completely grim for women technology entrepreneurs and their businesses, many organizations and individuals will not be able to recover from the severe impacts alone.

In order to support the recovery needs for women technology entrepreneurs and their businesses, Women in Cloud has created a number of turn-key events and initiatives.

Solutions: Taking Action to Unlock Economic Opportunities

Get Introduced – 70% of women entrepreneurs in our network stated their #1 request was a warm introduction to an advisor, leader or mentor who can transform the trajectory of their career through the power of collective access and action. A streamlined platform to facilitate warm introductions between women in tech and potential clients, sponsors, mentors and advisors that allows women technologists easy access to WIC’s large and growing network of industry leaders, driving connection and collaboration. Request a Warm Introduction Today

Fortune 100 Lunch and Learn Sessions – Women in Cloud intends to double down on Fortune brand representation and engagement through a number of initiatives to facilitate relationships between women technology professionals and Fortune100 companies. #WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn series is a networking experience designed to open the doors for leading fortune companies and brands to connect with technology business builders. Apply today to attend

WIC Microsoft Cloud Accelerator – An immersive 6 month program to assist women-led tech companies to co-build, co-market and co-sell with Microsoft and their distribution channels to help women in tech win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community and a global stage to showcase their solutions. Secure Your Spot at the next Cloud Accelerator Open House

WIC Digital Academy – A digital learning initiative offering courses designed for anyone who wants to break into the world of enterprise sales to support women entrepreneurs in the development of skills for marketing and selling of cloud solutions in an enterprise environment. Get started with the Winning & Keeping Enterprise Contracts Course today

WIC Solution Marketplace – A one-stop shop for technology solutions and services for the mid-to-enterprise market, created, owned and operated by women entrepreneurs, creating an easy way for businesses to find and source women-led technology solutions. Here, buyers can easily find a variety of enterprise-ready solutions, special offers, and ability to schedule demos. Get started & Submit Your Solution today

Resources: Tools to Keep Handy

Here is how you can help the entire community and get involved.

Share this report with investors, policy makers and corporate executives. Understand how they can advance economic access. If they don’t have answers, suggest or recommend Women in Cloud as an economic development solution to accelerate sustainable growth.

Thank you to our partners on this initiative, M12, Arielle for Africa, Black Channel Partner Alliance, Hello Alice, Founders Live, The WIT Network, IAMCP, UN EQUALS, and Microsoft Alumni Network.

We are excited to share that we have launched the 6.0 cohort of the WIC Microsoft Cloud Accelerator virtually on August 27, 2021. Announced ahead of the signature event #WICxUNGA, this Accelerator enables female tech founders to leverage the power of partnering with hyperscalers like Microsoft to become enterprise-ready.

Women in Cloud has successfully graduated 60+ women-led companies over 5 previous cohorts with a recent global expansion with a focus to 9 countries around the world: United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Kenya, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The program is designed to help women tech founders win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor & investor community, participate in MS Startup program and a global stage to showcase their businesses while co-building, co-marketing and co-selling with Microsoft and their distribution channels. 

The Cloud Accelerator combines training, access to industry leaders, structured training and office hours, industry events, self-learning content, and more, all via digital platforms making the Accelerator accessible to women-led business worldwide. Women in Cloud is excited to announce the following 10 companies from 4 countries as accepted in the 6.0 cohort of their award-winning Microsoft Cloud Accelerator:

Women In Cloud’s Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is designed as an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led tech companies to build stronger co-sell plans with Microsoft and their distribution channels . This program is expertly designed to help women tech entrepreneurs win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community, and a global stage to showcase their business.

The 6.0 Cohort Immersive Kickoff session held on Friday, August 27, 2021. The first session featured curated speakers, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and President of WiC; Karen Fassio, Director of Microsoft WW Partner Marketing; Pradnya Desh, CEO of Advocat Technologies; Padma Subramanian, CEO of Fyrii.ai; and Patti Dobrowolski, CEO & Creative Activator of Up Your Creative Genius. The speakers consisted of founders, industry leaders and previous cohort entrepreneurs who set the tone for the new class about the current industry landscape, how to vision their cloud businesses, along with deliverables and takeaways by the end of 6 months.

This kickoff focused on helping founders develop their future vision and this experience was led by Patti Dobrowolski, 3 Times TEDx speaker and inspired the founders to design their co-sell plan.

Here is the output of what a vision of equitable equity and access looks like for women founders.

The cohort 6.0 will be a digital accelerator with built in benefits including azure credits, listing on marketplaces, participating in global UN focused campaigns, bi-weekly office hours, monthly live chats with industry leaders, and continued access to industry stages, has elevated our programming to an unmatched scale.

Going digital has let us expand our horizon and open this program to people from around the world rather than just a region. Cohort 6.0 boasts a diverse participation of companies from the United States, Canada, India and the Netherlands.

This year’s WiC Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is more than just an effort to make economic contributions to the system by empowering entrepreneurs. It is about embracing the new normal and moving forward with a sense of community. It is about adopting self-empowerment and finding comfort in knowing where to turn for support with a community at your side. Most importantly, it is about collective growth and learning.

The Cloud Accelerator combines training, access to industry leaders, structured training and office hours, industry events, self-learning content, and more, all via digital platforms making the Accelerator accessible to women-led business worldwide. Women in Cloud is excited to announce the following companies as accepted in the 6.0 cohort of their award-winning Microsoft Cloud Accelerator:

  • rThreat: rThreat is a breach and attack emulation platform that challenges your cyber defenses using real world and custom threats in a secure environment. Think of rThreat as your live fire exercise for cyber attacks.
  • Plan Heal: The Plan Heal Smart Health Assessment uses AI/ML to continuously monitor the health of patients remotely for early disease detection and post-treatment monitoring. The solution can increase the quality of health outcomes and decrease the cost of healthcare for consumers, insurance companies, and employers.
  • SaaSMAX Corp.: PartnerOptimizer is a robust intelligent software solution that enables sales teams and marketers in the B2B tech sector to identify new best-fit channel partners and optimize their indirect sales channels.
  • Theta Retail: Theta Retail is a cloud-based platform for companies servicing big-box retailers under a VMI model. We specialize in providing advanced analytics and AI to companies that historically cannot utilize sophisticated computing to solve their supply chain problems.
  • TRaiCE Inc.: TRaiCE is an early warning BUSINESS risk detection and monitoring system, for financial institutions – that lend and invest. Currently, there is NO one single gap free credit risk detection and monitoring system that allows a business’s risk profile to be computed daily. TRaiCE fills this gap, by combining internal financial data with external financial data APIs + Publicly available News Feeds 24×7 to compute a DAILY risk index, projecting it to the next 3 to 6 months, rank ordering businesses daily by risk and watch levels.
  • Planimetron Inc.: Propidex is an effective, fully integrated space management solution for the Commercial Real Estate management professionals as well as independent architects and space planning firms. Propidex aims to satisfy the needs of the asset, property, marketing, tenant coordination, space planning, legal, lease administration and leasing manager.
  • Inspace: An enterprise SaaS platform designed to help companies transform their offices into hybrid workspaces while cutting office rental and operating costs by up to 50% and increasing collaboration by 65%.
  • Waves Process Intelligence: A platform to extract, transform and load all your process data.
  • ioAirFlow: ioAirFlow’s digital analysis platform identifies indoor environmental quality issues in commercial buildings, including performance, energy efficiency, and air quality measurements. Using wireless sensors and our proprietary data analysis platform, we’re able to spot building problems faster and more accurately than manual energy audits.
  • Zhennovate: Our human-centered ed-tech cloud-based platform codifies professional coaching intelligence and scales personalized career, leadership, & life coaching for mindset and behavioral shifts to empower organizational success, at a rate that is 10x cheaper than today’s professional coaching and training services.

This year, Global Affairs Canada underwrote 50% of the accelerator fees for two Canadian companies that were approved to participate in the 6.0 cohort. Their previous generous support has allowed 12 of our WIC Accelerator entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to scale their businesses to become co-sell and co-market ready with enterprise partners.

Women in Cloud’s Microsoft Cloud Accelerator programming is supported by Fortune brands and partners such as Microsoft, Accenture, Hitachi Solutions, IBM, Insight, Boeing, and Global Affairs Canada.

Women are the key drivers of the economy; by accessing the resources needed to launch and sustain businesses, Women in Cloud will address the economic inclusion to co-develop and co-market solutions by providing women the tools, knowledge, and networks they need to build a successful enterprise-ready cloud business.

For more information on Women in Cloud’s Microsoft Cloud Accelerator, please visit: https://www.womenincloud.com/founder-focused-initiatives/

We will be hosting a #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge on October 15 as a part of #WICxUNGA. We invite you to apply. Click here to learn more: https://www.womenincloud.com/pitch-challenge/ 

On June 18th, 2021, Google partnered with Women in Cloud to host the “Fortune 100 Lunch and Learn Series”. This event connected female founders and entrepreneurs of cloud-based companies with key leaders from the industry—while placing an emphasis on inclusivity and empowerment. Through a power panel, cloud solution showcase, and roundtable experience with Google advisors, attendees learned how to conduct business with Fortune 100 companies.

Google has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In March, they announced partnerships with several organizations—including Women In Cloud—to support the rise of women in the technology industry. Google’s role in these partnerships is to host educational events, supply technical content for training programs, mentor, provide financial support, and provide Google Cloud developers who will speak at conferences. They made strides towards these goals when they sponsored the #CloudJobs Recruitment Lounge at the Women in Cloud International Women’s Day Summit and co-hosted the #ChooseToChallenge Power Panel. The Lunch and Learn series aimed to build on these foundations by assisting entrepreneurs in their journey to create economic impact.  

In addition to their external efforts, Google employees demonstrate the company’s internal commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs. Jeana Jorgensen—senior director and product marketer at Google Cloud—is a pioneer for the empowerment of women in tech. As the power talk panelist at the “Fortune 100 Lunch and Learn Series”, Jorgenson facilitated access by sharing the “Trifecta Approach to Building Strategic Relationships with Google”.

According to the World Economic Forum, addressing gender inequality post-pandemic will be substantially more difficult than it is today. Intervention in the present is more pressing than ever—which is why companies must ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are key pillars in their plans for recovering from COVID-19. Google’s pledge to this movement comes at a crucial time and serves as a role model for other corporation’s role in the empowerment of women in technology.

Learn More:

#WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn Series is an intimate and curated networking experience designed to open the doors for leading fortune companies and brands to connect with technology business builders. This intimate learning series offers a space to learn about how to do business with Fortune companies, understand their company culture, and get access to decision-makers and procurement officers.

Women in Cloud (WIC) has partnered with M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Capital Fund to launch #empowHERaccess is an annual digital advocacy campaign by Women in Cloud to generate greater economic access for women in technology. 

Campaign pillars include the following:

Last year WIC released the inaugural COVID-19 Impact Report, focused on the disruptions women in technology entrepreneurs & founders were facing, and anticipating, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report predicted that, through 2020, COVID-19 would become a major obstacle for women in tech. Leveraging the 2020 insights from the research, WIC delivered targeted programming aimed to increase economic access for tech entrepreneurs founders and to build their business skills.  

Complete the #EmpowHERaccess COVID-19 Impact Survey

A year later, we are only beginning to truly understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on women in tech. Leveraging the 2020 insights from the research, Women in Cloud delivered targeted programming aimed to create access to business development opportunities for tech entrepreneurs & founders to get economic relief and recovery for continued success.   

Calling all Female Tech Founders and Entrepreneurs!

We would like to hear from you. Tell us how the pandemic has affected your business, and how we can help you, by completing our survey by June 30, 2021.

We are inviting you to represent your business, your voice, and the impact of the pandemic to produce the insights needed to develop valuable programming and solutions to relieve your business. 

Learn more: https://www.womenincloud.com/empowheraccess-campaign/

#empowHERaccess

Experiences are changing in every aspect of community engagement and event execution with the current landscape. The upcoming Women in Cloud Digital Summit 2021, themed “Collective Power” to be held on an interactive virtual platform, is designed with a core intention to create infinite access to people, programs, and organizations to fuel economic development and diversity. 

The event intends to spark ideas through thought-leadership sessions, workshops, and demos to help attendees increase their personal and professional power, and offers unique opportunities to take part in leadership-based growth experiences and activations. The Summit sets the stage for corporations, organizations, and legislatures to meet with founders and leaders in the tech industry to drive policy changes and unlock economic opportunities.

Throughout the three days, Digital Summit attendees will hear from inspirational speakers, connect and communicate with industry leaders and experts, and network with other community members and entrepreneurs. 

This year our volunteer program has evolved into an immersive learning experience to unlock “Collective Power” for those involved. Our volunteers will be highlighted as #WiCAmbassadors and receive the following benefits:

  • Become part of the inner circle of WiC Community & be recognized as a #WiCAmbassador
  • Learn transferable digital skills for community engagement
  • Access job opportunities, mentors, executives, and influencers
  • Gain real-time digital skilling to increase your market value through the WiC Volunteer Course Completion
  • Gain access to a free course & free goodies
  • Take part in a structured way of contributing your time and talent
  • Receive a certificate of completion and engage closely with planning team, speakers, sponsors and attendees
  • One (1) Complimentary Premium Access Ticket (January 27 – 30, 2021)
  • 15% Discount Code for your network

The intention of the utilizing this structured way of contribution of time and talent is not only to have our #WiCAmbassadors show up well in the virtual event experience, but also to gain transferable digital skills for community and event engagement. 

Approved volunteer applicants will undergo an online course and training session. Outcomes include:

  • Be empowered with the knowledge you need to successfully explain WiC’s mission and the Summit theme 
  • Understand how to use the virtual event platforms that will be featured at the 2021 Digital Summit
  • Know how to confidently provide support and show up well as an ambassador of Women in Cloud

Roles include:

  • Concierge Desk 
  • Digital Network Engagement (January 2021)
  • Virtual Photographer 
  • Chat Moderator 
  • Digital Network Engagement
  • Social Media Support

*All roles above are for Summit days (January 27 – 30, 2021)

Who can apply: 

  • College students
  • Women ready to enter tech industry
  • Women who want to expand their network

Interested in taking part in this unique experience and gain bragging rights as a #WiCAmbassador? 

Our Collective Power begins now.

Click here to apply today! Act Now – Deadline to apply is December 15, 2020.