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Silicon Valley startup Guild expands to Europe and Asia to change the odds for female entrepreneurs


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 19 November 2019 00:00


 


By Freddy Nurski

A new entrepreneurship academy program paired with artificial intelligence and 1:1 meetings is building a global community to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

On 19 November, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, the digital networking platform for offline and online connections Guild is opening their doors to Europe and Asia!

Building a direct bridge between Europe, Asia and Silicon Valley, the Guild offers female entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to combine the best of Silicon Valley’s experts and methodologies with the European approach to building successful businesses. Tuesday 19 November marks the date when the Guild membership services expand to new regions and applications open to the guild Academy, the first global entrepreneurship program to serve the underserved and close the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

The newly-established Guild Academy entrepreneurship program focuses on supporting women to take the leap into entrepreneurship by equipping them with the best tools and knowledge, peer support and access to leading experts. 

The Guild academy has created global alliances with big brands like WeWork Labs, Outsite, iFundWomen and Zazmic, which are excited to get behind the cause of closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship. A virtual demo day marks the end of the program with investor veterans from Lightspeed Ventures, Astia Angels, Golden Seeds, Spero Ventures, and many angel investors who already signed up to judge the pitches and award $20k software development prize by partner company Zazmic. Applications are open now and close on 1 January 2020. The first program starts on 13 January 2020.

“I’m excited to bring this important program and community to Europe and Asia. I see so many new opportunities in building a more diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. Not only will this lead to the tackling of more diverse challenges, it will also create more equality in many other domains, like female health. By having women build companies, they will focus more on female issues. Femtech is one of my favorite new verticals, in which mostly women are performing truly pioneering work in this long neglected field. Building on my personal experience with the US as well as the European startup ecosystem, I believe combining the best of both worlds can create magic and that is exactly what the Guild is about, creating more and better scalable businesses, run by women,” said The Guild Head of Global Expansion Yonca Braeckman.



Belgium

The Guild is joining forces with a number of leading Belgian startup support organisations in order to help advance female entrepreneurship. Although, a growing number of initiatives focus on getting more women into entrepreneurship, data reveals alarming trends for female entrepreneurs. In Belgium, gender distribution of female founders in Belgium is only 9.9% according to the European Startup Monitor scoring even lower than the EU average 15.6%.

The first Guild event will be organized in Ghent on 19 November in the presence of the local Guild team and Ambassador Béatrice de Mahieu.

“As a woman working for many years in the tech industry, I got very used to being the exception in the room. I do believe having more women build businesses will have a positive impact on our society and will help to tackle more diverse issues. As the Guild Ambassador in Belgium I look forward to inspiring other women to take the step,” said Co.Station CEO Béatrice de Mahieu.



The Guild

The Guild is built on the belief that the whole is more powerful than the sum of its pieces. By connecting the right people through ethical artificial intelligence and building a purpose driven global community, the Guild leverages a unique combination of technology and human capital to create a modern guild for women to connect and grow in their careers, step into entrepreneurship and find encouragement and inspiration to lead. Much like the medieval guilds, the modern Guild unites novices and masters and shares the knowledge and expertise of their members for the purpose of growing as a community.

“Guild/gild/noun – a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants; an organisation of people formed for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.”

“We are proud to bring our network to a global audience and do our part in closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship. We assembled global innovators and some of Silicon Valley’s most reputable and relevant experts on building successful companies to share their knowledge with a global community of women and the next generation of female entrepreneurs,” said The Guild Founder and CEO Anne Cocquyt.

In the new Guild Academy, experts like J Li, Jon Littman, Eileen Brewer, Chris Yeh, Mercedes Bent and many more that the Guild team sourced from its 20,000 members in the US will share their expertise in easy to digest video modules and help answer any questions in live video sessions that any of the 50 applicants can attend during the 12-week entrepreneurship journey.  The program rivals other online courses due to its unique design, high touch, peer accountability groups and support through the prominent experts as well as the Guild team, comprised of serial entrepreneurs, startup mentors and advisors. 

A virtual demo day marks the end of the program with investor veterans from Lightspeed Ventures, Astia Angels, Golden Seeds, Spero Ventures, and many angel investors who already signed up to judge the pitches and award $20k software development prize by partner company Zazmic. Applications are open now and close on 1 January 2020. The first program starts on 13 January 2020.

For established entrepreneurs who have received first rounds of funding the Guild offers access to quarterly founder funder programs and to their peers locally, regionally and globally in order for them to build a strong network and get information on important market trends, legal and financial considerations and funding opportunities before they raise new rounds of funding and expand to new markets.

Through the Guild platform leaders, innovators and founders find peers, mentors and the opportunity to teach the next generation of women to learn, connect and grow together while never losing sight of self-care. Curated 1:1 introductions that fit members’ schedules create a new way of engaging with the modern guild of women supporting women.

[Freddy Nurski has a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and has more than 30 years international experience in digitisation of business processes: general management, sales and account management and consultancy. Freddy is Honorary Chairman of the KU Leuven Faculty of Business and Economics Alumni organisation (Ekonomika Alumni vzw), and Director of Alumni Lovanienses. He also is the Host for the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Belgium and founder of the Foundation GEN Belgium.]


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