GIST TechConnect: Investing in Women

Program Description

Historically, investment in women-led startup has been low. But the paradigm is shifting by women investors actively financing women-led ventures. This gender-lens investing model is increasing access to resources and capital for women across the globe – increasing gender inclusion in investment, access to capital and reshaping investor communities. As a result, women entrepreneurs are able to scale and grow their startups to new heights.

Join our next GIST TechConnect interactive webchat on Tuesday, July 10 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. UTC) and talk with an expert panel of women investors about why it is important to invest in women founders. The panel will highlight how they identify, fund and support women entrepreneurs.

You can ask the live panel of experts your questions by using the chatbox to the right of the video player. You can also send your questions to the panel by using #GISTTechConnect on Twitter.


Why Participate

- Listen to a panel of experts discuss women investing in women-led startups

- Ask the experts your questions about how to identify and support women entrepreneurs

- Learn how investing in women can strengthen your local entrepreneurial community


Speaker Biographies

Gwen Edwards

Trustee and Co-Chair, Angel Resource Institute

Gwen brings more than 30 years of experience building products, services, and profitable business units in high technology sectors. From Stanford Research Institute to Fortune 50 executive (SBC, Nortel Networks, Bell Canada, to Venture Capital backed technology start up CEO and advisor), she unites the knowledge of successful brands, experience with scale, and the skills of managing innovation. Since 2001, Gwen has been working in advisory capacities with angel and venture backed companies assisting with capital formation, key milestone achievement to enhance value, developing target market strategies, cultivating customer input, and assisting in the execution of key deliverables.


Elissa Freiha

Founder, Womena

Elissa Freiha is an angel investor, speaker and founder of WOMENA, an angel network and platform for diversity in Entrepreneurship. An active angel with more than 40 investments, she has won numerous awards including being the first female recipient of Investor of the Year at the StartUp Awards. She is frequently listed by media, most notably by the BBC as one of their 30 women under 30, and by Arabian Business as one of the 100 most influential Arabs. Elissa received her BA in Global Communications from the American University of Paris, the city in which she was born and raised.


Hillina Kebede

Partner, Score 3 Angels

Hilina is a partner at Score 3, an organization focused on creating Social, Financial and Knowledge Capital for woman and minority founders. Intense focus on entrepreneurial inclusion and social impact allows Score 3 to uncover lucrative opportunities for early stage investors. Hilina is an advisor at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at University of Maryland, a mentor at the Founder Institute and volunteer organizer at TEDx MidAtlantic.
Hilina has spent over 10 years leading technology and business transformation for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of Innovation, Product Development, Digital Strategy, eCommerce, Retail Merchandising, CRM and Supply Chain Management. Hilina is motivated by an intense desire to learn and make the world a better place by solving problems that matter to markets and to society. She is passionate about people, design, technology and transforming ideas into products that matter


Christina Tamer, Chat Expert

Program Officer, VentureWell

Christina works directly with VentureWell’s early stage innovators as they move to high-growth startups seeking their first round of investment capital. Christina’s role includes running VentureWell’s investment-readiness training, ASPIRE, as well as investment activity. Previously, she worked with a seed-stage impact investment fund. The experiences there now allow her to support VentureWell’s startups with real-world examples of what to do and what not to do on the path to commercialization. She holds a BS in Marketing and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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