Project Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women access to the tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies. We’ll reach this goal through a multi-faceted national initiative that includes this robust digital hub, multi-city events, a venture competition, and a 5-week accelerator program.
Rent the Runway co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss – in partnership with UBS – are on a mission: to break traditional barriers in women’s paths and democratize the knowledge and resources necessary to build impactful ventures.
Having raised over $100 million in venture capital funding for Rent the Runway (which has 5 million members to date), Jenn and Jenny have revolutionized the fashion retail industry and want to encourage other women to establish their own disruptive businesses.
Women start companies at a rate 1.5 times the national average but account for less than 10 percent of founders at high-growth firms*; while the passion and talent clearly exists, barriers stand in the way of women maximizing the economic significance of their efforts. That’s where Project Entrepreneur comes in.
To ensure the inclusion and engagement of women from a variety of backgrounds, our community advisors offer insight into specific opportunities and outreach to the populations they support.
Thank you to this trailblazing group of luminaries, entrepreneurs, investors, community and philanthropic leaders who provide Project Entrepreneur with advice and support.
Adam Sloan is Executive at Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Aileen Lee is Founder and Partner at Cowboy Ventures
Andrew Yang is Founder of Venture for America
Angela Lee is Associate Dean and Chief Innovation Officer at Columbia Business School
Babak (Bo) Yaghmaie is Partner at Cooley LLP
Caroline Ghosn is Founder and CEO of Levo League
Chad Womack is National Director, HBCU, Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Initiative
Cynthia Rubio is Founder and CEO of Radiant RFID
Eileen Lee is Chief Operating Officer at Venture for America
Fran Hauser is an early stage investor, long-time media executive and a vocal advocate for women across the globe.
Josh Mendelsohn is Managing Partner at Hangar
Katia Beauchamp is Founder of Birchbox
Kirsten Green is Founder and CEO of Forerunner Ventures
Ramona Ortega is Founder and CEO of My Money My Future and Board Member of Latino Startup Alliance
Scott Friend is Managing Director, Boston at Bain Capital Ventures
Susan Lyne is President, BBG Ventures at AOL
Rent the Runway is revolutionizing fashion by allowing millions of women to rent designer apparel and accessories. The company focuses on convenience and a top-notch customer experience on all of its platforms, including online, mobile and retail locations in Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. With styles from hundreds of top designers, RTR serves as a powerful marketing channel for the fashion industry, introducing a new generation of women to brands that they had limited access to before. Co‐founded in 2009 by Harvard Business School graduates, Rent the Runway has raised over $100 million in venture capital and has more than 5 million members across the U.S. In 2015, Rent the Runway officially launched the Rent the Runway Foundation to inspire and ignite the next generation of female entrepreneurs.
Project Entrepreneur is a program of UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs, the firm’s flagship philanthropic entrepreneurship initiative and a portfolio of partnerships and programs committed to bringing the right resources, to the right entrepreneurs, to help spur economic growth. Entrepreneurs have long served as the backbone of the American economy, and UBS is committed to delivering the firm’s resources, both financial and intellectual, to enable them to grow their companies, create jobs and contribute to their local economies.
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*Source: The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses, Womenable