Startup events for women. Who, why, where, how?

18 Oct 2014
| Last update: 22 Sep 2015

Women are inspired by other women’s success. In the tech world, most women can feel intimidated by men, since tech world is seen as a men’s world. Still, women are great leaders, have a natural know-how of negotiation techniques, and are overall better at socialization. To encourage them to enter the tech world, in the last few years, there were constantly organized startup events that targeted women only. Let’s see how did the startup world change, now that more women want to be part of it.

Startup events for women

The first startup event for women

Startup Weekend organized in 2009 for the first time the “Women’s Edition”. It had the same format as all the other startup weekends, but the main difference was that it was organized by women, the mentors had to be women, and the sponsors were organizations that focused on women. Men could have participated too, but only if a woman would have invited them. This is a big change for startup events.

After the first Startup Weekend Women’s Edition, the startup weekend team partnered with Women 2.0, which is a community for women that want to start a career in technology, and they also organize conferences. From 2009 until now, these type of startup events have grown the female number of participants.

What other startup events for women are out there?

  • This year, on March 1, the well-known Y Combinator organized the first Female Founders Conference. The conference idea was to encourage women to begin a startup, by organizing an event where they will hear about other women’s experiences, and get advice for them.
  • Startup Weekend is, of course, organized in all parts of the world. North Dakota, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, Kiev, Stuttgart, Tokyo, or Melbourne are just some of the cities where you’ll be able to join a startup weekend for women.
  • The Triangle Startup Weekend, which will take place between 10-12 October, in Raleigh, North Carolina, will offer women a 54 hour practice of experiencing entrepreneurship, coaching, and actual collaboration with the other participants.
  • Startup Phenomenon Women is a one-day type of event (or was, because it took place on September 3rd). It was an event meant to celebrate women that make an impact in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and also share women’s perspective on the business world.

Are startup events for women a good idea?

In my opinion, these type of events are great, as they introduce women in a world that is mostly dominated by men. As a woman, I find it intimidating to join an environment of which I know I won’t feel confident about. But if I went to an event where successful women would tell their story, and encourage others to follow their dreams, things would change. This a huge step for women to make, when they don’t know what experts to talk to, or where to meet them.

The only way other women can be inspired, is talking to women that managed to succeed. To quote Claire Topalian, who is a communications manager at Startup Weekend, “we must continue to share the stories of female leaders to re-define the archetypal “male entrepreneur” figure that permeates startup culture, or we risk isolating a much needed voice in the entrepreneurial movement – a movement that must be dynamic and collaborative in order to be truly sustainable“.

What do you think about startup events for women? Are they a good idea? If you’re a woman, would you join one? Let me know in the comments.  

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Ana Darstaru

Content Writer at Squirrly
Ana has a strong sense of pragmatism and realism. Aside from the articles she writes for our lovely clients, she also loves testing new beauty products, and is obsessed with Pulp Fiction.
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  • Laura

    October 23, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    Hi Ana! to

    I loved you article!

    I think our path (women’s path) to successful entrepreneurship is so different that men’s. Our obstacles and challenges are, I think, bigger or maybe less explored, and this is why some of the most amazing women entrepreneurs give up and start working 9-5.

    I want to create a community in NYC that will meet once in a while and support each other.

    What do you think about the idea?

    Thanks and again, great article!

    • Ana Darstaru

      October 23, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Thank you, Laura! I’m really glad you liked my article! I have to agree with you. Women face more obstacles than men as entrepreneurs, but I think we have the power to do amazing things. Your idea sounds great! A community of women entrepreneurs is a great start to help women get in contact with each other, exchange ideas, and really make a difference. You can create the community on

      PS: I really love the name of your website! I shared it on Twitter as well.