Why Sorenson Impact's Winter Innovation Summit is Focused on Women & Minorities

By Tara Spalding, Founder and President of Hen House Ventures


Tomorrow kick's off Sorenson Impact's Winter Innovation Summit. We are particularly excited this year, because of the Catalytic Capital Demo Day which will focus on women and minority founders.


Did you know that less than 2% of the $1.1Bn venture capital raised in Utah in 2017 went to women-founded companies? Sorenson Impact, along with the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, are diligently working to tackle this issue of underfunded and under-supported women and minority entrepreneurs, by providing this demo to prospective investors.


Globally, the reality isn't any better. "In 2018, all female founders put together received $10 billion less in funding than one e-cigarette company, Juul, took in by itself." Quote from Fortune Magazine's piece, Funding For Female Founders Stalled at 2.2% of VC Dollars in 2018.


"It’s a stunning statistic—made possible by an unusual $12.8 billion corporate investment in Juul—but it shows how investors can go all in when a company or category catches their eye. That didn’t happen in 2018 for U.S. female founders, who raised $2.88 billion (in 2018) split across 482 teams, according to data from PitchBook and All Raise, the organization supporting women in venture capital and startups. That’s 2.2% of the $130 billion total in venture capital money invested over the year—the exact same percentage that Fortune reported for 2017. (And a decline from a 2.53% number PitchBook reported more recently for that year after recategorizing some 2017 deals.)"


For those women and minority founders who are considering fundraising in 2020, you are invited to attend Sorensen Impact’s Catalytic Capital Demo Day on Thursday, February 6, 2020. This event is open to the public and is a great experience and great exposure to local companies that are making progress in their industries. Reserve your ticket, now.


Eleven companies from a range of technology, impact, healthcare, and consumer goods industries will be providing a 7-minute pitch about their company’s investment opportunity and potential return.


Register now (free to the public)

February 6, 2020

3pm - 5:30pm

University of Utah

Auditorium 1425, Garff Executive Education Building



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