Professor Sarah Kaplan, University of Toronto

Increasing attention – both in the scholarly literature and in the world of policy makers and practitioners – is being paid to the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. What was once assumed to be a merit-based system for encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurs is now understood to operate in gendered ways that in many cases disadvantage female founders. These effects occur across the entire pipeline, beginning with the dearth of women seeking to start high growth companies, to the lack of funding opportunities and mentorship. There are substantial differences in the number of startups led by women, their levels of relevant experience and the amount of funding – both debt and equity – they seek and receive. Some have argued that women tend to found lower potential startups. Yet, even controlling for quality, we see many implicit biases in how female founders are treated. One important approach to redressing inequalities might be through the use of accelerators. Entrepreneurship accelerators are proliferating in both developed and developing economies as different cities, regions and sectors seek to increase economic growth and employment. Accelerators are designed to give a boost to startups by providing in a concentrated way the mentorship, networks, training and financing required to be successful. The presence of accelerators could have the potential to solve some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face, however preliminary evidence suggests that they, for the most part, seem to be perpetuating the gendered dynamics that exist in the entrepreneurial system. On the other hand, there is no systematic research on how accelerators do or might address the gendered dynamics of entrepreneurship. Because accelerators are seen as such an important policy tool for increasing entrepreneurial success, it is imperative that we develop and analyse systematic data on accelerators and their effects, particularly on female founders. In this study, we will draw on what is known to date on female entrepreneurs and more broadly on the research on gender in organisations and the economy to understand the dynamics of acceleration in entrepreneurship. Using a longitudinal database of over 3,000 ventures in nearly 50 accelerators, we trace the effects of selection into the accelerator and the acceleration process on outcomes for women-only, women-led, and male-only venture teams. We couple survey data with interviews of accelerators to understand whether and when acceleration can be a tool for mitigating gender bias in female entrepreneurship.

Speaker bio

Sarah Kaplan is Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She is author of the New York Times business bestseller, Creative Destruction, challenging the notion of sustainable competitive advantage and the myth of excellence, and the recently released Survive and Thrive: Winning Against Strategic Threats to Your Business. Her work has focused on generating insights that can help companies avoid this cultural lock-in and innovate at the pace and scale of the market. Her current research continues this exploration of how organisations participate in and respond to the emergence of new fields and technologies. She recently authored “Gender Equality as an Innovation Challenge” in the Rotman Magazine (2017), “The Risky Rhetoric of Female Risk Aversion” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (2016), “Meritocracy: From Myth to Reality” in the Rotman Management Magazine (2015), and “The Rise of Gender Capitalism,” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (2014).

Formerly a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she remains a Senior Fellow; and a consultant and innovation specialist for nearly a decade at McKinsey & Company in New York, she completed her doctoral research at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

There will be a light lunch served at the start of the session.

Contact Luke Slater if you wish to arrange a meeting with Sarah during her visit

Address

Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Date & time

Date: 17 October 2017
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 13:45

Audience

Open to: Members of the University of Cambridge

Category: ,

 

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Event location


Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Event timings

Date: 17 October 2017
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 13:45