How a Menlo Park startup accelerator is providing opportunities for women across the globe.
Written byLila Bock
Photographed byDrew Altizer
From left to right above: Gail Gannon (USMAC), Maria-Fernanda Gonzalez from MOCA (Catalonia), Els Meyvaert from Settlemint (Belgium), Melissa Kargiannakis from skritswap (Canada), Ulla Koivula from Thinglink (Finland), Bieke Van Gorp from Fibricheck (Belgium), Gentry Founder and Executive Editor Elsie Floriani, Ashleigh Kennedy from Neurovine (Canada), Zuzana Maderova from Enehano (Czech Republic), Naomi Kurahara from Infostellar (Japan), and Lara Pawlicz from 2Spark (France). Absent: Miku Hirano from Cinnamon (Japan).
Menlo Park startup accelerator US Market Access Center (USMAC) was founded to help international tech companies break into the competitive U.S. market—and beyond—through intensive coaching and support. USMAC’s proprietary methods have been successful in helping companies raise $642,000,000 in venture funding and enabling 198 startups to open a U.S. office. This past summer, USMAC chose to focus on women-led companies.
USMAC worked to design an intensive boot-camp experience for 10 globally minded entrepreneurs, culminating in a trip to the GENTRY Women In Tech Conference Presented by SAP on June 20. “We wanted to offer women innovators from around the world access to the wealth of opportunities in Silicon Valley and the celebration of women in technology at the Gentry event,” relates Alfredo Coppola, Co-CEO of USMAC. The women attended a series of workshops, networking events, and investor pitch panels. They left with skills that will help them take their businesses to the next level.
Following the success of this pilot event, USMAC plans to organize a much more ambitious program in 2020, where entrepreneurs will vie for a spot in the program by participating in pitch competitions across the globe.