26 BIG Ideas
The city's leaders in health, science, politics, food, and culture share their game-changing ideas for San Diego in 2016.
(page 19 of 26)
Let’s encourage more women to become entrepreneurs.
Lada Rasochova, Director, mystartupXX accelerator program at UCSD
Why aren’t there more female entrepreneurs in San Diego? Rasochova says she constantly meets women who don’t think their ideas are ready. “They typically do not want to participate in startup competitions, apply for various accelerator programs, or pitch to potential investors,” she says. “They think they need to work on their startup more before they are ready and before they can be competitive. Because of that, they miss opportunities.” In 2012, Rasochova co-founded mystartupXX (“XX” as in the female chromosome) to build confidence in female entrepreneurs. At their space in UCSD’s Rady School of Management, mystartupXX holds biweekly workshops where guest speakers help teams with all aspects of building a startup, such as legal, accounting, human resources, and IT. They also host “mentor mixers,” sponsor pitch competitions and conferences, and connect entrepreneurs with potential investors. “An important part of mystartupXX accelerator is creating a community of female startup founders so they can support each other.” Rasochova and her cohorts are succeeding in their mission. Case in point: the annual UCSD startup competition, E-Challenge. “Typically, women don’t participate and the finalists are very often 100 percent males. This year, for the first time in E-Challenge history the gender ratio was 50:50, with two female-led teams from mystartupXX competing in tech track finals out of four finalists.” Now that’s a ratio we can get behind.