SelectUSA Investment Summit 2021: Select Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network Call for Applications Now Open!

March 8, 2021

by Jacqueline Vitello, Deputy Director of Programs and Events, SelectUSA, International Trade Administration

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2021 SelectU

Calling all mentors and mentees! This June, as part of the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, we are thrilled to launch the Select Global Women in Tech (SGWIT) mentorship network. Applications for mentors and mentees are open now until the start of the Summit. This new mentorship network will introduce international female tech entrepreneurs to the U.S. market with the support of SelectUSA’s traditional data and counseling services as well new training opportunities. The SelectUSA team is proud to bring together resources from across the United States to support international female entrepreneurs in their U.S. investment journey.

SGWIT is a virtual platform designed to support mentorship and learning. Mentees will be matched with mentors based on their goals, respective industries and expertise. Mentors will be selected from across the U.S. startup ecosystem based on their interest in supporting female-run businesses. Participants are asked to commit to at least three one-on-one virtual meetings over the course of the six-month program, at least one progress update check-in, and then a final meeting to follow up and decide on next steps. Both mentors and mentees will benefit from the one-on-one relationship as they build new skills, make new contacts, ignite new ideas, achieve their goals, and reinvigorate their own work.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving as a mentor or the opportunity to be a mentee, check out the information below.

Mentees: Female founders interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity should apply to attend the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit and indicate interest in the mentorship network during the application process.

Mentee qualifications:

Participants interested in applying for the SGWIT Mentorship and Training Network must fit the following criteria:

  • Company headquarters must be based outside of the United States and the company must be
    • Less than 8 years old
    • Up to $10 million in revenue
    • Up to 40 employees
  • Mentee applicants must identify as female
  • Company must be developing a new technology product or service, or delivering an existing technology to a market in new ways

Note: Mentees must be approved as 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit participants.

Mentors:  SGWIT mentors are U.S.-based successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, venture capitalists, angel investors, and attorneys interested in supporting international female founders in their efforts to achieve their U.S. expansion goals. Mentors will be asked to be a sounding board and offer suggestions to help mentees overcome the challenges they face in scaling, promoting, fundraising and generally establishing their business in the United States. Note that U.S. government employees and economic development organization officials may not serve as mentors but may support the network via educational content contributions.

If you are interested in participating as a mentor, please fill out this form.

Note: All mentors must be vetted by SelectUSA before being confirmed.

The SelectUSA team looks forward to welcoming both mentors and mentees to this new network and to supporting the growth of female-run businesses around the world.

SelectUSA is the U.S. government program housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raising awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $81 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 100,000 U.S. jobs. While SelectUSA offers assistance to companies of all sizes and sectors, we recognize that certain types of companies, including small women-run businesses abroad, require different and more specific types of support. Female entrepreneurs, especially those in the developing world, often lack access to markets, market information, networks, mentorship, and other resources that enable them to overcome the obstacles of starting and growing firms as well as connecting with financing opportunities. Alongside access to capital, networks have emerged as the most important driver for women’s entrepreneurial success. Multiple studies reveal that female founders that participate in a business network are far more likely to forecast growth for their companies.[1]

[1] EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013 Survey, EY, 2013; “Lack of Business Networks Holding British Female Entrepreneurs Back,” The Telegraph, July 2, 2018.

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