AWIS Intentional Investing

Expand your perspective and your portfolio

Advance the STEM Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, One Investor at a Time

We help investors make funding decisions that include STEM women, maximize opportunity for high ROI, and improve their corporate citizenship. This is called intentional investing. It creates a scenario where everyone wins.

Today, fewer than 5% of all ventures receiving equity capital have women on their executive teams. However, 38% of new U.S. businesses are started by women, whose startups generate 12% higher revenues and 35% higher return on investment than men-owned startups when venture-backed. Investors are missing opportunities.


“Enormous untapped investment opportunity exists for venture capitalists smart enough to look at the numbers and fund women entrepreneurs.”

– Candida G. Brush, Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership
at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Babson College

Program Information


Location and Dates

2020 TBD
(Please contact us for more information)

Past Workshops
October 11, 2017 (DC)
December 1, 2017 (San Francisco)
March 2, 2018 (Chicago)

July 17-18, 2019 (Seattle)




1pm-4pm, followed by networking reception



All S2M programs are free to accepted participants, thanks to funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — the premier institution dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed and improving entrepreneurship ecosystems for everyone.

About AWIS Intentional Investing

In a half-day session, S2M: AWIS Intentional Investing hosts leading members of the investment community in a confidential and curated dialogue surrounding the benefits of an inclusive and innovative portfolio. Participants will privately discuss the benefits and challenges of investing in companies founded by STEM women. Facilitated by investors and experts, participating investors will develop action items for addressing challenges and gain the necessary tools to fund the frontier of STEM entrepreneurship.

The session culminates in a guided networking reception with entrepreneurs vested by S2M: The AWIS Accelerator and pre-vetted by investors and founders on our Advisory Board. Investors and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship, guided by STEM to Market, following the event. Both groups are supported by STEM to Market staff and other intentional investors as they work toward achieving their goals.

“Earlier this year, I began looking to make returns-focused investments in women-led VC funds. Not because it’s a nice thing to do, but because there are smart investments to be made and big returns to be had. I hope that other investors will follow suit.”

– Melinda Gates on her new company, Pivotal Ventures

Hear from AWIS Intentional Investors

Ramphis Castro


“The only way to have access to the most impactful technologies as an investor is through equal opportunity to participate for all members of society in all STEM endeavors.”

Ramphis Castro

Melissa Bradley

Sidecar Social Finance

“…It is extremely important that STEM entrepreneurship continues to grow in order to create jobs, economic security and wealth for society, especially as the demographic changes continue.”

Melissa Bradley
Sidecar Social Finance

Jennifer McCullar

Innovation Development

“Diversity and equity translates to sustainability for companies.”

Jennifer McCullar
Innovation Development

Jonathan Sposato

Angel Investor

“Let’s fund and create the next generation of great tech titans. A generation of tech titans that includes women will create even better products, better culture, and a better future.”

Jonathan Sposato
Angel Investor

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the program?

  • Maximize opportunities for high ROI
  • Learn first about ground-breaking commercial science
  • Lead a new entrepreneurship frontier
  • Get accountability tools and a concrete roadmap to spark change in your organization
  • Support from experts and other intentional investors as you implement your roadmap
  • Mentor talented STEM entrepreneurs
  • Build innovative networks with investors, STEM entrepreneurs, and experts
  • Influence positive change

What does S2M: AWIS Intentional Investing cost?

The program is free to accepted participants, thanks to funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — the premier institution dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed and improving entrepreneurship ecosystems for everyone.

What is AWIS?
Founded in 1971, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the largest multi-disciplinary and cross-sector organization supporting women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. From our policy work on the Hill to the research we conduct, and the programming we offer, AWIS has a demonstrated record of advancing the success of women in STEM. For 46 years, AWIS has been driving positive change in systems and organizations through research-based advocacy, leadership and talent development, and best practices directed at broadening participation in STEM. With 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM and members, academic and corporate partners, allies, and supporters worldwide, AWIS is a powerful global partner for people and organizations seeking solutions to advance women’s contributions to science and society.
Am I expected to invest as part of this program?
No, there is no obligation or expectation that participants will invest in AWIS, STEM to Market, or any of the entrepreneurs.
Can you tell me more about the mentoring component?
Participating investors have the opportunity to participate in five hours of mentoring over the course of five months with a STEM entrepreneur from S2M: The AWIS Accelerator. The investors are not expected to invest financially in the entrepreneurs, but commit to provide advice, feedback, and guidance on their entrepreneurial action plans. In return, entrepreneurs will provide insight to the investors on key action items they develop as part of AWIS Intentional Investing. Both groups are supported by STEM to Market staff and other intentional investors as they work toward achieving their goals.
What is STEM to Market: The AWIS Accelerator?
S2M: The AWIS Accelerator is a rigorous, five-month virtual accelerator program for STEM women with commercializable research expertise. Guided by advanced entrepreneurs, business analysts, and investors on our Advisory Board, entrepreneurs grow their businesses and develop entrepreneurship action plans to guide their work after the program is complete.
Who are the entrepreneurs in my region?
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A project of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) 1667 K Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 588-8175


© 2017 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.

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