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Innovative women: Changing the world with ideas

By Erika Ebsworth-Goold, WashU Public Affairs

Meet WashU women innovators and entrepreneurs — faculty, students and alums — who are changing the world with ideas.

Washington University in St. Louis is an ardent supporter of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout our region. The university is a founder of the Cortex Innovation Community and an anchoring presence there. WashU implements curricula focused on best practices, provides seed funding and technology commercialization support, offers networking and mentorship opportunities and provides real-time, real-world support, not only across campus but to the community at large. The university is committed to nurturing innovators and entrepreneurs along every step of their journey, wherever it may take them.

That journey can present particular challenges for women. For many, the struggle is real when it comes to startup success and funding: research shows that less than 10 percent of venture-capital-backed startups are founded by women. There are myriad reasons, not the least of which is gender bias — and, in many cases, a lack of inclusivity in general. In spite of these obstacles, women innovators are beginning to make strides, even in male-dominated fields such as tech and medical research. As a society, we still have a long way to go. Washington University is committed to doing its part to narrow the gender gap.

Here, our women innovators and entrepreneurs stand out.

Through the WashU Women Innovate (WIN) campaign, you’ll meet WashU women — faculty, students and alums from across schools and disciplines — and hear their stories of success. You’ll learn how they’ve done it, what challenges they’ve faced along the way and the support they’ve received on their collective journeys. You’ll read how the university’s culture of innovation impacted them and learn more about the resources and programs available here.

You’ll see this special series of stories in the Record, on the university’s social channels, and here on Fuse. WIN will include regular updates on female students, faculty and alumni who are blazing new paths across a wide range of fields and industries.

Washington University is proud of these women — the youngbloods, the redefiners, the high risers, the world changers. They are launching companies, making scientific advances and becoming leaders in their fields. Most importantly, they are paving the way for other women to navigate their own entrepreneurial journeys.

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