Only 7 percent of U.S. venture capital deals go to women founders and CEOs. To increase their odds of joining those ranks, Sherry Lombardi and Kerry Bowbliss turned to Astia, an accelerator program and investor network that fosters high-growth women-led startups.
"It's not about networking women to women," says Lombardi, co-founder and CEO of Hulafrog, a web platform for parents looking for local activities for their kids. "It's about getting in front of as many venture capital firms as possible." In fact, more than half the mentors, advisors and financiers Lombardi and Bowbliss met during their four months under Astia's wing in 2013 were men.