Following her time serving as a Goldhirsh fellow on Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s Tech team, Nancy Perlman launched “The Elevate Project” (now FourthWave) in 2016, in partnership with the Mayor’s Tech Council. The intention was to model a mentor program in Los Angeles for female entrepreneurs, with a focus on technology. The original mission was three-fold:
- Increase funding and success rates for female-led businesses
- Build a meaningful set of data based on the activity of entrepreneurs engaging with The Elevate Project
- Re-focus the gender lens by creating and publishing content that challenges our conscious and unconscious biases
While the obvious agenda was to help women-led businesses attain higher success rates, there were additional important goals:
- To increase diversity in the tech workforce sector.
- To bring together the multiple networks of female tech entrepreneurs & the investor community.
- To generate widespread awareness that women-led businesses are smart investment opportunities and to increase funding of women-led businesses.
- To increase overall regional investment.
- To encourage other local, national and international cities to adopt the model.
- To provide role models for girls and young women.
An analysis of more than 20,000 venture-backed companies showed that successful tech start-ups have twice as many women in senior positions as unsuccessful companies. (National Center for Women