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Fourthwave | FourthWave Los Angeles
Find out about our latest LA-based Cohort Program for female entrepreneurs. FourthWave: Capital. Growth. Women-led Start-up Success.
FourthWave Los Angeles, Female Technology Founders, LA, Female Entrepreneurs LA
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Los Angeles


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:


  1. Increase funding and success rates for female-led businesses
  2. Build a meaningful set of data based on the activity of entrepreneurs engaging with The Elevate Project
  3. 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


Now rebranded as FourthWave, we are creating unique alliances with Mayoral offices and City Governments to support our mission of empowering female-led businesses. We’re thrilled to have Sacramento as our first sister city!


Today in partnering with FourthWave, Los Angeles has helped us understand that Mayors and City governments are seen as role models for empowering female-led businesses. Local government can have tremendous impact on our communities, especially on how we perceive each other and how we interact with one another. We work closely with the Mayoral offices and City Councils to increase policy advancements for female entrepreneurs.


FourthWave provides the mechanism of connecting female entrepreneurs with high-impact mentors, thereby increasing founders’ chances of success. The more we can level the playing field for women in tech, by cultivating better business plans, strategic alliances, requisite capital, etc., the better for our cities’ innovation ecosystems. Bringing greater investment to women-led start-ups creates a more robust funding climate, fueling more businesses, jobs and economic growth.


In Los Angeles, our founding city, we are creating a pipeline, beginning with universities, through VCs and beyond. Strategic fostering and funding of female-led businesses is the path to greater success rates for our entrepreneurs.


Women-led private tech companies achieve 35% higher ROI than male-led companies

(Business Insider, February 2015).

New programs for 2017 are in development.


We tested various formats for cultivating mentor relationships and determined that we had the highest impact through workshops with small cohorts, as well as by hosting intimate community dinners. Our program continues to evolve and we are expanding with our Sacramento launch, tracking to become a bona fide accelerator for women-led businesses.


Check back here in the coming weeks as we populate the stories and profiles of our first year in LA. We’ll be releasing a new call for applicants in LA in the near future.