Four out of 10 Iowa Startup Accelerator teams have women founders, beating tech industry average

Four out of 10 Iowa Startup Accelerator teams have women founders, beating tech industry average

With 25 percent women founders, the Iowa Startup Accelerator is above the national average — but still far from 50/50. Read about how women have fared in other programs in the Midwest after the jump. In a room full of men – founders, mentors, journalists – the handful of women stood out at Monday’s Iowa Startup Accelerator team announcement. But the fact is, having four women founders among the 16 total accelerator participants actually puts the ISA above average on that metric. There’s no one data point that summarizes the gender gap for women in tech, but consider: 13 percent of venture capital-backed companies have at least one woman founder, according to Pitchbook. Only four percent of companies in one of the nation’s most established accelerators, YCombinator, are women, as reported by Forbes. Overall, 0.34 percent of men and 0.22 percent of women nationally work on their own business at least 15 hours per week, according to the latest Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity (0.12 percent might not seem like much difference, but spread across the population, it adds up.) “It was a big deal for us to at least make sure we were at least asking the question,” said Eric Engelmann, founder and managing director of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. “It’s making a statement that we want to do this in a way that is inclusive and diverse from day one.” The selection process was a balancing act between wanting to be inclusive, while also selecting the most promising teams on business potential alone, ISA staff said during the media event Monday afternoon. Four women in first ISA class: Blake Rupe, CEO…