WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture-backed women-led enterprises
are moving well beyond start-up stages of corporate formation to revenue
generation, and almost 20 percent report profitability, according to
Springboard Enterprises, whose program for women entrepreneurs has helped
raise $1.76 billion in equity capital for women-led companies.
Since Springboard's launch in 2000, 250 women CEOs and founders have
participated in the non-profit organization's pioneering venture programs for
women entrepreneurs. 197 of the 250 companies that have presented at
Springboard Venture Forums continue to grow, and 97 have raised over $1
billion in venture capital following their participation in a Springboard
A recent survey of Springboard Alumnae, conducted by Springboard and
McKinsey and Co., showed that 83 responding Springboard companies are
generating an average of $3.4 million in revenues, and 19 percent have already
achieved positive cash flow or profitability. An additional 16 percent
forecast profitability by the end of 2004. Companies reported raising an
average of $7.6 million in equity.
"High survival and growth rates among Springboard's funded companies
validate the Springboard experience as being crucial not just for getting
women into the game, but also for keeping them there," said Kay Koplovitz,
Board Chair of Springboard, the DC non-profit.
According to the survey, a significant 14 percent of Springboard Alumnae
companies have broken out of the pack to grow more rapidly. Not surprisingly,
these breakout companies generally demonstrate longer operating histories than
their sisters. Of 11 companies with annual revenues above $5 million, all but
one have five or more years of operations and most were founded by serial
entrepreneurs, such as SatisFusion Founder and Chairman Fay Wood. One of 20
percent of Springboard Alumnae with more than three previous start-ups, Wood
raised over $15 million in equity and led her four-year-old Long Beach, CA,
aftermarket sales and support infrastructure company to profitability.
SatisFusion experienced double digit revenue growth in 2002. Marquee
customers, more than 100 employees and rapid revenue growth resulted in a
recent successful strategic merger with a subsidiary of Warranty Corporation
of America (WaCA), the largest independent extended service contract
administrator in the United States.
A substantial number of Springboard Alumnae (69 percent) are serial
entrepreneurs, with 35 percent having three or more entrepreneurial
Over 75 percent of Springboard Alumnae hold advanced or professional
degrees; 39 percent hold M.B.A.s, and 21 percent hold Ph.Ds.
Springboard alum Fran Bartlett of Dallas is leading her 3rd successful
venture, Federal Liaison Services, Inc. (FLS). This profitable compliance
services company was founded 15 years ago, with current revenues in the range
of $10 to $20 million. Bartlett raised $1 million in equity following the
Springboard experience and is seeking an additional $5 to $10 million to take
the company rapidly to the next level of growth. Serial entrepreneurship may
be inherited: Among FLS's more than 75 employees is Bartlett's daughter,
Carrissa Adams, who currently serves as Senior Account Manager. Adams was one
of FLS' first employees and has filled several support and management roles
for the company.
With profitability on the horizon as it pushes out of the product
development stage and into operations, biophotonic imaging company Xenogen of
Alameda, CA, is led by serial entrepreneur Pamela Contag Ph.D. Founded in
1995, Xenogen participated in the first Springboard Venture Forum and has
raised over $80 million from multiple sources. Now commercializing its
technology, Xenogen employs more than 100 people and its annual revenues
exceed $16 million.
Not every Springboard star is a serial entrepreneur. Janet Kraus, the CEO
of loyalty management solutions company Circles, Boston, MA, created a now-
profitable company reporting nearly $20 million in revenues and more than 100
employees. In her sixth year as an entrepreneur, this Stanford MBA has raised
more than $27 million, $10 million after presenting at Springboard's New
England 2000 Venture Forum. Her top tier backers include TL Ventures, Trident
Capital and Axxon Capital.
Since the first Springboard Venture Forum in 2000, 33 percent of the women
entrepreneurs have left the companies they founded. "This is not unusual when
the entrepreneurial demands shift to operational issues, and controls become
as important as sparks," commented Amy Millman, president of Springboard
Enterprises. "But Springboard's serial entrepreneurs are a highly
credentialed farm team for corporate America's next wave of entrepreneurs.
"To keep pace with their growth, Springboard has expanded the services it
provides to its Alumnae, providing them with continued access to investors and
experts," said Millman. "We want to support these talented women in managing
their present companies and taking their future opportunities to optimum
levels of success."
And this support is even more critical given the fact that, according to
the National Venture Capital Association, the total number of companies
obtaining venture funding declined in 2002 by more than 25 percent. Venture
One, a source of data on investments in firms led by women, suggests
investments in women led firms have declined as well.
"Springboard Alumnae over the past two years have demonstrated a high
overall survival rate, with a significant percentage showing substantial
revenue growth. This validation of our selection and training process in the
midst of an abysmal economy demonstrates that the Springboard experience, our
network and ongoing coaching opportunities will pay off for women
entrepreneurs, investors, and the economy in general," observed Millman.
SOURCE Springboard Enterprises