Skip to main content
Northwestern University

N.Wii: Supporting Women Innovators

We know that diversity ensures we get the best innovations and increased chances of success, and N.Wii looks to bring greater diversity into the entrepreneurial ranks.”

Dimitra Georganopoulou
INVO Innovation and Commercialization Officer

Compared to their male counterparts across the broader entrepreneurial landscape, female innovators remain less likely to disclose inventions, to patent, and to engage in entrepreneurial activity.

With its Northwestern Women Innovator Initiative (N.Wii), INVO looks to challenge that global reality, discarding myths about entrepreneurship, empowering female innovation and inventorship, and increasing the number of Northwestern female faculty in the entrepreneurial ranks by 30 percent over the next three years.

With a soft launch in late 2015, N.Wii takes aim at those numbers, helping female innovators become inventors and female inventors become entrepreneurs or board members, particularly in the STEM and life science fields.

The initiative confronts two common impediments to female entrepreneurial success: uneven access to resources and the lack of a network. Through the N.Wii program, select female innovators will be pulled into the INVO ecosystem and its vast array of resources, including: connections to targeted role models and mentors; support in the pursuit of scholarly, funding, and promotional awards as well as commercialization grants; training for pitch sessions; access points to partners and investors; and guidance through the startup formation.

While the upstart INVO initiative is currently for targeted female faculty and staff members only, the long-term plan is to cover the entire Northwestern entrepreneurial pipeline from undergraduates to senior faculty and for N.Wii to broaden its reach with targeted programming designed to further drive female entrepreneurship.

Back to top