Giving Back to Help Girls Grow In The Sciences
Going into engineering was a natural choice for me.
I’d been raised to do anything a boy could do. My Sunday dress was just that. The rest of the week I was free to play in the mud or tinker with broken appliances in the garage. It was a hands-on, bilingual childhood. I thought I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it. And I did, winning science fairs and scholarships.
By my mid-20s, I was a mechanical engineer with a PhD in biomedical engineering, a newly formed company, NanoTaxi, and a dream of delivering cancer-curing treatments to malignant cells.
I’d pitched to prospective investors on both coasts, determined that my startup required more capital than I could raise, and then focused on the fascinating opportunities being created by technology startups. I began participating in “angel investing” discussions that provided seed money to startups. I immersed myself in technology entrepreneurial culture.
I was one of those rare women technology entrepreneurs, and I joyously celebrated whenever I met another woman in the field. During those years of study and startup, I never encountered another Hispanic female technology entrepreneur.
So imagine how exciting it was to be invited to join Springboard Enterprises, a nonprofit resource hub of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to building high growth, technology-oriented companies led by women. Hundreds of women-led companies have participated in Springboard’s accelerator efforts in the U.S. and abroad since its inception in 2000, raising over $7 billion, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and making it abundantly clear that increasing investment in women-led companies is an economic imperative. In Springboard, I finally found a brimming network of peers, role models and advisors who were elevating women entrepreneurs and breaking down barriers to funding. The lessons I gained from Springboard, I was determined to give back.
I’d love to hear from you about your educational experiences. Were you encouraged to explore and learn when you were younger? How did your parents help foster your sense of discovery? Thank you for sharing.