February 02, 2010 08:30 ET

Astia Entrepreneurs Continue to Buck the Tough Funding Climate

Five Fundings Since January 1, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - Astia, a premier venture accelerator that targets exceptional start-ups that have women on their founding teams, has seen a significant uptake in investment activity since January 1st. Already in 2010, five clients have secured funding, including HarQen, which completed their $2.7 million Series A financing. Investors include Phenomenelle Angels Fund, Silicon Pastures, Golden Seeds Angel Fund, Midwest Capital Fund, Wisconsin Investment Partners and several prominent individuals.

"I found Astia to be a brilliant resource in connecting us not simply with investors, but an amazing cadre of talented women and Advisors. Thanks to the coaching and perspectives we gained at Astia, we received an incredibly warm reception from new investors in a relatively cold market," commented Kelly Fitzsimmons, CEO, HarQen.

The success of Astia's clients is credited to the broader Astia Community that sources, selects, and advises the companies that qualify for Astia's prestigious program.

"At Astia's 8th Annual Investor Forum the investment community was introduced to the 33 exceptional start-ups that qualified for Astia's elite showcase in Silicon Valley. Astia has truly cultivated the networks required to source and showcase the next leaders in innovation and it continues to demonstrate the investment opportunity hidden in women entrepreneurs," commented Prashant Shah, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Astia Board Chair.

In its 8th year the Forum attracts some of Silicon Valley's top venture and angel investors as well as corporations looking for the next new thing in innovation.

"The Astia Investor Forum provides a terrific place to see and meet high-potential entrepreneurs. Astia's highly competitive screening and selection process ensures that entrepreneurs are well prepared to engage with the investor community," commented Rowan E. Chapman Ph.D., Venture Partner, MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures and Forum attendee.

"I've been to many investor forums, but the number of genuine interactions I had with investors made Astia's forum stand out," said Natalie Wisniewski, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, PROFUSA.

Astia, which this year celebrates its tenth year, has cultivated a robust community of investors, entrepreneurs, corporations, and value add service providers to serve as Advisors to the chosen start-ups. The network of both men and women lend their expertise and networks to accelerate the success of the companies. "These are exceptional companies with innovative technologies; what they need is access to funding and individuals with prior experience -- a venture accelerator," notes Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia.

"As an active member of the Astia investor community that screens the companies who qualify, I continue to value the quality and consistency of the entrepreneurs we present at the Forum. These are exceptional entrepreneurs, not just for the innovation and businesses they pursue, but for the discipline that they have all put in to their plans by engaging in the Astia model," said Amanda Reed, Palomar Ventures.

The Astia model is to put companies through a rigorous screening and selection process and then once chosen, immediately into the Astia Doing it Right bootcamp where the entrepreneurs are surrounded by investors and entrepreneurs who have experience in various elements of high growth business. The companies are then paired for two months with a team of Advisors that includes an investor, CEO and others to serve as a proactive Advisory team to the companies. The companies continue to benefit from the Advisor network for the full life of the company.

"The Astia Investor Forum was a culmination of 10 intensive weeks of preparation which both challenged and enhanced Kiboo as a company, as well as myself as an entrepreneur. Astia and our Astia Advisory Team has helped prepare Kiboo not only for the Astia Investor Forum, but for the long road ahead," said Lisa Halpern, Founder & CEO, Kiboo LLC.

About Astia

Astia is a global non-profit organization that provides innovative programs to exceptional women-led start-ups. Head-quartered in San Francisco, Astia delivers programs for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, New York, London and, from 2010, India. Astia is well positioned to work with start-ups around the world as they access capital, grow their businesses, and develop the leadership of the founding team. The Astia model of engaging a community of experts to the benefit of the select start-ups it serves has resulted in an exceptional success rate; since 2003, 60% of companies that have participated in the Astia Investor Forums have secured funding or an exit within one year of presenting, raising more than $1/2 Billion and achieving 16 exits, including 2 IPOs. For more information:

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