November 30, 2010 09:00 ET

Astia Announces Recipients of 2010 Astia Awards

NEA, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Alloy Ventures to Be Recognized for Investment in Women Entrepreneurs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - November 30, 2010) - Astia, the premier venture accelerator for women-led high growth companies, today announced the winners of its Awards that honor exceptional women innovators and recognize the investors and mentors who championed the success of women entrepreneurs. The Awards will be presented at the sixth annual awards ceremony taking place on December 2 at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View, Calif. The awards ceremony will once again this year be hosted by Kara Swisher who covers digital issues for The Wall Street Journal and is the co-producer and co-host of the prominent "All Things Digital" high-tech and media conference.

"At NEA, we are partners for the long term, supporting a company throughout its lifecycle and building lasting relationships with founders," commented Rohini Chakravarthy, Partner, NEA. "We know the value of a thriving entrepreneurial community, because more than one-third of our portfolio companies are led by entrepreneurs we've backed before. NEA applauds and appreciates Astia's commitment to building a flourishing entrepreneurial community and fueling the growth and success of women-led companies."

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Fenwick & West LLP, Microsoft and Moss Adams demonstrate the success of women entrepreneurs and the investors who have backed their companies to create global companies of scale. The innovation and mentor awards were open for nomination and the VC awards were identified using Dow Jones VentureSource data.

"Alloy Ventures invests in world-class entrepreneurs who not only have great ideas, but also have a clear vision for building market-leading, profitable companies. All of the founders and CEOs we've backed know how to leverage innovation to solve a burning customer need," said Craig Taylor, general partner at Alloy Ventures. "Alloy is honored to be awarded with the Diversified Portfolio Award for supporting the largest percentage of women-backed companies of any venture capital firm, and we look forward to continuing to offer hands-on guidance to the great women leaders of Ravenflow, Novasys Medical, Cambrios Technologies, and Siluria Technologies."

For venture capital investment in the 2009 investment year as reported by Dow Jones VentureSource, the winners include:

  • DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO AWARD -- The firm with the greatest percentage of investments in woman CEOs or founders: Alloy Ventures
  • SHATTERED GLASS AWARD -- The US firm with the greatest number of investments in female CEOs: New Enterprise Associates
  • BREAKING THE BARRIERS AWARD -- The greatest number of investments in companies with a woman founder: US Firm -- Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Winners in the Innovators categories as nominated by prior recipients include:

  • Technology Innovators Award: Jenny Zeszut, Founder & CEO, Scout Labs (acquired by Lithium Technologies)
  • Life Science Innovators Award: Ryan Phelan, Founder & CEO, DNA Direct (acquired by Medco Health Solutions)
  • Clean Tech Innovators Award: Pam Contag, Founder & CEO, Cygnet Biofuels

And the winners in the Mentoring categories as nominated by Astia entrepreneurs, and sponsored by Moss Adams:

  • Eghosa Omogui, Investor
  • Barbara Tallent, Co-Founder at LiveBinders

A special Inspiration Award was presented earlier this month to Lesa Mitchell, Vice President of Innovation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, for her leadership and support of the Astia community, program and mission in 2010. In September, Astia received a $500,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation representing a commitment from both organizations to strategically work together to advance the participation of women in high-growth entrepreneurship.

"I continue to be inspired by the entrepreneurs we serve and the rich community that surrounds them. The Annual Awards are our opportunity to recognize exceptional business innovators, as well as the individuals who devote themselves to the success of entrepreneurs," said Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia. "This year's award winners are particularly impressive in their many achievements. I congratulate them all for their contributions to the industry and to the broader economy."

About Astia
Astia is a global not-for-profit organization built on a community with a distinct focus and mission -- to propel women's full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Guided by a proven philosophy that gender diversity is an essential element of innovation, Astia works with start-ups around the world as they access capital, grow their businesses, and hone the leadership skills of their founding teams.

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, over 60 percent of companies that have participated in the Astia Investor Forums have secured funding or achieved an exit within one year of presenting, totalling more than $750 million dollars raised and 20 exits, including two IPOs. Headquartered in San Francisco, Astia delivers programs for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, New York, London and India. Astia has also had significant press coverage in major media channels including The New York Times, Businessweek, Forbes, The Daily Telegraph and The Financial Times. For more information, visit

About Fenwick & West
Established in 1972, Fenwick & West is a founding sponsor of Astia. Fenwick & West works closely with clean technology, life sciences and other technology companies that are changing the world through innovation. The firm has more than 30 years of experience crafting innovative solutions to the business challenges that arise at the intersection of technology and the law. Fenwick & West clients, who range from start-up ventures to global enterprises, value our attorneys' deep industry experience and understanding of their technologies. The firm is ranked by Minority Law Journal as one of the top five most diverse law firms in the United States. For more information, please visit

About Moss Adams
Moss Adams LLP is the 11th largest accounting and consulting firm in the United States, and the largest firm headquartered in the West. Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Moss Adams has 21 locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Moss Adams has two affiliated companies, staff of over 1,700 that includes approximately 240 partners, and is focused on providing client service to public, private, and not-for-profit enterprises through specialized industry and service practice teams.

Moss Adams is a founding member of Praxity, AISBL, a global alliance of independent accounting firms with more than 23,000 professionals doing business in 77 countries and territories in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

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