June 28, 2011 13:52 ET

Astia CEO Sharon Vosmek to Share Insights About Value of Women-Led Innovation During Clinton Global Initiative America Meeting

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 28, 2011) - Astia, the premier venture accelerator for women-led high growth companies, today announced that CEO Sharon Vosmek will participate in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting taking place in Chicago, June 29-30, 2011. Vosmek will participate in the StartUps and High-Growth Business Working Group, as well as serve as a CGI Girls and Women Champion.

The business landscape is still challenging for female and minority entrepreneurs. Even today, men and women are still by-and-large in separate business networks. This division in networks impedes growth on both sides of the fence -- from the entrepreneur who is looking to create a high-growth business to the venture capitalist looking to invest in today's next innovation. Finding ways to bring the networks together will further drive global innovation and economic growth.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the Clinton Global Initiative Meeting representing the unique opportunity of women high-growth entrepreneurs," stated Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia. "We know from recent research that if female entrepreneurs had the same access to capital as their male counterparts, we would see six million new jobs in the next five years, two million in year one alone. This is the jobs recovery we all seek and that CGI hopes to ignite."

With representatives from the investment community, nonprofits, government, and high-growth businesses, the StartUp and High-Growth Business Working Group will highlight innovative opportunities for new and growing companies to reach their potential. Participants will meet with a diverse group of five start-ups from across the country, who will illustrate the challenges they face in building their companies and showing participants what it's like to put a successful start-up together. The Working Group will focus on developing solutions for providing the financial and human capital needs of these firms, and work to build the supportive ecosystem required to facilitate growth.

Two of Astia's start-up companies will also be participating in the meetings: Linda Maepa, Founder and COO at Electron Vault, will participate in the Infrastructure Working Group and Erika Block, Founder and CEO of Local Orbit, will participate in the Rural Economy Working Group. Both entrepreneurs will represent the voice of new companies. Recent research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundations shows that all new jobs created in the US in the last 30 years have been generated by companies less than 5 years old -- making these companies particularly important in the CGI America conversations.

About Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 19-22 in New York City.

About Astia
Astia is a global not-for-profit organization 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 1000 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 $1 billion dollars raised and 21 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 and The Financial Times. For more information, visit

Astia Sponsors
Astia is generously supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Althea Foundation, Microsoft, Fenwick & West, AOL, Lowenstein Sandler, Moss Adams, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, SNR Denton, SVB Financial Group, Osborne Clarke, US Trust - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, AngelSoft, IF Communications, Tier One Partners, Citrin Cooperman, J. Sagar Associates, Alloy Ventures, AOL Ventures, Asset Management, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Illuminate Ventures, Golden Seeds, Prolog Ventures, StarVest Partners, and Rose Tech Ventures.

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