SOURCE: Brad's Deals

June 17, 2016 15:00 ET

Brad's Deals Supports Chicago's Women in Tech With One-of-a-Kind Startup Accelerator

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - June 17, 2016) - The shopping experts at Brad's Deals may have just come up with the best deal running for female founders looking to launch tech startups in Chicago.

The Women's Tech Accelerator at Brad's Deals is unique as it bridges the gap between traditional startup accelerators and co-working spaces. While most accelerators and incubators take an equity stake in the businesses they're mentoring, Brad's Deals provides resources instead of funds. In an industry where women are still vastly outnumbered by men, it's one way the company seeks to remove barriers that keep female entrepreneurs from getting their ideas off the ground.

"I find that I am still surprised by the lack of diversity in technology roles, especially as it pertains to women candidates," says Jessica Adams, Vice President of Human Resources at Brad's Deals. "When I looked around our office and saw the open desks, the available resources, and a team that loves to give back to the tech community, I knew we had an amazing opportunity to support women in STEM initiatives and women entrepreneurs."

In addition to sharing tangible resources like office space, phone, broadband, and meeting rooms, participants will also have access to Brad's Deals' in-house experts on subjects ranging from web and app development to accounting and finance.

"By providing access to our own subject matter experts our team will be able to help women in technology further their business plans, as well as provide our employees with opportunities to solve other unique business challenges and get exposure to different and diverse tech tasks and populations."

Brad's Deals has grown from a one-person operation in 2001 to a dynamic and diverse 65-person team that helped shoppers save more than $194 million in 2015 alone. A fixture in the local tech community, the company offers 20% time, pays employees to attend and sometimes speak at conferences, and provides paid time off for its Development team to coach and mentor new developers through organizations including Dev Boot Camp and sponsorships for organizations like RailsBridge. In their own office, Brad's Deals frequently hosts meetups and classes for Chicago tech groups like Girl Develop It and sponsors graduation ceremonies for trainees of General Assembly, WindyCityRails, and Startup Institute Chicago.

"We are so fortunate to still be a bootstrapped organization," Adams notes. "We want to give back to others where we can and continue to help women close the gap in the tech space."

The Women's Tech Accelerator at Brad's Deals is taking applications from June 20 through July 11, 2016. Candidates may apply at: http://www.bradsdeals.com/about-us/womens-tech-accelerator/

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