How To Become an Equalizer

I just want to say a sincere thank you for the opportunity to participate. This program really helped me solidify my project and offered me many network contacts.

Breanna Hetland, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Three women sitting on stools talking to a group.

Benefits of Participating

Equalize Startups:

  • Provides a platform for academic women entrepreneurs to engage with investors
  • Offers a simple mechanism to gain pitching experience in a supportive environment
  • Creates an opportunity to obtain positive constructive feedback on business ideas
  • Provides a learning experience that provides strategic feedback and encouragement

Equalizers move forward with new connections, confidence, and a toolkit of knowledge about selling their ideas in the startup world.

Eligibility and Commitment

Eligibility Requirements

Equalizers must hold an academic appointment—tenured, tenure track, or research—or a post-doc or graduate student position at an academic research institution and have a pending or issued patent or copyright.

Commitment Requirements

    • A minimum 1-hour call per month with the matched mentor
    • Responsiveness to mentor feedback when provided by email
    • Receptiveness to advice provided from mentor
    • Participation in all-Equalizer calls to network, share advice and provide feedback
    • Participation in Education Sessions (recordings and decks available if timing does not work out)
    • Participation in on-site experiential learning and networking day in Cambridge, MA (Equalize covers travel costs)
    • Participation in the final pitch day (virtual), including providing a 10-minute pitch, usually in the second half of June

Timeline and Sample Agendas

Equalize Startups program timeline

I am a first-time entrepreneur. The training from Equalize on pitch and business development is invaluable. The experiences shared from earlier cohort participants are so helpful and encouraging for me to continue the journey.

Nancy Guo

West Virginia University

My mentor was phenomenal. She gave me direct and constructive feedback and was willing to meet with me whenever I requested.

Breanna Hetland

University of Nebraska Medical Center