Closing the Gender Gap in Tech Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of Tech Entrepreneurship and Mentorship Programs in Undergraduate Education

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Bilge Kocak
Prof. Lauri Olivier


Currently, women-led startups receive only 2.3% of VC funding (Bittner), even though women-led tech startups have 35% greater ROI and 12% higher revenue than all-male startups (“Facts”). To change these statistics, creating unique frameworks that enable women to overcome the perceptual and social barriers that keep them from realizing their potential is essential. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how a college education can contribute to reducing the gender gap in tech entrepreneurship by giving specific suggestions to Villanova University. In the first part of this study, the tech entrepreneurship opportunities for women and the mentorship programs on entrepreneurship in other universities are analyzed to identify how other colleges address this issue. For this reason, 15 universities are selected: six of them due to their shared Catholic background, and the remaining nine due to their proximity to Villanova University. In the second part of this study, a case study on the tech entrepreneurship trends at Villanova University is conducted through an analysis of the 2011-2020 datasets on the engineering entrepreneurship minor obtained from the College of Engineering. Results show that when the impact of female-male student ratios in engineering majors are disregarded, the pure female engineer interest in this minor is only 43.5% of the total engineer interest, revealing the need for improvement. By creating more gender-specific seed funding opportunities, incubator programs, and various types of mentorship activities through a database, Villanova University can better help female students realize their potential in tech entrepreneurship.

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Research Articles
Author Biography

Bilge Kocak

Bilge Deniz Kocak is a member of the Villanova Class of 2024, and she is a Presidential Scholar. She is from Ankara, Turkey and is pursuing a double major in Computer Science and Statistics with a minor in Mathematics. On campus, she is involved in Villanova Women Who Code, INNOVATE: L3Harris Summer Program, and Villanova International Students Organization. She finds it extremely fulfilling to work on technology for social benefit and focus on real-world problems. She plans to work in data science or software engineering upon graduation and promote diversity in STEM fields. Bilge would like to extend her thanks to the Villanova College of Engineering, the MATCH Research Program, and Prof. Lauri Olivier for the opportunity to learn more about data analysis and work on a project that is truly meaningful.


MLA 8.