It's my passion to connect women entrepreneurs to funding. When I co-founded Springboard Enterprises in 2000, we didn't know what was possible. Eight years later, Springboard Enterprises has presented 360 companies nationwide, which have raised over $4 billion. Over a third of these companies have had positive returns for their investors already, including seven IPOs. More are on the way.
Another passion of mine is media. As a trustee of The Paley Center, together with trustee Loreen Arbus, we launched The Paley Center for Media's She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio initiative to recognize women who have achieved great success in the world of media.
We have combined these organizations and are looking for the next Facebook or DoubleClick. This joint project by Springboard Enterprises and She Made It will showcase women-led media companies at the forum called All Things Media [PDF], which was just announced on March 24th.
People are asking: why women, when so many venture-backed businesses are led by men? Well, that's the point. While many venture-backed businesses are led by men, women are now beginning to show their metal in this very competitive high-growth sector. Previous Springboard presenters have the track record to prove it. We're betting media companies will produce similar results.
And there are so many ways for individuals in media to get involved [PDF] and be a part of this union. This will be a collaboration of venture capitalists, strategic investors, lawyers, accountants and the very successful women in the She Made It honor roll who will screen, coach and present these outstanding entrepreneurs.
Media is one of the explosive growth industries today with start-ups ranging from radio and TV to internet, broadband, mobile, social networking, games and much more. As Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Inc. noted in his remarks at the launch which introduced All Things Media to the community of investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley last week, "The barrier to entry is low and the next great idea can come from absolutely anywhere." It takes ingenuity, focus and the right network of support to make things happen. Stay tuned.