Contact: Courtney Caudle (
Vollmer (972) 488-4790
Mindy Reisinger (
Vollmer (713) 546-2230

January 17, 2002


DALLAS (Jan. 17, 2002) -- The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) -- Texas, the premier entrepreneurial organization for women building and leading high-growth technology and life sciences companies, and Springboard Enterprises, a national non-profit venture dedicated to increasing women's participation in the equity capital markets, today announced that Southern Methodist University (SMU) will host a one-day, invitation-only women entrepreneur bootcamp on Jan. 31, 2002. As part of the Springboard: Southwest 2002 Venture Capital Forum, the bootcamp is geared towards helping the selected women entrepreneurs hone their business strategy and presentation skills to present in front of venture capital investors at the Southwest Forum in Dallas on March 21, 2002.

As the Springboard bootcamp host, SMU will give a select number of women engineering and MBA students the opportunity to participate in the bootcamp programs so that they can learn the same skills being taught to the high-level women entrepreneurs.

"SMU and Springboard share a similar goal of increasing women's participation in entrepreneur activities by helping them to develop the skills needed to create and lead high-growth venture fundable companies," said Stephen Szygenda, dean of the School of Engineering at SMU. "By participating in Springboard's bootcamp, our students will gain valuable insight and learn essential skills that will help them compete in a highly competitive and male-dominated venture capital industry."

Approximately 40 women entrepreneurs (two per organization) will participate in the day-long bootcamp on SMU's campus. "The kick-off bootcamp is a precursor to an eight-week long process during which time the entrepreneurs and their coaching teams work together to refine their corporate strategy and develop their ten-minute investment pitch," said Jamie Wyrick, president of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs-Texas and producer of the Springboard: Southwest 2002 Venture Capital Forum. "Following the eight-week long coaching process, Springboard finalists will have the opportunity to present in front of high-profile investors at the March Forum."

Participants will have access to a team of up to 50 investors, business strategists, lawyers, technology specialists, financial consultants, presentation coaches as well as sales, marketing and public relations specialists who will be on hand to share their advice and help participants develop the key elements of their presentations. Well-known partners such as JPMorganChase, The Telecommunications Development Fund, Sevin Rosen Funds, TL Ventures, and Austin Ventures are lending time, expertise and support to the bootcamp, and the Forum in March. The Bootcamp and Coaching Co-Chairs for the Springboard Southwest forum are Molly Pieroni, Partner, JatoTech Ventures and Guy Hoffman, Partner, TL Ventures.

Participants were selected earlier this month from a pool of applicants that include women with a significant equity position and a key management role (CEO, President, Founder or Co-Founder, CFO, COO, CIO or CTO). Priority was given to companies headquartered in the southwest-regional states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Arizona and New Mexico.

Springboard's forums have attracted more than 2,000 applicants and featured 200 women entrepreneurs presenting their companies to investors. Springboard presenters have raised more than $650 million in equity capital and 80 percent of the presenters continue to grow their businesses despite the recent economic slow-down.

"Last year only six percent of all venture capital funding across the U.S. went to companies with women CEOs," said Wyrick. "Through the continued efforts of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs in Texas and the Springboard bootcamp and venture forum, we are trying to change this percentage by helping high growth women entrepreneurs navigate the equity markets."

For more information regarding FWE-Texas, Springboard, Forum sponsorship information or how to get involved in the recruiting, screening and coaching processes, please visit or contact Sandra Nelson, the Springboard Southwest Forum Manager, by e-mail at

About The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs -- Texas

FWE-Texas works with women entrepreneurs in Texas' top high-growth markets including Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston. FWE-Texas provides training and educational opportunities to its members, including accredited entrepreneurship courses, Progressive Venture Dinners, Venture Capital Forums, panels and workshops. FWE is the premier entrepreneurial non-profit organization for women building and leading venture fundable high-growth technology and life-science companies. FWE's mission is to accelerate women's opportunities to start, build, manage and invest in world-class companies. FWE members comprise a broad range of individuals including entrepreneurs, start-up employees, executives, venture capitalists and professional services providers. In 2000, FWE nationally accelerated the development of more than 1,300 entrepreneurs and their companies, helping them raise over $600 million in venture funding.

About SMU

Founded in 1911, Southern Methodist University is a private, comprehensive university located in Dallas. It has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and a full-time faculty of nearly 500. SMU offers undergraduate programs in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Meadows School of the Arts, Edwin L. Cox School of Business, and the School of Engineering. Graduate and professional programs are offered in these schools and in the Perkins School of Theology and the Dedman School of Law.

About Springboard Enterprises

Springboard Enterprises is a national, non-profit venture dedicated to increasing women's participation in the equity capital markets as both entrepreneurs and investors. Springboard Enterprises' unique programming includes targeted education and coaching programs, strategic connections with investors and business development professionals, community building efforts and venture capital Forums that showcase women entrepreneurs.