STEM is at the heart of innovation and product development. The commercialisation of these new breakthrough technologies will help solve some of the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges, yet the gender gap in this fast-growing industry is significant.
However, although there is increased focus on funding women-led ventures, most of this investment isn’t going towards deep tech – companies commercialising technology that solves substantial scientific or engineering challenges. While people are very focused on funding women, there are still barriers in place due to the inherent issue of women in STEM not getting to the point of commercialisation.
The Pacific Channel whānau recognise they have a key role in forging a shift in the level of VC funding for female-led STEM innovations by creating investment pathways, highlighting the benefits of bringing different experiences and perspectives and promoting positive role models for women in STEM. The Women in STEM Commercialisation Awards is a key part of this commitment.
Abreu & Grinevich (2017)
Who is eligible
...with an idea or technology with clear market need
...who have an aspiration to be involved with their own company whether as a founder and scientific advisor or as an executive
...have a background in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEM)
...have at minimum a master's degree in a STEM field
Cather is one of New Zealand’s leading academic entrepreneurs, a founder of three deep tech start-ups from her research. Cather has a passion for driving forward the commercialisation of academic research, as well as supporting more women to move into the field.
Ashwath leads Pacific Channel’s investments into cleantech and advanced engineering ventures, as well as supporting medical device opportunities. Ashwath has a wide-ranging background, initially as a business and strategy consultant for Accenture and Google and then in university commercialisation with Wellington UniVentures. Ashwath hopes to utilise his experience from both large technology companies and early stage deep-tech ventures to help support the winner commercialise their initiative.
Emerald has been with Pacific Channel since 2019, and is responsible for assessing and building early-stage investment opportunities, as well as playing an active role in supporting Pacific Channel’s start-ups. Emerald has a keen passion for driving more diversity in the deep tech start up space.