Siegel to address gender gap and limited access to VC at Boston Hynes Convention Center on Friday, September 30

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Babson College’s Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) and Breakaway, a Boston-based brand capital firm, are pleased to announce that Sue Siegel​, CEO of GE Ventures and healthymagination, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Babson Breakaway Challenge Finale. Siegel will be addressing the gender gap in U.S. business and limited access to venture capital for female entrepreneurs. The Challenge will culminate on Friday, September 30 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

With over 30 years of combined experience in venture capital and the corporate world, Sue Siegel serves as CEO of GE Ventures and healthymagination. This division of GE accesses the entrepreneurial ecosystem to deliver financial and strategic returns through early market development, investing, licensing, new business creation, and healthymagination. Previously, as a Silicon Valley-based financial VC, Siegel led investments and served on the board for companies in personalized medicine, digital health, and life sciences at MDV. Siegel was also responsible for the transformation of Affymetrix (NASDAQ: AFFX) from a pre-revenue startup to a global, multi-billion dollar market cap genomics leader.

“The Babson Breakaway Challenge is a true celebration of female entrepreneurship,” said Sue Siegel.  “I am honored to be involved in an event that promotes innovative women.  Not only is this program helping to shine a light on the gender gap in U.S. business, it is also working actively to change it.”

The Babson Breakaway Challenge was launched in 2015 by Susan Duffy, executive director at Babson’s Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, and John Burns, president of Breakaway Ventures in direct response to Babson’s Diana Project report,  Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital (pdf). All semifinalists will be announced on Thursday, September 15, followed by a Demo Day at Boston’s District Hall on Friday, September 23. The winner of the Challenge, which will be announced at the Finale event, will receive $250,000 in funding as well as marketing services from Breakaway.

The Babson Breakaway challenge recently re-opened registration and will be selecting 10 additional semifinalists. The finale is a featured event of HUBWeek​, a first-of-its-kind civic collaboration.  

Apply by September 10 »

About HUBweek

HUBweek​ is a weeklong creativity and innovation festival, and a first-of- its-kind civic collaboration between The Boston Globe, Harvard University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital. The inaugural HUBweek festival took place in October 2015, and had 46,000 attendees, 106 events over 8 days, as well as 70 collaborating organizations participate. HUBweek’s mission is to convene, celebrate and showcase the most creative and inventive people in art, science and technology making an impact in Greater Boston and across the globe.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College

Founded in 2000, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College fulfills and extends Babson’s mission by educating, inspiring, and empowering women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds​​​​​​​​​​®. The top-rankedcollege for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

By Brianna DiPietro,, (781) 239-4548 | 08/02/2016 03:00