After raising nearly $2 million in funding, the first cohort celebrated its finale on April 25, 2017 with FedEx

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The Babson College Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® is now accepting applications through May 12, 2017 for its second cohort. 

The eight-month, sector-agnostic accelerator program was created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. WIN Lab® expanded into Miami in 2016 with the support of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and corporate sponsors FedEx and Akerman. Carolina Pina was tapped as WIN Lab Miami’s Director after a decade-plus career spanning the nonprofit and corporate sectors.

WIN Lab aims to disrupt the entrepreneurial environment that women must often adhere to, and instead presents a challenging but supportive experience that catalyzes long-term success by fostering creativity and collaboration, increasing visibility, providing hands-on mentorships, identifying branding and marketing tactics, and leveraging funding opportunities and competitions.

WIN Lab Miami’s launch welcomed 22 diverse WINners leading 20 start-ups.

The inaugural WINners attended a Grand Finale Celebration co-hosted by FedEx on April 25, 2017 to honor the program’s completion and culminate their months-long growth and camaraderie. 

At the event, three WIN Lab companies—Zuke Music, PIERCE Plan, and Palmpress Coffee—pitched to win FedEx-sponsored monetary prizes at $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500, respectively. The judges were Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director at The Knight Foundation; Carol Faber, Partner at Akerman LLP; and Karen Stendardi, Vice President of IT at FedEx Express, Latin America and Caribbean Division.

The businesses in this inaugural cohort include a storage solution service, Stow Simple; produce delivery service, Endlessly Organic; local favorite, Lulu’s Ice Cream; language animation creators, Mundo Lanugo; and niche purveyors, Lemon City Tea.

Meet the inaugural cohort WINers (pdf) »

WIN Lab coaches represent a diverse range of companies, including the Knight Foundation, eberjey, Macy’s, Merrill Lynch, and Facebook. Since induction, the cohort has participated in eight public events with nearly 1,000 total attendees and logged more than 130 hours of coaching sessions with 350 of pro bono contributions. As a result of WIN Lab, participants have secured nearly $2 million in total funding.

While Miami ranks in the top five metro areas for its rate of women-owned businesses, it also ranks in the bottom five metro areas for women’s entrepreneurial economic clout, a measure that combines the number of women-owned businesses, their revenues, and employment numbers. For WIN Lab Miami, this as an opportunity to effect change.

“There is a hunger for community and entrepreneurial development in Miami, and it has been a profound honor to fuel that energy and aid the cohort in accomplishing their goals and catalyzing their passions,” says WIN Lab Miami Director, Carolina Pina. “WIN Lab Miami’s rich diversity—from both the women’s backgrounds and startups—has allowed these women to thrive; not only from access to the assets the program provides, but also from the supportive ecosystem they have created amongst each other. I’m excited for the future: It looks very bright.”

“All of the WINners in this first cohort are great examples of innovative startup enterprises, and we are impressed with the diversity of business sectors represented, said Jenny Robertson, Director of Global Citizenship, FedEx.  “Helping to advance women-owned businesses is one of the key focus areas of the FedEx Global Entrepreneurship giving pillar. We’re happy to support programs like the WIN Lab that are helping get these business owners the resources they need to grow and thrive.” 

Apply for WIN LAB Miami »

About the Babson College Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®

Created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College, the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® provides women entrepreneurs with an inspiring community and a rigorous, experiential process that catalyzes innovative thinking and enables them to successfully launch or transform businesses. Now in its fourth year, WIN Lab has been designated as one of the top two specialty programs for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE); earned BostInno’s designation as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries; and was honored by the prestigious Rosoff Awards for diversity. 

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®​​​. The top​-ranked college 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 Radicioni,, (781) 239-4548 | 04/21/2017 05:00