Astia COO Katie Nittler to Guest Speak at Stanford School of Engineering

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Astia, a premier venture accelerator that targets exceptional start-ups with women on their founding teams, today announced Katie Nittler, COO of Astia, will be a guest speaker in the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course (GEM) at Stanford School of Engineering.

The strategic value of this initiative is immeasurable especially in terms of its impact on women and how it will increase the pipeline of women-led high growth businesses being served by Astia.

Astia, a premier venture accelerator that targets exceptional start-ups with women on their founding teams, today announced Katie Nittler, COO of Astia, will be a guest speaker in the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course (GEM) at Stanford School of Engineering. She will be team teaching an Astia case-study with Fenwick and West Consulting Professor Tom Kosnik on May 12th, 2010. This will be the first of three case studies. During the class, teams of students will present their recommendations to the questions set in the Astia case. Following this class the final case study will be published and will be available free of charge to Business Schools with the Astia community supporting the classes globally.

This represents a significant milestone for Astia as it marks 10 years since the original Stanford case written by Stephanie Langenfeld with guidance from Tom Kosnik and Lena Ramfelt, Assistant Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. This new series of case studies reflects the changing dynamics of Astia and is the culmination of four months of interviews by Tom and two of his students – Natalie Cox and Susana Montes. Tom has said that this is the most number of interviews he has ever done for a case.

“We are pleased to welcome Katie as the newest Entrepreneurial guest speaker in the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course (GEM) and look forward to having her contribute her experience and that of the Astia community to GEM in future classes. We hope the cases will enable Astia to collaborate with Business Schools globally,” said Tom Kosnik, Fenwick and West Consulting Professor, Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

The purpose of the first case study is to evaluate the organization’s strategy and business model and to plan for the future. It was intended as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.

“It is such an honor for me to collaborate with this extraordinary group at Stanford University,” said Katie Nittler, COO of Astia. “The opportunity to work with these students and to expand awareness of Astia and our core mission and vision to its next generation of thinkers and leaders is phenomenal. We are thrilled to have their insight included in our work product as this material will continue to be taught for years to come.”

With its rapidly evolving network of entrepreneurs, advisors and sponsors, Astia had proven itself to be an organization open to change and adaptation. Three factors had led them to reevaluate the current business model. First was the meltdown in the financial markets. Second was the imperative to go global – which will require additional funds to execute. Third was the changing competitive landscape.

“As the first in a trilogy, this case study provides the base line with the next two focusing on Astia’s expansion globally and on the strategic direction needed to maximize Astia’s impact based on our mission,” said Prashant Shah, Chairman of the Board at Astia and Managing Director at Hummer Winblad. “The strategic value of this initiative is immeasurable especially in terms of its impact on women and how it will increase the pipeline of women-led high growth businesses being served by Astia.”

About Astia
Astia is a global not-for-profit organization with a distinct focus and mission – to uniquely source innovation by propelling women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Guided by a proven philosophy that gender diversity is an essential element of innovation, Astia works with start-ups around the world as they access capital, grow their businesses, and hone the leadership skills of their founding teams. The Astia model of engaging a community of experts to the benefit of the select start-ups it serves has resulted in an exceptional success rate: since 2003, 60 percent of companies that have participated in the Astia Investor Forums have secured funding or achieved an exit within one year of presenting, totaling more than half a billion dollars raised and 17 exits, including two IPOs. Headquartered in San Francisco, Astia delivers programs for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, New York, London and India. For more information, visit http://www.astia.org.

About Astia Sponsors
Astia is generously supported by global sponsors including Microsoft; Cisco; SVB Financial; The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Fenwick & West; Moss Adams; Wells Fargo; The Three Guineas Fund; Osborne Clarke; Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.; Deloitte; The Althea Foundation; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Iron Creative; Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal; Reed Smith; Tier One PR; AngelSoft; IF Communications; US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; as well as a number of premier venture capital firms including, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Asset Management Company, Intel Capital, Alloy Ventures, Apex Venture Partners, Opus Capital, Prolog Ventures, Illuminate Ventures; Garage Technology Ventures, Hamilton Lane, Levensohn Venture Partners; and the angel investment group GoldenSeeds.

Media Contact:
Andrea Roesch
650-644-1700

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