Gust Partners with Astia to Launch International Women’s Day Scholarship

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Competition Will Promote Extraordinary Women Leaders of High-Potential Startups

Gust, an investor relations platform integrating essential collaboration tools for entrepreneurs and investors, and Astia, a global not-for-profit dedicated to the success of women-led, high-growth ventures, today announced the launch of their International Women’s Day Scholarship. The scholarship aims to help propel female entrepreneurs in startups with at least one female executive leader. The winning startup will receive a full scholarship to Astia's renowned Fall 2012 Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Program, a week-long event providing intensive training in areas such as capital fundraising and business leadership, as well as networking opportunities with prominent angel and venture capital investors.

"We are honored to join Astia in celebrating International Women's Day by showcasing the innovation and excellence among the women-led startup community," said Ilana Grossman, vice president of marketing at Gust. "Growth and empowerment in the startup arena cannot be achieved without the skilled leadership and full participation of women in entrepreneurship.”

Astia’s Fall 2012 Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Program includes candid discussions led by active investors and seasoned entrepreneurs and is followed by a two-month advisory period during which companies are paired with a team of advisors, including one investor, one serial entrepreneur and, at a minimum, two other start-up experts. Additionally, select start-ups will receive:

o    Introductions to leading VCs and angel investors;
o    Market intelligence provided by investor-led panels and workshops;
o    Presentation skills coaching by a leading expert;
o    Increased business acumen and executive leadership skills; and
o    Expert advice from VCs, angels and successful entrepreneurs.

Participants gain important introductions as well as critical skills and insight, such as developing an effective fundraising strategy in today's market, negotiating competitive term sheets, navigating the due diligence process, leading a successful global company, and much more.

“The International Women’s Day Scholarship represents a celebration of our efforts to enable women to fully participate in high-growth entrepreneurship,” said Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia. “Our ongoing partnership with Gust has helped our organization facilitate the creation of an inclusive community that provides the precise support women entrepreneurs need to thrive in their enterprises and ultimately impact today’s global economy.”

As Astia’s online platform for managing their entrepreneur submissions, Gust will facilitate the submission process for the women-led startups scholarship. In addition, participating start-ups will be prominently featured on the Gust website.

Applicants must submit their proposals by Sunday, April 8, 2012. After judging by Astia and a panel of prominent female angel investors and executives, the announcement of the winner will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

For more information, or to submit your startup for consideration to Astia and Gust's International Women's Day Scholarship, please visit Gust's online platform.

About Gust
Gust provides the global platform for the sourcing and management of early-stage investments, enabling skilled entrepreneurs to collaborate with the smartest investors by virtually supporting all aspects of the investment relationship, from initial pitch to successful exit. Gust is endorsed by the world's leading business angel and venture capital associations, and powers over 750 investment organizations in 65 countries. More than 150,000 start-ups have already used the platform to connect and collaborate with over 35,000 individual accredited investors. Gust is based in New York, NY, with a development center in Vancouver, British Columbia, and European office in Paris, France.

About Astia
Research indicates that if women were to fully participate in high-growth entrepreneurship we would see a significant and measurable benefit to the economy, innovation, and society. Astia¹s mission is to provide access to the networks and expertise that women high-growth entrepreneurs need to succeed, and ultimately to impact today¹s global economy.


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