Senem Guney moved to Philadelphia from Austin, Texas to join the DreamIt Health accelerator. Guney, who runs a patient feedback startup called NarrativeDx, is staying in Philadelphia and the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs fellowship is part of that decision.
“I believe this fellowship will be a significant part of making Philadelphia my new home,” Guney said at AWE’s annual gala earlier this month held at World Cafe Live.
Guney is one of three 2015 AWE Fellows. The fellowship is the mentoring and coaching program run by AWE, which is focused on high-growth women’s entrepreneurs. The other fellows are PopInShop CEO Allison Berliner and RegDesk CEO Priya Bhutani.
All three AWE Fellows are DreamIt founders (Bhutani and Guney from DreamIt Health, Berliner from DreamIt Ventures). In the program’s nine-year history, only one other fellow was a DreamIt grad (2012 fellow Keya Dannenbaum, CEO of what’s now called Versa). It’s also a group of fellows who are all running software companies, which bucks the trend for the historically life sciences-heavy fellowship.
The all-DreamIt AWE Fellow crew could point to a few things: that more DreamIt founders are sticking around after graduation (Bhutani plans to move to Philly from Delaware, while Berliner remained in Philly after getting her MBA from Wharton); the ramped-up efforts to keep Dreamit founders here; the increase in women founders chosen for DreamIt and the fact that groups like AWE make it easier for DreamIt founders to stay in the city because of its ready-made community.
To drive that last point home: Berliner closed out her short fellows acceptance speech with an ask to the AWE community. DreamIt’s Demo Day is coming up in early December and I’d love to see supportive faces in the crowd, she said.
It’ll be interesting to see how AWE evolves as DreamIt Athena, DreamIt Ventures’ women entrepreneurship program, launches.