Entrepreneurial Spirit / May 18, 2021

The Shatter Foundation Partners with the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s Ladies First Initiative

Shelly Kapoor Collins started the Shatter Fund LLC in 2017, on a mission to increase female entrepreneurship by providing female founders with greater access to capital. The venture capital firm invests exclusively in high-potential disruptive technology companies led by female entrepreneurs. The Shatter Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Shatter Fund, aims to benefit underserved girls by providing them educational tools, grants, and mentorship to think, create and confidently innovate. Like the Shatter Fund, the Foundation will provide girls with access to capital, networks and markets to foster an inclusive economy and equitable entrepreneurship.

On a similar mission, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s Ladies First Initiative began in 2016. Led by Sara Herald, director of venture development at the Dingman Center, the initiative aims to address the gender imbalance in our local entrepreneurship ecosystem through a 1-credit course, events, and workshops conducted at the University of Maryland, College Park.

In Spring 2021 the two organizations formed a partnership in an effort to foster female entrepreneurship at the college level and encourage it thereafter. Through The Shatter Foundation’s Shatter Academy, select University of Maryland Ladies First Founders will be admitted to the foundation’s college-level semester-long program, where they will receive further mentoring, entrepreneurial education, and a $5,000 grant each.

Says Herald, "A partnership with the Shatter Foundation is the perfect fit for our Ladies First Initiative. Female founders at UMD will be able to access more resources and plug into the powerful networks in the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem to help accelerate their ventures. We're grateful to Shelly and the team at the Shatter Foundation for launching this program with the University of Maryland - her alma mater."

“The Shatter Foundation, like the Shatter Fund, is rooted in the belief that women and girls are the pathways to economic success for the United States and economies around the world,” says Collins; “Through our partnership with the Ladies First initiative, the Shatter Foundation is thrilled to play a role in developing the next generation of female entrepreneurs so that they are 100% participants in the innovation economy. I’m greatly honored to partner with my alma mater as I can’t think of a more fitting institution to help young women fulfill their entrepreneurial journeys, and where my own career as an entrepreneur began."

Both the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Shatter Foundation are excited to see where this partnership leads and the female-founded companies that result.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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