Many people confuse the terms business accelerator and business incubator. Though they do overlap, an incubator is more appropriate for a business that is in its start up phase, and an accelerator is beneficial for companies that are up and running, but need a different level of guidance and funding.

A great analogy from is that “business incubators mentor companies through childhood while business accelerators guide them through adolescence into adulthood.”

Though more and more women are starting businesses,  a disproportionate amount of focus and funding in the startup community is still geared towards men.

But, the numbers are showing there is a shift happening. According to CrunchBase, in 2009, 9.5% startups had at least one woman founder, but by 2014 that rate had almost doubled to 18%.

vivian sayward senator boxerAs far as funding for women owned startups, a shift is happening there too, albeit slowly. Recently, Hera LABS, the business development arm of Hera Hub, was one of several businesses that received a sizable grant from the Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund.

More and more female founders are realizing that, if they want female entrepreneurs to receive startup funds, they need to start their own funding organizations and accelerator programs.

On the heels of last week’s InnovateHER Business Challenge held at Hera Hub’s Sorrento Valley location, we are thrilled to announce that  Hera LABS has been included on a Forbes list of top accelerators for women. InnovateHER is a cross-cutting business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

Hera Hub and Hera LABS are proud to be leaders in the female startup industry!

Read more about InnovateHER on the SBA’s website and follow the conversation online #InnovateHER.