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Women's Startup Lab Accelerator Participants Cognea and Swing by Swing See Acquisition Success

MENLO PARK, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/07/14 -- Women's Startup Lab, a new accelerator model for women tech founders, today announced that Cognea and Swing by Swing, two companies founded by Women Startup Lab Founder's Circle accelerator members, have found successful exits with Cognea being acquired by IBM and Swing by Swing acquired by Back9Networks. Both Cognea and Swing-by-Swing came to Women's Startup Lab to join and build a community of peer support, to grow their networks and prepare for the next stage of their business growth.

Since its launch in January 2013, Women's Startup Lab has graduated more than 25 female tech founders from its Founder's Circle accelerator program. Applications are now open for the next accelerator session which begins in September 2014.

Women's Startup Lab Founders Success:

  • Liesl Capper, the chief executive officer and founder of Cognea, sold her company to IBM Watson (according to the IBM blog) in May 2014.
  • Monique Giggy, president of Swing by Swing, sold her company to Back9Networks.
  • Jaclyn Baumgarten, founder and chief executive officer of Cruzin, secured a seed round of funding for her startup, America's first fully-insured boater-to-boater™ rental and charter marketplace.

According to a report by Dow Jones which reviewed 15 years of venture backed companies, only 3 percent of tech startups are founded by women. Women's Startup Lab is looking to prepare the next generation of female high-tech founders to yield revenue growth and usher in top-tier networks.

"There's an unconscious bias that women in STEM are trying to overcome and Women's Startup Lab better prepares female entrepreneurs for business success. We're here to change the stereotype of who is considered a Silicon Valley success," said Ari Horie, founder and chief executive officer of Women's Startup Lab.

"Women's Startup Lab provided great support and a group of peers I could spend time with. Running a startup is difficult and exciting, and women also have a particular set of challenges and opportunities. It was great being with other women on the same journey," said Liesl Capper, chief executive offer of Cognea.

According to the IBM blog last month, IBM Watson acquired Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Liesl Capper's Cognea, the startup which offers virtual assistants that relate to people using a wide variety of personalities -- from suit-and-tie formal to kid-next-door friendly brings new types of interaction that is far beyond today's "talking smartphones." IBM Watson, the company's strategic initiative, will integrate Cognea capability into the Watson platform and make this advanced conversational service available to others. IBM has a $100M fund to help startup's develop solutions for Watson.

Back9Networks acquired Swing by Swing, the free Golf GPS & Scorecard App used by more than three million golfers in 130 countries to master the world's golf courses. Back9Networks has an aggressive strategy to double the existing Swing by Swing user base. The acquisition gives the upstart golf lifestyle and entertainment network the top-ranked free golf GPS app on both iOS and Android mobile platforms.

For more information about Women's Startup Lab and its Founder's Circle accelerator program, visit http://womenstartuplab.com.

About Women's Startup Lab: Women's Startup Lab is a new accelerator model for women tech founders, empowering female founders to successfully navigate today's entrepreneurial reality, accelerating their impact and value creation while positioning them to inspire the next generation of technology innovators.

About Cognea: Cognea created virtual assistants that can relate to people using a wide variety of personalities -- from suit-and-tie formal to kid-next-door friendly brings new types of interaction that is far beyond today's "talking smartphones." IBM Watson will integrate Cognea capability into the Watson platform and make this advanced conversational service available to others.

About Swing by Swing: Swing by Swing's free Golf GPS & Scorecard app is used by more than three million golfers in 130 countries to master the world's golf courses, get distance information, play games, stay connected with golfing buddies, and maintain personal stats. Learn more and download the free app at www.swingbyswing.com.

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