Google and UpWest Labs Join Forces to Close the Silicon Valley Gender Gap

Google selects UpWest Labs for their #40Forward program, helping to rethink the gender gap and supporting the UpWest female entrepreneur program

UpWest Labs, the only Silicon Valley accelerator for Israeli entrepreneurs, announced today a new program, financed by Google for Entrepreneurs, focused on closing the gender gap in Silicon Valley.  The Google for Entrepreneurs initiative, called the ‘#40Forward: 40 startup communities rethinking the gender gap,’ is a $1M program supporting the initiatives of forward-thinking companies like UpWest Labs to increase female representation in the startup community. With Google’s backing, UpWest Labs will invest heavily in growing the community of female entrepreneurs both in Israel and Silicon Valley.

The UpWest Labs Female Entrepreneurship Program includes:

♦Partnering with key programs in Israel that specifically encourage women to apply to UpWest Labs four-month accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

♦Establishing a network of mentors in Silicon Valley and Israel in order to increase                    visibility and access to female entrepreneurs.

♦Expanding access to a pool of investors motivated by investing in female led startups.

To date, UpWest Labs has supported 33 startup companies, which have raised more than $20M in funding. Twenty percent of UpWest Labs companies have included female founders, a level of representation that is four times higher than the average gender ratio.  

UpWest Labs co-founder Shuly Galili said,  “Israel leads the world in empowering women to take command. The applicants in this year’s class proved no exception with two female-led companies out of the six companies accepted to our program.” Galili continued, “Building on our success, the goal with Google’s initiative is to further provide support to our female founders with more visibility, tools and mentorship. That has always been the mission of UpWest for all our startups. The backing of such a powerhouse in Silicon Valley, focused on women, will absolutely take our efforts to the next level and help us empower female entrepreneurs.”

About Google for Entrepreneurs

Google for Entrepreneurs empowers entrepreneurs around the world through programs, partnerships, and Google products. With over 70 programs in 125 countries, Google for Entrepreneurs seeks to grow entrepreneurial communities and to equip entrepreneurs with skills and resources to pursue their big ideas. To learn about the programs, or to grow your own skills through free online courses, visit or on Google+ at

About #40Forward

#40Forward is a challenge issued by Google for Entrepreneurs to startup and entrepreneur organizations so create new innovative programs to increase participation of women by 25% in 2014 in their communities. Google is providing funding and program assistance to further the efforts of women entrepreneurs through these programs.

About UpWest Labs

UpWest Labs was founded in January 2012 in Silicon Valley as the only accelerator program in the US serving Israeli startup entrepreneurs.  To date, it has enabled over 30 startups to raise an average of more than $1M in seed funding, bringing 150 Israeli entrepreneurs the resources and support necessary to bring their products to market, establish strong partnerships and create valuable momentum. The accelerator provides a mentorship-based four-month program offering startups seed investment, essential resources, and access to a matchless network of experts, customers and capital.