Even women who work in technology or engineering fields may not start their own businesses. Elana Fine, the director of venture investments at the Dingman Center, said entrepreneurship remains a male-dominated world.
“The path to building a business isn’t as clear,” said Fine, who said that when women do launch startups, they often turn to lifestyle businesses — those that solve a problem or sell a product related to running a home or raising children.
Jagemann said she benefited from relationships with lawyers and investors that she established while working at entrepreneurial companies before striking out on her own.
“You really do need to know somebody,” Jagemann said of getting a company off the ground.
Still, plenty of young women are jumping into the hot field. Mili Mittal spent more than three years at the Corporate Executive Board before going to business school in hopes of starting a new business.
She and her co-founder, Katie Rinderknecht, came up with the idea for myChef while MBA students. The site, which collects data on users’ tastes and cooking skills to recommend recipes, drew on their own experiences living among 20-somethings who had advanced palates but had never learned to cook.