TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- There's nothing like a little healthy competition to spur innovation. It also can give a much-needed boost to startups.
That's one of the missions of Quesnay, a New York company specializing in "innovation consulting services."
President Jennifer Byrne says Quesnay helps fast-track innovation by linking startups with traditional companies and organizations. One way it does this is by staging competitions. Besides doling out prize money, the programs offer startups mentorship and partnership opportunities.
Quesnay has staged the competitions since its founding in 2012. Early on, it noticed something.
"We observed that over 90 percent of our applicants were male entrepreneurs. And so we started to think, we know that there are a lot of talented women who are entrepreneurs in the technology space."
That led to the birth of Female Founders in Tech, a competition that invites women-led startups to put forth their ideas and technologies.
One reason Byrne is at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars is to promote a mobility track that starts in 2020.
To demonstrate the need, she points to 2018's "Women at the Wheel" study by Deloitte in collaboration with Automotive News. Of about 200 women surveyed, only 1 percent called automotive the best sector to work in; 47 percent said if they were to start over, they'd choose another industry.
Quesnay realized women entrepreneurs needed better access.
"At the same time," Byrne said, "it's the best time ever to be involved in innovation in tech."