From Entrepreneur to Mentor—and More
Oct 8, 2018
Ellen Weber is passionate about innovation and about helping to build great companies in Philadelphia. Along with being the Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, she is also the Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures, a group of angel investors focused on early-stage, high-growth companies.
“I love Philadelphia, I love startups, and I love coaching and supporting entrepreneurs,” Weber says.
Both an advocate for entrepreneurs and an entrepreneur herself, Ellen Weber has been a pivotal force in the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).
She has been involved with AWE almost from the beginning. Upon hearing about AWE’s programs, she reached out to Anne-Marie Corner, one of the original founders in 1996 of what was then known as the Women’s Investment Network (WIN).
Within this unique sisterhood, she found invaluable resources, support and friendships.
According to Weber, “AWE was my safe space as I went from being a corporate person to an entrepreneur. The women in this group pushed me to take some risks, which allowed me to make progress faster. There is constant encouragement to try more, be more.”
The relationships she developed helped her to establish Robin Hood Ventures--she has been able to meet potential companies to invest in through AWE, and highlights the synergy between the investors and companies.
Weber’s current role at Temple allows her to make an impact on both ascendant and established entrepreneurs.
“Temple gives me a platform to coach even more entrepreneurs,” she says. “I work with students. I work with alumni. And we are building a strong base of mentorship. There are so many wonderful touchpoints for entrepreneurs.”
Weber teaches a class on empowering women through entrepreneurship, where AWE members have been speakers. Temple is an academic AWE sponsor.
“We believe that AWE provides exceptional value to our student ventures, particularly through mentorships,” she says. “AWE is a place where you can make deep relationships. This is not surface networking--it is like having a personal board of advisers.”
She has put those insights to work at Robin Hood Ventures as she works with entrepreneurs intent on scaling their enterprises. They come with questions such as if it is the right time for funding, or if their business model needs a little more to show before someone will invest.
According to Weber, when she was starting out, there weren’t a lot of women investors who could coach women, so mentoring others is especially satisfying for her.
“AWE and I have grown up together. Now I find myself in a place where I can give back and help people. I’m looking forward to the next step,” she says. “It is incredibly heartwarming to be recognized by this group.”
Weber is this year’s recipient of the Iris Newman Award, named for an AWE founder who made an incredible impact in advancing women entrepreneurs.
Weber will receive the award at The Intersection, an event that brings together AWE’s entire expansive network to identify new founders with promise, connect founders who have already achieved, and recognize the community that supports both of their efforts to grow.
The event is a rare opportunity to connect with AWE’s dynamic network face-to-face and to celebrate women’s high-growth entrepreneurship.
Make sure you join us so you can connect with other women founders, and hear more of Ellen’s story.