Petersen Automotive Museum, which exhibits some of the world’s most unusual, rare and historically significant vehicles in its 100,000-square-foot facility in Los Angeles has announced the launch of its new business incubator program designed to help develop female-led startups in the automotive industry.
“With only 23.6 percent of motor-vehicle positions held by women in 2019, we felt it was our responsibility as a world leader in automotive thought to create this incubator program,” Terry L. Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, said in a news release. “Through the generous support of Rolex, and our selection committee, we can empower and develop visionary women to harness their potential and given them an opportunity to break into the automotive space.”
The museum, along with its selected advisory board, will choose one early-stage female-led business based in California to join a 3-month mentorship incubator program. During the program, Petersen will invest up to $25,000 into the business, provide hands-on mentorship and give the selected business access to the Petersen network.
On the incubator program’s advisory board is the CMO and principal at Redline Detection, Alex Parker; the CEO of Fremont Private Investments and chancellor of Fremont College, Dr. Sabrina Key; PR and media-relations leader at Kahn Media, Nikki Riedmiller; senior vice president of experiences at Omaze, Sarah Lassek; group services director at Petersen, Jasmine Gonzalez; and vice president of Hagerty Drivers Foundation, Diane Parker, who sat down with us to share her excitement for the program.
“What I love about this type of program, other than its uniqueness is this is what’s going to help shape the future and make it the norm for women to be within the automotive industry,” Parker said.
“This isn’t just exclusive within the automotive industry of restoring cars or working on cars; this has so many more elements to it, which makes it so incredibly unique. It’s really a vast program with mentorship in business development, retail, marketing communications, design or IT.
“The other great thing about this program is they get to tell us where they need the help and where they want to focus. It can be very specific to their needs so it’s not so broad.”