Athena, a professional association for women in science and technology in Southern California, and Ad Astra Ventures announced a strategic partnership providing entrepreneurial guidance tailored for women and designed to accelerate new company formation.

Ad Astra Ventures is a female-focused accelerator which describes its mission as “to equip female entrepreneurs to build, run, and scale investable businesses” in tech and life sciences.

These two organizations will develop and deliver joint programming and mentoring that builds upon Athena’s longstanding, regional network in the STEM fields and Ad Astra’s expertise in business formation and capital investment, they said in a news release.

“Athena’s 20-year history serving Southern California by advancing women in STEM, coupled with its deep bench of seasoned executive mentors, will help us generate the impact that this market segment deserves,” said Allison Long Pettine, Ad Astra co-founder.

Ad Astra was founded in 2018. Its first program is a 12-week accelerator.

“This alliance brings to bear the extensive cohort of STEM leaders in Athena’s member portfolio together with Ad Astra’s leading curriculum specifically designed by and for entrepreneurial women to propel their success, ” said Athena CEO Holly Smithson.