Our mission is to inspire women academics and scientists to commercialize their research and to accelerate the number of women-led firms at the cutting-edge of emerging and advanced technologies. Our goal is to make women equal partners in every aspect of science and innovation to create next generation game-changers that will transform the world.


Unleashing the economic power of innovation led by women.

How We Do This

We do this by providing access to innovation ecosystem on-ramps, industry thought leaders, academics, technology transfer experts, and corporate partners.

Our Team

Karen Maples

FutureForward Co-Founder and Chief Catalyst
Founder & President, Myutiq, LLC

Recognized as a thought leader and accomplished strategy expert, Karen is deeply dedicated to working on global issues impacting women’s leadership and entrepreneurship. FutureForward was founded to address the enormous gap of women innovators in emerging and advanced technologies.

She has served on the Editorial Board for Quantum Leaps Roadmap to 2020, and was a contributor to the groundbreaking 2010 release of “Roadmap to 2020 – Fueling the Growth of Women’s Enterprise Development.” Recent articles include “The Dynamic of Innovation in Growing Your Business” and “Challenge for Thought” about open innovation platforms.

She is a founding member of Meridian International’s Council on Women’s Leadership. As the Technology Chair, she provided significant direction in the launch of the Council’s international knowledge network. She is a member of the Global Brain Trust of Quantum Leaps, an international network of leaders focused on advancing women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Ms. Maples is a founder of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and served two terms as President. She is a national founding partner of Women Impacting Public Policy and currently on its Executive Advisory Board. She was instrumental in the creation of WIPP’s Economic Blueprint, and continues to serve on the Economic Blueprint Advisory Council. She also worked with WIPP’s Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Awards, delivering her program “Profitable Business Design” to the winners in preparation for their work with WIPP mentors

Karen also is the Founder and President of Myutiqu. She established the firm because of her passion to help companies build innovation capacity for long-term viability and growth.

Ms. Maples was recognized by Enterprising Women Magazine as one of the top women entrepreneurs in North America for 2010. She holds a B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her post-graduate studies include strategic planning and marketing strategy at Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Virginia Littlejohn

Co-Founder, Quantum Leaps, Inc., and President, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives

Virginia Littlejohn is Co-Founder of Quantum Leaps, and President for Innovation and Strategic Initiatives. As Senior Advisor on Women’s Entrepreneurship to the OECD’s Small and Medium Enterprise and Entrepreneurship program from 1996 to 2006, she co-organized 3 global and 2 regional women entrepreneurial best practice conferences in Paris and Istanbul.

Quantum Leaps was created in 2002 to share best practices, and to spur development of a global women entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ms. Littlejohn provided initial incubation for the Global Banking Alliance for Women; incubated WEConnect International; and created Roadmaps to 2020 and Beyond for the US and major Indian cities. She is currently incubating FutureForward, designed to close the innovation gap between male and female entrepreneurs.

Since 2010, she has served as the Lead International Consultant for the Women & Trade program of the International Trade Centre (a joint agency of the UN and the World Trade Organization in Geneva). She also wrote ITC’s SheTrades Call to Action, designed to bring 1 million women to market by 2020.

Ms. Littlejohn was President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in the United States, and VP of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs. She was one of three architects of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, signed by President Reagan in 1988. She previously served on the National Women’s Business Council; on the American Express Small Business Partnership Advisory Board; on IBM’s Small and Medium Business Research and Technology Advisory Board; on the advisory council of the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders (GWEL) Scorecard sponsored by Dell; and as North American Jury President for the Cartier Women’s Business Initiative Awards. She currently serves on the Walmart International Advisory Council; the Enterprising Women Magazine’s Advisory Board; and as a US representative to the W20 (Women’s 20) engagement group for the G20 countries.

She has received the US Small Business Administration’s first Women’s Business Advocate of the Year Award in 1980; received NAWBO’s Legacy Award; been awarded the Applause Award by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); the President’s Award by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in the US; the Priyadarshini Award by the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE); the Champions Award by WEConnect in India; the Lifetime Achievement Award by the China American Business Women’s Alliance; the Lifetime Achievement Award by The International Alliance for Women (TIAW); been inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame; and been inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Hall of Fame sponsored by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce (AIDC), and received its Trailblazer Award.