We all know that diversity is a critical to innovation. A recent study by the Center for Talent Innovation claims that teams with diversity are 158% more likely to innovate effectively.

Wouldn't it be great if this year's Global Startup Battle was the most diverse of all time?

To that end, The Coca-Cola Company is proud to sponsor the Women’s Circle for the 2013 Global Startup Battle to encourage just that. The Coca-Cola Company has a shared goal to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020 as a part of our 5by20 initiative.

As part of our partnership with UP Global, we want to inspire and empower entrepreneurs all around the world. 

Initiatives exist to support the inclusion of nearly every underrepresented group, and they’re all important. 

We’re just picking one. 

While focused on women, the underlying construct is still diversity in the ecosystem. I believe that the best solutions come from diversity of thought and perspective and that diversity breeds more diversity.

To enter the Women’s Circle, at least 50% of your team must be women. So, it’s not too difficult to figure out that more women at your event increases diversity, increases the quality of your ideas, and increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to enter the Women’s Circle. Currently, the average is 78% men and 22% women, so, let’s use the Women’s Circle Challenge as the jumping off point and join forces to dramatically increase women participation in this year's Global Startup Battle!

Carie Davis is global innovation director at Coca-Cola. Follow her on Twitter at @cariedavis2.