Three years ago I set out to help fund women-led startups in the US. Despite the data showing that teams founded or cofounded by women perform significantly better and generate more ROI than companies run exclusively by men, I learned that most investors were not investing in women or people of color. I asked dozens and dozens of investors why. Investors told me that they did not know many startups led by women or people of color, and that it was a pipeline issue. I call it a "not-trying-hard-enough" issue.
Women Who Tech, a national nonprofit working to break down barriers to women in the tech and startup industry, in partnership with Craig Newmark, announced the 10 finalists selected for its fourth Women Startup Challenge pitch competition, a nationwide contest that will focus on showcasing and funding women-led startups working in the areas of virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). The competition is co-sponsored by startup investors Fred and Joanne Wilson, and will award $50,000 as a cash grant, $35,000 in pro bono legal services by global law firm Paul Hastings, LLP, among other startup friendly services. "We received close to 200 entries from women-led startups who are at the forefront of VR and AI. These ventures are building virtual limbs, self-driving non-automotive vehicles, 3-D immersive cameras, drone technologies and wearable tech for gaming. It's vitally important that women and their companies get properly supported so that their perspective on these life changing products is brought to market," said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech.
Folks, I've been a partner in Women Who Tech's Women Startup Challenge since they first launched this great initiative 18 months ago. They've been really serious and effective, helping to showcase and fund the best early stage women-led startups. This time around, I'm co-sponsoring with investors Fred and Joanne Wilson to award $50K as a cash grant to the winner of the 4th Women Startup Challenge focused on virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). Global law firm Paul Hastings, LLP is also offering $35K in pro bono legal services. Great tech deserves to be recognized, regardless of gender.
Nonprofit organization Women Who Tech, is awarding women-led virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) startups with $50,000 cash and other startup friendly services. Women Who Tech who describes itself as a nonprofit organization working to break down barriers to women in the tech industry, announced the fourth Women Startup Challenge pitch in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and the Craig Newmark Foundation. The event is also sponsored in part by startup investors Fred and Joanne Wilson. "VR, AR, and AI are the new frontier in tech and it's vitally important that women and their companies get funded so that their perspective on these life changing products is brought to market," said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech, which organizes the competition. "It's estimated that there will be 170 million VR users by 2018.
Companies with at least one female founder generate 78 cents of revenue for every dollar of venture funding, while male-led startups generate roughly 31 cents. Yet, startups with only female founders receive just 3% of total invested dollars globally. The above infographic from Business Financing explores the global landscape of female-led startups. It shows the top female founders according to the highest amount of capital raised, in each country profiled. Which female founders have received the most funding worldwide?