“If investors want to generate venture returns,” says Women Who Tech Founder Allyson Kapin, “they need to invest in diverse-led companies that are unlocking innovation through diverse perspectives.”
Kapin made these remarks yesterday ahead of the Women Who Tech Women Startup Challenge Europe. Women Who Tech is one of the largest organizations that showcases and funds women-led ventures globally.
“We’ve seen a rise in the number of women-led startups across Europe,” Kapin continues, “yet the latest data shows that only 10 percent of investor funding in the EU goes to women-led ventures.”
Women Who Tech is inspired by the rise of women in tech organizations who are working to change the ratio and advocating for STEM. Equally important is getting women startups more access to funding.
A whopping 90% of investor money worldwide goes to startups founded by men. That number has barely budged in a decade.
To help address this enormous problem, Women Who Tech launched the Women Startup Challenge in partnership with Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
“We’ve built a pipeline of over 2,000 women-led startups to provide investors with direct access to the best early-stage women-led startups,” said Kapin.
The Women Startup Challenge Europe event, co-hosted by the Office of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, will be held on October 25, 2018 at Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville.
In addition to the partnership with Newmark, Women Who Tech is also supported Pineapple Fund, Mozilla, Office of the Mayor of Paris, StartHer, Rad Campaign, Kite Hill PR, Donna Griffit Corporate Storyteller, and more.
“Data shows that women CEOs in the Fortune 1000 drove 3 times the returns compared to S&P 500 enterprises run predominantly by men,” said Craig Newmark, Advisor to Women Who Tech and the Founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
“We’ve got to invest in diverse perspectives and close this gap.”
A total of $60,000 in cash grants will be awarded to the winning startup(s). A $25,000 cash grant will be awarded by Mozilla to the startup whose product best incorporates privacy and transparency.
Hundreds of women-led startups from 35 countries competed to pitch top investors and tech leaders, including Mitchell Baker, Chairwoman and Cofounder of Mozilla, Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, Fatou Diagne, Partner and Cofounder at Bootstrap Europe, Julien Quintard, Managing Director of Techstars Paris, Alejandro Tauber, Editor-In-Chief of The Next Web (TNW), and Stéphanie Hospital, Cofounder and CEO of OneRagtime for financial funding.
“European technical and business ecosystems are missing opportunities for growth, innovation and new business by systematically not funding women entrepreneurs,” said Baker, Chairwoman at Mozilla.
“This year’s Women Startup Challenge proves that we can only become richer as a society by making sure that women have equal footing with men at this and every stage of their business journeys,” she added.