Women Who Tech, a U.S. based nonprofit that advocates for women in the technology and startup industry today announced the return of the Women Startup Challenge Europe, which will connect women technology innovators from cities across Europe to compete for $50,000 in cash grants. The Startup Challenge, co-hosted by the Office of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, will feature 10 finalists pitching their ventures before a panel of investors and tech industry executives on October 25, 2018 at Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville.
Applications for Women Startup Challenge Europe are open to European tech startups with at least one woman founder or co-founder. A panel of esteemed online jurors will evaluate applications and select the 10 finalists to pitch their startup in person at Paris City Hall, Hôtel de Ville. Criteria and submission details can be found at Women Startup Challenge Europe 2018. Applications close August 3, 2018 at 11:59pm CET.
“We’re on a mission to close the funding gap by putting capital, resources, and mentoring behind women-led startups across Europe. Only 10 percent of investor funding goes to women-led startups. For ventures led by women of color, the funding is far lower,” said Allyson Kapin, Founder of Women Who Tech. “With our pipeline of over 2,000 women-led startups, our top priority is to shine a spotlight on, and provide a platform for, the biggest innovators in tech and contribute the funding they need to scale.”
The jury will include Stephanie Hospital, CEO and Founder of OneRagtime, Rajeeb Dey, CEO of Learnerbly, Julien Quintard, Managing Director of Techstars Paris, Noah Robischon, Senior Director of Product at Condé Nast Co/Lab, Former Executive Editor of Fast Company, Fatou Diagne, Co-Founder of Bootstrap Europe, Mary McKenna, Angel Investor and Tech Entrepreneur, Vidu Shanmugarajah, Legal Counsel at GV (Google Ventures), Benedetta Arese Lucini, Co-Founder at Oval Money and Cindy Padnos, Founder and Managing Director at Illuminate Ventures.
“Investing in diverse startups is good for business, innovation, and making a positive impact on our global economy,” said Women Who Tech Advisory Board Member, Rajeeb Dey, and Founder of Learnerbly. “The data shows that women-led tech companies drive a 35% return on investment. The time is now for the investor community to seize these opportunities.”
Founded in 2008, Women Who Tech is on a mission to close the funding gap. The nonprofit organization is focused on shaking up a culture and economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women to launch startups and raise capital. By showcasing women-led ventures through Women Who Tech’s flagship Women Startup Challenges, the organization provides capital, mentoring and other resources for women who are creating the most innovative tech companies to help scale their products.
The Women Startup Challenge was launched three years ago, in partnership with Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. It’s one of the largest global programs to showcase and fund women-led tech ventures with a pipeline of over 2,000 women-led tech startups.
The Challenge has been hosted for women innovators across the world, including New York, Silicon Valley, and London, co-hosted by the Office of Mayor Sadiq Khan. In 2018, the Challenge crossed digital borders with the launch of the inaugural Women Startup Challenge Podcast, where women-led startups from across the globe compete for cash grants. So far, 2,000+ applicants have participated, representing diverse, women-led startups worldwide. Further, over $1,000,000 in cash and prizes has been awarded to support women-led startups.
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