April Fools, folks. My team tried to play a joke on me today. They told me that a new study reported that 0% of women-led startups are funded. While that's an April Fools joke, the real stats aren't much better. Only 7% of investor money goes to women-led startups, if you can believe it. Just 7% up from 0%. That's pretty bad.
It's about time that we invest more in women-led startups. There's talk about how we need to #changetheratio, but talk's not enough. There's gotta be action that disrupts the tech sector. Today, I'm partnering with Women Who Tech to launch the first-ever Women Startup Challenge to fund women-led startups. The goal's to raise money for every women-led startup that applies and gets accepted. Startups in the Women Startup Challenge can also win up to another $50K in cash, with no strings attached, plus lots of other startup-friendly prizes, like a one-on-one meeting with one of the partners from 500 Startups, and classes from General Assembly. I also plan to profile some of the winning startups on Huffington Post, Medium, and LinkedIn.
In addition to launching the Women Startup Challenge, we just released an infographic to show just how important this Challenge is for women in startups. The stats might surprise you, but hopefully they'll motivate you to join me and disrupt the stagnant numbers.
As part of the Women Startup Challenge, Women Who Tech has also organized a series of events focusing on getting women entrepreneurs the recognition they deserve. Check out the livestream panel on Bootstrapping to Big Bucks: Tips for Funding Your Startup with Susan Lyne (President of BBG Ventures, The BBG Fund at AOL Inc) and Kate Shillo (VC and Director of Galvanize), moderated by Allyson Kapin (Founder of Women Who Tech) on April 6th at 3pm ET at General Assembly.
Then, if you want to learn how to make your pitch even better, what pitfalls to avoid, or how to break through the brogrammer culture, check out the Women Who TeleSummit on April 29th from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM ET. It will feature some of the biggest changemakers and disruptors in the tech sector, including Lisa Stone, Cofounder of BlogHer, Lynne d. Johnson, former Senior Editor of Fast Company, Sarah Kunst, Partner at Fortis Partners, Julie Wainwright, CEO of The RealReal, Wendy Tan White, Cofounder of Moon Fruit, Rebecca Eisenberg, General Counsel, Formerly of PayPal and Reddit, and more.