Hey, applications for the 4th Women Startup Challenge just opened. This is really big news. The point is to showcase and fund the best early-stage women-led startups focusing on Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund is a partner in this Challenge, and it's also sponsored by investors Fred and Joanne Wilson. The thing is, women-led startups have a big opportunity to make a major impact on the development of VR, AR, and AI, but they need funding to help scale. Right now, only 7% of investor money in the US goes to women-led ventures.
Any tech ventures in the VR, AR, and AI fields with at least one woman Cofounder can apply to the Startup Challenge. Applications will be accepted through December 12, 2016. The 10 best applicants will be selected to pitch their startup on stage in front of our distinguished judging panel of investors and hundreds of attendees in New York City in February 2017. The winning startup will be awarded $50,000, no strings attached, as a cash grant.
The panel of expert judges include Robert Scoble, entrepreneur in residence at Upload VR, Lisa Stone, entrepreneur and Cofounder of BlogHer, Lynne Johnson, former senior editor of Fast Company, Sandy Carter, CEO of Silicon-Blitz and formerly of IBM, and others.
Folks, please apply and share this with your networks. It's important to reach and support as many women-led startups doing good work in the space as possible.
Here's some sample messaging for you -
Sample Facebook Post to Share:
Calling all women-led startups. The 4th Women Startup Challenge, focused on VR, AR, and AI will showcase and fund women-led startups. Apply now! The Women Startup Challenge, created in partnership with Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, and sponsored in part by startup investors Fred and Joanne Wilson, will help award $50,000 as a cash grant. Please apply and/or share with your networks!! Deadline: December 12, 2016. http://bit.ly/2f17txK
This is the real deal, folks. Money’s important, but there’s more than just prize money to this. Our Women Startup Challenges have gotten women tech entrepreneurs real visibility in the investor world and have closed seven-figure rounds. We've gotta keep working to make sure that the playing field is more equitable. That's just what's right. Make sure to apply here.
Photo Credit: Nan Palmero