In 2008, we started Women Who Tech, a nonprofit organization, to bring together talented and renowned women breaking new ground in technology to transform the world and inspire change.
Since then, we have produced several Women Who Tech TeleSummits, packed with some of the most thought-provoking discussions led by startup investor Joanne Wilson, Arianna Huffington, Rashmi Sinha, cofounder of SlideShare, acquired by LinkedIn, Shaherose Charania cofounder of Women 2.0, Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sistas, Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer acquired by Sheknows Media, and more.
We have been 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, we launched the Women Startup Challenge in partnership with Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. We know that there are many women startups that have the right ideas, whose products can solve problems, and can change the world. But to scale and be successful, these startups need funding, advice, and guidance. The Women Startup Challenge will give women a platform to showcase their startups and get the support that they need.
Women Who Tech uses an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female”, and we welcome transwomen, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who identify, have identified, or have been identified as female or woman.
To Break Down Barriers and Get More Women Startups Funded
Women are founding innovative startups more than ever before, yet only 10% of investor money worldwide goes to women-founded startups. We want to help women pitch their ventures, and get their startups funded.
To Mobilize a Network of Women Startups
Investors say that they want to fund more women startups. Women startups want to pitch more investors. We want to help connect the dots and start a network to introduce women startups to investors.
To Highlight that Women-Led Startups Have Big Exits
Check out just a few of the women-led startups whose companies either went public or were acquired:
- Sandra Lerner: Co-founded Cisco. They went public in 1990.
- Sheila Lirio Marcelo: Founded Care.com. They went public in 2014.
- Gail Goodman: CEO of Constant Contact. They went public in 2007.
- Xochi Birch: Co-founded Bebo, which was acquired by AOL for $850M.
- Kass Lazerow: Co-founded Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforce for $689M.
- Diane Greene: Founded VMWare, which was acquired by EMC for $600M+.
- Heidi Messer: Founded Linkshare, which was acquired by Rakuten Inc. for $425M.
- Victoria Ransom: Co-founded Wildfire Interactive, which was acquired by Google for $250M.
- Rashmi Sinha: Co-founded SlideShare, which was acquired by Linkedin for an estimated $119M.
- Wendy Tan White: Co-founded Moonfruit, which was acquired by Yell Group for £18M.