WASHINGTON DC, June 22 - Women Who Tech, one of the largest nonprofit organizations that funds and showcases women-led ventures, today launched its first worldwide FemTech and HealthTech Grants Challenge to help close the funding gap for women-led startups and accelerate innovation to address pressing global healthcare issues.
To help fund the future of innovation - by women for women - while spurring more cutting-edge advancements, Women Who Tech is deploying capital and resources to FemTech and HealthTech startups working to champion greater healthcare access on a global scale, bolstering the medical tech ecosystems, and bringing more effective digital health solutions and technologies to market.
Five early-stage women-led startups with a focus on FemTech and/or HealthTech will be selected to compete for $20,000 USD in equity-free grant funding. The W Fund, SteelSky Ventures, Citrine Angels, and others will also be evaluating the startups for further investment. Full criteria and submission details can be found on Women Who Tech’s website. Applications close July 18, 2021, 11:59pm PT.
The esteemed jury is comprised of investors and global health leaders including:
- Maria Velissaris, Founding Partner, SteelSky Ventures
- Deena Shakir, Partner, Lux Capi
- Stephanie Cherrin, Principal, Porsche Ventures
- Jocelyn Lee, Executive Director, HearstLab UK
Women-led startups experience persistent and significant barriers and biases raising investment from VC firms, where 95% of VC partners are men. Furthermore, many of the largest FemTech startup exits have primarily been led by men. Women Who Tech is mission-set to disrupt the culture and economy of men funding men.
“Only 3% of total healthtech funding went to FemTech startups in 2020 - a hugely missed opportunity given that global healthcare spending is predicted to reach over $10 trillion by 2022,” said Allyson Kapin, Founder of Women Who Tech. “Within FemTech alone, the market will scale to $1.07 trillion by 2026—now is not the time for VCs to overlook diverse innovation that’s right in front of them.”
“It’s alarming that funding for women-led startups dropped by nearly 30% in 2020, despite a record year of fundraising in the startup sector. It’s hard to ignore the correlation between women who bore the bulk of responsibility managing the household, childcare, and school during the pandemic and the significant decline in funding of women-led ventures. We need to address this now to ensure we’re building tech through a diverse lens,” said Craig Newmark, Founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and member of Women Who Tech’s Advisory Board.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not only highlight gaps in funding for women-led startups, but it also underscored existing healthcare inequities, especially for women—particularly women of color, in global communities due to a lack of healthcare investments and infrastructure. While COVID-19 itself may be on the decline, WHO reports that it continues to disrupt essential health services in 90% of countries.
Women Who Tech’s FemTech and HealthTech Grants Challenge is bolstering support for global healthcare and digital solutions with grants, fundraising and investing support, and more. The program is open to global FemTech/HealthTech startups with at least one woman founder/co-founder.
About Women Who Tech
Founded in 2008, Women Who Tech is helping to draw global attention to the significant gender bias in venture capital funding by shaking up a culture and an economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women to launch and scale startups. The nonprofit provides capital, mentoring, direct access to leading investors, and other resources for women founding the most innovative tech companies, with the ultimate goal of closing the funding gap for good.
To date, $125M+ has been raised by Women Who Tech program cohorts. For more, visit www.WomenWhoTech.com.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. The organization works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas including trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families.
For more, visit: www.CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org.
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Women Who Tech