Press release

AWIP Launches Female Founders Program to Close the Gender Gap in Venture Financing

Sponsored by Businesswire

Women in Product
(AWIP), the organization empowering high potential
female product and tech leaders through professional education and
executive mentorship, today announced the launch of the Female Founders
Program. In partnership with leading venture capital firms in Silicon
Valley, the program aims to empower the next generation of female
technology entrepreneurs through access to funding and networking events.

“One of the biggest barriers to success for female founders is obtaining
access to funding resources,” said Nancy
, CEO and founder of AWIP. “Through this initiative, AWIP
strives to create a safe space where all founders can interact, garner
feedback and secure funding mentorship from top-tier VCs.”

The inaugural Female Founders Program was held on March 20 with the
support of Sapphire
. Each event will feature an intimate networking portion to
connect founders with venture capitalists to pitch presentations and
gather feedback, as well as to gain insight on a specific market or

“Leadership across the industry should be diverse and unbiased to create
a better world. Today, half the world’s population doesn’t have an equal
voice or representation to lead the next generation of products. Our
Female Founders program is a strategic effort to support all women
leaders and impact change in the direction of equality,“ said Aakrit
, Board Member at AWIP and Co-Founder & CEO at AptEdge.

Female entrepreneurs across all industries continue to face challenges
obtaining funding, training and support in the VC landscape with only $38.9
billion invested
, or 14% of venture deals globally in companies with
a female founder in 2018, down from 15% in 2017.

“When our communities underinvest in over 50% of the world’s talent, our
society and our economy suffers,” said Tatyana
, Board Member at AWIP and Chief Product Officer at Nextdoor.
“Great ideas are overlooked, and capital is poorly deployed. This is why
we want to bring talented women and underrepresented groups face-to-face
with top Silicon Valley investors — to add fuel to innovative ideas that
will power the next 50+ years of growth.”

Feedback from Female Founder Attendees

“I haven’t had the opportunity to do 1:1s with VCs yet and pitching
opportunities are a great way to practice and hear directly from the
source on how to pitch better,” said Aneri Pradhan, Founder & CEO at ENVision

“AWIP provided a great opportunity to refine our pitch and improve our
understanding of the investor mindset through conversations with
investors interested in us and our technology sector,” said Erika
Barraza, Founder & CEO at EVRealities.

“Not only was I surrounded by other brilliant, trailblazing Female
Founders, the calibre of investors in attendance was impressive,” said
Maria Malavenda, Co-Founder & CEO at EVVEMI,
Inc. “I was given specific insights into my pitch and feedback on the
‘how, why and what’ must be present in my approach for an investor to
respond. No BS – just the facts! The session was invaluable.”

“Having just closed a seed round, getting feedback on where to focus for
a Series A raise was extremely valuable,” said Lisa Rodewald, Founder &
CEO at Instant

“We made valuable connections and got useful feedback. It was great to
see other female founders and hear what they are working on,” said Helen
Foo, Co-Founder at a Stealth Startup.

For more information, visit:

About AWIP

Co-founded by two Google and Amazon PMs, Advancing Women in Product
(AWIP) empowers tech leaders through equality of opportunity in career
advancement for both men and women. AWIP believes in the power of
education and community to propel the technology industry forward. To
learn more and to join AWIP, visit,
on Twitter, and @AdvancingWomenInProduct
on Facebook.