Microsoft’s M12 partners Mayfield, Pivotal Ventures for $6 million prize for women-led start-ups

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Published: October 17, 2019 9:02:50 PM

The competition aims to accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing business-to-business software-as-a-service and deep-tech solutions, a statement said.

A live finals pitch competition will take place on March 18-19, 2020.A live finals pitch competition will take place on March 18-19, 2020.

Microsoft’s venture fund – M12, Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures on Thursday announced the second global Female Founders Competition that will award four start-ups a total of USD 6 million (about Rs 42 crore) in venture funding.

The competition aims to accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing business-to-business software-as-a-service and deep-tech solutions, a statement said.

Eligible women-led start-ups developing enterprise tech solutions in the US, Europe, Israel and India can submit applications beginning October 17, 2019, it added.

“Four winning companies will receive a total of USD 6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits,” it said.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president (Business Development) at Microsoft Corp said last year’s competition had helped highlight that there are innovative female entrepreneurs developing enterprise tech solutions, and they just aren’t getting equal access to capital.

“The tech industry can’t afford to keep leaving women’s good ideas on the table. We need to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, and together with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures, we aim to do just that with our second Female Founders Competition,” Johnson said.

Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one female founder, have raised under USD 5 million in combined equity funding and/or debt loans, and their product, service or platform addresses critical business problem for a global market.

A live finals pitch competition will take place on March 18-19, 2020.

Two enterprise software start-ups will earn investment awards of USD 2 million each, and two deep-tech startups innovating through substantial scientific and research advances will earn investment awards of USD 1 million each.

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