Startup consulting firm Quesnay announced on Monday the launch of its inaugural Female Founders in Tech competition, which aims to address the gap in female leaders by recognizing and supporting female-founded startups that impact the financial services and/or insurance technology industries. Jennifer Byrne, president of Quesnay, shared details about the competition:
“As a longtime advocate of female entrepreneurship, Quesnay is very excited to leverage our extensive experience running global innovation competitions for corporate clients to launch our inaugural Female Founders in Tech competition. Women often lack access to funding and mentorship to grow their businesses. Among the nearly 500 deals closed in the Fintech sector in the US in 2016, less than a dozen went to companies founded by women. We hope to make a positive and immediate impact to showcase female-founded companies with viable products that could be quickly scaled through meaningful partnerships.”
Applications are now being accepted and startups have until October 31st to apply for the competition. Quesnay explained that applicants will gain visibility to a community of thought leaders from the venture capital and industry communities, along with insurance, finance and technologies industries and prominent universities. Six finalists will be selected to participate in a live pitch event on December 11th, which will be hosted by Open Innovation Lab at Alley, powered by Verizon. The finalists will also receive personalized guidance from the competition’s corporate sponsors and will receive Microsoft Azure cloud computing credit.
Sponsors the event include AARP, American Family Insurance, RGAx, Sterling National Bank, TD Bank, Thomson Reuters and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The finalists will have the opportunity to work with these sponsors and with Quesnay’s network of leaders more broadly through mentorship as well as the potential to explore partnerships following the competition.