City of Boston Forms New Partnership with Crowdfunding Platform iFundWomen

Just a couple months after iFundWomen announced its expansion into Maryland, the City of Boston revealed on Monday it is teaming up with the crowdfunding platform women. As previously reported, iFundWomen is on a mission to help drive funding towards female entrepreneurs and close the gender funding gap in venture capital. The platform revealed at its launch in 2016:

“The number of women-owned businesses grew 30% from 2007-2012, which means that women are majority owners in roughly 36% of all US businesses.  Despite these amazing gains, women still only receive 2-6% of venture capital funding. Female entrepreneurs need to be scrappier and work harder than our male counterparts to get funded. We create companies with 50% less capital. We want to change that.”

iFundWomen also reinvests 20% of its profits directly to active campaigns on the crowdfunding portal. Initiative organizers also receive free crowdfunding coaching and expert video production. According to the City officials, the partnership was announced during a panel discussion with members of the venture capital and entrepreneurial community when Mayor Martin Walsh highlighted the need for strategic partners to invest in Boston’s women-owned startups and businesses and reaffirmed Boston’s commitment to ensuring all business owners and entrepreneurs have the same access to investments and support. As part of that approach, the City’s Women Entrepreneurs Boston program will work with iFundWomen to help funnel investment dollars to women entrepreneurs. Speaking about the new collaboration, Boston’s Mayor, Martin Walsh, stated:

“Boston is home to a vast network of entrepreneurs, startups and thriving business — and we are committed to ensuring women play a major role in our business success. One of the biggest barriers is the lack of investment funds going to women-owned businesses, so we’re thrilled to welcome iFundWomen to Boston to help us move toward closing that gap. This partnership is a big step forward in building upon the success of WE BOS and we’re proud to offer this resource to help Boston’s women entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.”
The City also reported that Applicants chosen to participate in the cohort will have the option to start their crowdfunding campaigns immediately and will have access to one-on-one business and crowdfunding coaching, as well as video production services to help them pitch their concepts and tell their stories. Crowdfunding campaigns that are fully funded by January 30th will be eligible to participate in the first-ever iFundWomen Pitch Competition in March, showcasing the top companies in the cohort and giving them the opportunity to raise even more startup capital. iFundWomen CEO, Karen Cahn, also commented:
“We’re thrilled to partner with Mayor Walsh and WE BOS on iFundWomen Boston to raise money for local startups and to launch our first-ever pitch competition. iFundWomen is committed to supporting female entrepreneurs with the crowdfunding, coaching and connections they need to help raise cash for their businesses and to help them move to the next level. We’re taking our programming one step further with the introduction of this regional pitch competition, encouraging the entrepreneurs who have successfully crowdfunded with us to then have the opportunity to pitch their businesses for a sizable cash prize.”
The City went on to add that the iFundWomen Boston initiative will work closely with WE BOS, a City of Boston program that advances women entrepreneurs by providing the resources and network they need to launch and grow their business.
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