Hi, everyone. Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, M12 joins forces with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group to launch the Female Founders Competition, a global startup contest to identify top female talent and accelerate access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Last year, female founders received just 2.2 percent of total global venture capital funding, and only 17 percent of all startups have at least are female founder, despite the fact that gender diversity on executive teams correlates with greater profitability and value creation. Last year, Microsoft launched their first global startup competition, casting a wide net to uncover high-potential investments in artificial intelligence. Applicants will compete for the opportunity to participate in a live pitch off this fall where they will present their ideas as a solution is solution is solving a critical business problem.
At Microsoft, diversity and inclusion are central to the culture they’re building. To achieve their mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, they need to be a truer reflection of the planet we serve. The future of the tech industry, and its more important authors won’t be these of us in the Fortune 500. Today is just one of many steps we’ll take to ensure the VC dollars reach the ideas and founders with incredible investment potential that too often get left behind. Submissions are new open through Sept 30, 2018 on the M12 website. Female founded-teams building for the enterprise are encouraged to apply diversity M12.