In 2016, Forbes told us the force was with female founders. Riding on that tailwind, we predict 2017’s force will be stronger than ever.
Not convinced yet? VC firm First Round Capital found that their investments in companies with at least one female founder were outperforming teams with all-male founders by 63%.
And the current cycle of the AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup, a pitch competition that finds and highlights the best early stage hardware startups in the nation, reflects these trends. Our first two competitions — the West Coast Regional hosted in LA, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional hosted in Pittsburgh — were won by powerhouse startups led by female founders.
Founded by Julia Rose, the LA area startup VaGenie makes Kegels fun by allowing women to play video games using their pelvic floor muscles to control the game. Rose explains, “It’s like a Fitbit for your ladybits.”
The Pittsburgh area startup, Rubitection, is spearheaded by female founder Dr. Sanna Gaspard. Gaspard created a device that aids in early bedsore detection to improve patient care, which is a huge advancement in the field where the current method of detection is a manual and visual test that depends largely on the ambient lighting in the room, clinician skill level, and the color of the patient’s skin.
Both regional winners will compete for the grand prize in April against regional finalists from 5 other cities, as well as several international competitors who won the Hardware Cup in their respective countries. The winner will receive a $50,000 convertible-debt investment from StartBot VC as well as an exhibit booth at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2017, the world’s leading ICT/IoT trade show and global platform. Airfare to Taiwan and 5 nights of accommodation are included.
Interested in learning more about the Hardware Cup or attending a competition nearby? We’d love to meet you! Visit our website for more information and catch the latest updates on Twitter. Applications are still open for our Southern Regional in Austin — apply here by March 21, 2017 for your shot at $50,000. Question, thoughts, comments, or want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IDEABOOST and We Are Wearables are taking it a step further and putting full focus on females: they just launched the Canadian Female Founders Hardware Cup, a showcase and celebration of Canadian female founders of growth-oriented startups building hardware and wearable products for the Canadian media and entertainment industry.
Six female founder semi-finalists will be invited to pitch and demo at WWTO’s Women and Wearables event on March 28th in Toronto, which focuses on raising awareness, driving conversation and creating a more diverse wearable and hardware tech space. One Canadian finalist will be chosen by the jury to pitch and attend the AlphaLab Gear International Hardware Cup on April 19–20, 2017 in Pittsburgh.
- Thoughts on this post? Continue the conversation with AlphaLab Gear’s very own Jamillia Kamara and Leah Simoncelli
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