Female Founders First by Barclays and Techstars
Calling trailblazing female founders
30 Entrepreneurs. 6 Weeks. 1 unprecedented opportunity for female-led startups.
Programme dates: 9th November - 18th December 2020
Research shows the biggest challenges to female entrepreneurs revolve around access: access to networks, business advice and capital. Barclays and Techstars are teaming up to select and provide 30 trailblazing female-led companies the tools and resources they need to take the next step to grow their businesses.
Sonal Lakhani, Head of Global Programmes and Strategic Initiatives for Barclays Innovation
The Female Founders First Programme by Barclays and Techstars is a one-off programme for 30 high-growth female founders from around the globe. The selected participants will receive mentorship and a curriculum of workshops and roundtables as well as perks, access to a great network and brand strengthening initiatives.
Watch Sonal Lakhani, Head of Global Programmes and Strategic Initiatives, Group Innovation, Barclays, explain more about this global programme.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with screening interviews for top candidates being held from 19 – 22 October 2020.
Who is the Female Founders First programme for
Tech entrepreneurs, identifying as female and poised to enter their next round of funding or enter the next phase of growth towards scale
Entrepreneurs that represent and value diversity of identity, intersectionality, and thought
Achieved some level of traction in their industry and are interested in developing their media profile
As a founder, growing your network allows you to connect with likeminded people, compare experiences and ideas, and overcome common challenges. That’s why forming a close-knit cohort is a cornerstone element of the Females First offering.
Addressing the basic business needs of female founders is fundamental. We’ll take these concerns off the table by providing you a collection of products and services that are highly demanded by entrepreneurs.
We are bringing together an exceptional cadre of female CEOs, founders, investors, and advisors, to truly understand your unique goals and needs, and help you on your growth journey.
Telling your story
The stories we tell matter. That's why we'll help break the paper-ceiling by building your public profile and providing access to brand strengthening initiatives.
We know that on every step of the journey female founders often have fewer resources to tell their stories to customers and potential funders. Female Founders First will help share the participants’ stories with the world - when they need it the most - just as they are ready to scale.
Managing Director, Female Founders First by Barclays and Techstars
Having worked with female founders globally we know that access to mentoring is crucial. The Female Founders First programme by Barclays and Techstars has been carefully curated to ensure female founders can access the advice that will help take their business to the next level.
Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives for Barclays Innovation
Interested in learning more? Join our Ask Me Anything with Jennifer Jordan at 10AM (ET) on Friday, October 16th, 2020.
What is the Female Founders First Programme by Barclays and Techstars?
The Female Founders First Programme is a unique offering from Barclays and Techstars. Over 6 weeks, 30 selected founders will gain access to networking events, content designed to help push their businesses forward, and promotional opportunities for their companies.
Where will the Female Founders First programme be based?
The programme is entirely virtual. This means founders can access the opportunity from anywhere in the world leveraging tools including Zoom and Slack.
Why should female founders participate in this programme?
The programme is not an accelerator with direct funding, nor an incubator designed to get started. The programme is an exciting 6-week engagement designed to help female founders prepare for what’s next, and gain access to exposure in the process.
How is it different from other programmes offered by Barclays & Techstars?
Founders will gain access to specific resources designed to help prepare them for the next round of funding or scale. Founders will also gain access to brand strengthening initiatives.
What type of sessions are there during the programme?
During the programme, participants will gain access to workshops designed to help them scale their businesses and navigate some of the unique challenges that female founders face. Selected participants will also gain access to CEO roundtables, which are MD facilitated sessions
What kind of perks are available to programme participants?
Because addressing the basic business needs of female founders is fundamental, participants will benefit from a collection of products and services that are highly demanded by entrepreneurs, including cloud hosting credits, free or discounted CRM, expense/payroll services, and more.
How many founders will be selected?
Only 30 founders will be selected.
Do you have to be a woman to apply?
The programme is designed to elevate, give business advice and promote female founders and their businesses. Our definition of “female” is the broadest possible and includes any female-identifying, nonbinary, and genderqueer founders.
Do you have to be building a FinTech company?
No, the programme is subject-matter agnostic. We are excited to help female founders build their businesses across a range of industries including healthcare, legal, finance, ecommerce, AI, software, B2B, B2C, and more.
At what stage should a company be to apply?
Companies should have initial traction with customers and product market fit, but they don’t need to have reached a specific level of funding. Will there be any requirement to exchange equity? No, this programme is free of charge to selected participants, and involves no direct investment or equity exchange.
What kind of promotion and media benefits should founders expect?
Throughout the course of the programme, founders will get the chance to learn how to build their public profile. Messaging and/or media training will be available to participants as a part of the offering. To help increase their visibility, each founder will also be featured on the programme website, together with the stories gathered throughout the course of the six weeks. Should the opportunity arise, we will also work with the founders to pitch to relevant media outlets, as appropriate.
Is there a fee to participate?
No, this programme is free of charge to selected participants. Barclays and Techstars are committed to supporting female founders on their entrepreneurial journeys, and this programme has been designed with that commitment in mind.
What is the time commitment?
The programme runs for 6 weeks. Founders’ total commitment is approximately three hours per week, with other opportunities for networking, and optional mentor office hours.
My company has two female founders. If accepted, would we take one or two slots of the 30?
We will be reviewing these types of cases as the selection process moves forward. We intend to only have one slot per company, but multiple leaders from the same company could join the sessions, if conditions permit.
Find out more about how Barclays, Rise and Eagle Labs are committed to supporting female founders.
Helping female founders thrive
Barclays, Rise and Eagle Labs are committed to supporting female founders, through programmes, events and connections.
A level playing field for female founders
The Female Innovators Lab is a New York City-based studio dedicated to cultivating entrepreneurial talent in women from all sides of the financial services ecosystem.
Mentoring for female founders
We've partnered with AccelerateHER, a network that believes in supporting female founders on their entrepreneurial journey.
Investing in female founders
We've partnered with Angel Academe, a fast-growing and award-winning angel investor network with over 400 registered investors focused on female founded technology businesses.
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