Barclays and Anthemis Female Founder Programme: A more level playing field for female founders

Female Innovators Lab

A more level playing field for female founders

Barclays and Anthemis are committed to bringing more women into entrepreneurship and closing the fundraising gender gap

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. The Lab’s mission is to identify female founders at the idea stage of their journey and match them with the resources and mentorship required to develop a company and bring it to its first round of fundraising.

Anthemis’ track record as early-stage FinTech investors and venture builders, coupled with the power and global footprint of Barclays, makes this an exceptional opportunity for prospective founders to progress their business ideas.

Once established, the startups will move into our Rise building in New York’s Silicon Alley, where they will have unparalleled access to mentoring and networking opportunities from the world-class FinTech hub.

Female Innovators Lab promoted outside Barclays New York HQ, 745 Seventh Avenue, New York

The Female Innovators Lab is spearheaded by Katie Palencsar, Anthemis Principal and Studio Lead of the Female Innovators Lab, and Mariquit Corcoran, Executive Sponsor of the Female Innovators Lab, and Managing Director, Barclays Ventures US. 

Katie Palencsar
Katie Palencsar

Katie leads the Female Innovators Lab by Barclays and Anthemis. She was the founder and CEO of Unbound Concepts, acquired in 2017 by Certica Solutions. Katie’s experience as an entrepreneur from idea stage, to fundraising, scaling, exit and integration gives her an unparalleled understanding of what early stage companies need to achieve success. 

Mariquit Corcoran, Barclays' Innovation Head of Partnerships, Programs and the Rise FinTech Platform
Mariquit Corcoran

Mariquit is the Executive Sponsor of the Female Innovators Lab, and is Managing Director at Barclays Ventures US. Mariquit has spent nearly two decades in the financial services industry, holding positions and leading teams in businesses spanning across fixed income, operations, risk management, finance and banking. She was featured in the HERoes 100 Women Executives List 2019, supported by Yahoo Finance, as a result of being an active and vocal champion for initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.


Further information about the Barclays and Anthemis Female Founder programme can be found in the Q3 2019 Rise FinTech PDF Report, with another article in the Rise FinTech Insights PDF report from July 2020.

How to apply

There is no formal application process, and inquiries are accepted on a rolling basis. To be considered for the Female Innovators Lab, tell us a bit more about you and your project.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Additional resources

Find out more about how Barclays, Rise and Eagle Labs are committed to supporting female founders. 

Female Innovation Lab

Helping female founders thrive

Barclays, Rise and Eagle Labs are committed to supporting female founders, through programmes, events and connections.

Female Innovators Lab

Inspiring content for female founders

A selection of informative articles, thought-provoking interviews, and podcasts designed to support and inspire female founders. We'll be updating this page regularly, keep checking back for our latest articles.

Mentoring for female founders

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

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.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for all the latest FinTech news