We started Ready Set Raise 4 years ago with the mission to bust the gender gap in venture capital. Traditional accelerators don’t work for women founders, but ours does, time and time again. We’ve been in your shoes, and on the investor side too, so we know what founders need to be successful. And with each new cohort, our program gets even better.

2021 Program Applications Opening in June

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$15M raised by 3 Cohorts

With over $15M raised by alumni at the pre-seed or seed stages, we are proud that Ready Set Raise has achieved demonstrable results for women founders seeking vc funding. Through our program, we do everything in our power to unlock a real path to success for each and every company in our cohort. We do things differently, from introducing free childcare in our first year, pioneering in pitch translation, whispering to founders through tricky fundraises, and uncovering the real secrets to succeeding with VC. Our graduates see the difference and are more likely to get results.

Sample Funds from the Investor Showcase

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for Ready Set Raise?

We understand the unique challenges that await women and non-binary founders, especially those of marginalized identities. We are here to help. Even if you don’t think your company is qualified or ready for our accelerator, we encourage you to apply. Our program is designed to support a wide variety of founders, including first-time founders.

In our three years running the accelerator, we have learned that companies we are best suited to help fundraise have clarity on their business, their product, and have evidence of demand. This could mean anything from a waitlist, to signed LOIs, to pilot customers, to paying customers.

We specifically look for companies that understand their business model, target customer, and go to market strategy. We want you to use your time with us to fundraise, not to pivot! If you’re in the idea phase of your company or product, we’d be happy to refer you to other suitable programs, or would love to see you apply for the next Cohort!

If you are not selected, we will create an opportunity for you to get feedback from the selection process, and if eligible, you will be added to our Founder Community where you’ll benefit from programming, resources, and support from fellow founders year-round.

As far as you, the founder? Founders who succeed are highly coachable, skilled at interpreting and implementing feedback, and ready to put their full focus on the program.

Applicants must have a woman or non-binary CEO. CEOs are encouraged to bring co-founders to all programming.

What results have you achieved for founders?

With three Cohorts of 8 companies each under our belt, and over $15M raised by alumni at the pre-seed or seed stages, we are proud that Ready Set Raise has achieved demonstrable results specifically for women founders seeking vc funding. In our alumni’s words:

“I would not be in this position today without you. I tried and failed to raise, and now after Ready Set Raise I have more commitments than space in my 1.5M round.”

“Before Ready Set Raise, I was overwhelmed with inbounds from investors, which felt great at first, but I was new to venture; I didn’t know how to build a strategy around fundraising. No one I spoke to during that time seemed to be willing to invest in my pre-seed round despite our demonstrated traction. RSR gave me the coaching, push, and access to experts to help me raise. The accelerator set me up with effective meetings with the right investors, and I was able to get commitments and oversubscribe my $500k round.” 

Before Ready Set Raise, I met with investors all across Silicon Valley, attended other ‘women founder programs’, and I tried for months to raise, unsuccessfully. Through Ready Set Raise I *actually* learned to pitch and the accelerator connected us to best-in-class mentors and investors with years of industry experience. Their guidance and coaching helped us close our first fundraising round within weeks of the program’s end.”

What does the program entail?

There are four main pillars of the accelerator:

  • Cohort Experience: the fellow founders in your Cohort are on the same path as you, and we facilitate connection & encouragement so you don’t feel alone in your CEO-seat. We start and close each week with just the Cohort. Founders from past Cohorts have said their Cohort is, in the long run, so much more valuable than they had anticipated.
  • 1:1 Relationship Building with Investors: You’ll meet a lot of investors through Ready Set Raise. Close to 200, total, and approximately 50 in 1:1 settings. In the later part of the program, you can expect to have ~20+ 1:1 meetings per week.
  • Group Sessions with industry experts, including exclusive and high value offers from partners: We bring experts in to provide knowledge and advice on areas specifically related to fundraising. Our conservative value of these is $100k.
  • Weekly pitch practice: Each week the group spends Thursdays pitching our Coaches and getting feedback. Our coaches are active investors who will give it to you straight –  not sugar coated, not veiled, and always in service of what will help you raise successfully.

What kind of fundraising support should I expect?

You and you alone can fundraise for your company. However, we will give you guidance, tools, and coaching to help you through the process. Throughout the program, you will receive direct instruction on how to execute a fundraising process: pitch deck, pitch & investor Q&A, deal terms, building a data room, investor list building & outreach, taking investor meetings, generating momentum in your raise, and more. We close the program with a week of investor meetings where we will put you in front of 150+ investors.

How much time will the program require?

In 2021, we expect that the program will be fully virtual, occupying up to 30hrs/week during the program. If conditions permit, we will evaluate the option to return to a blended virtual and in-person program.

What can I expect from the Investor Showcase?

Our Investor Showcase features vetted investors from diverse geographies who are known to invest in women and non-binary-founded startups.

Sample Mentors

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Alex Iskold
2048 Ventures
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Arean van Veelan
OfferUp
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Bill Bryant
Threshold Ventures
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Cat Hernandez
The Venture Collective
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Christie Pitts
Backstage Capital
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Elissa Fink
CMO, Tableau
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Elizabeth Edwards
H Venture Partners
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Gabby Cazeau
Harlem Capital
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Jonathan Chang
Trend Forward Capital
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Kirby Winfield
Ascend VC
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Kristina Bergman
Integris Software
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Len Jordan
Madrona Venture Group
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Maria Hess
Madrona Venture Labs
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Maryam Casbarro
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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Micah Baldwin
Angel Investor
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Nathalie Walton
Expectful
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Nitya Rajendran
Tribeca Venture Partners
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Rodrigo J Prudencio
Amazon
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Saira Rahman
Fintech Expert
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Sandra Campos
Fashion Launchpad
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Sarah Imbach
Angel Investor
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Serena Glover
Angel Investor
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Shiyan Koh
Hustle Fund VC
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Sonya Erickson
Cooley
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Sydney Thomas
Precursor Ventures
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Timothy Chen
Essence VC
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Tim Porter
Madrona Venture Group
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Yohei Nakajima
Scrum Ventures

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