It all started with a common sponsor.
Just over two years ago I secured a sponsorship for FFA from Project W, an initiative by the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP led by partner Lynn Loacker. Lynn has since become one of our biggest supporters and Project W has been our sponsor 3 years in a row.
In one of our earliest conversations, Lynn mentioned another one of her sponsorees and suggested that we talk. Monarq Incubator, a VC-focused incubator program for women founded in 2017, had notable graduates like HauteHijab, Robyn (a rebrand of FertileGirl) and Cosynd. Since 2017, 32 Monarq Incubator companies have graduated from the program and have gone on to raise more than $10M in venture capital. It was a similar program to what I was organizing, led by two women who, like me, had experienced first hand the female founder journey. They just happened to be tackling the same challenges in a different market – New York. As luck would have it, those founders and I were featured in the same news story before we ever actually met.
Monarq and FFA have supported each other since then. We’ve promoted each other’s accelerator applications, dialed in to each other’s demo days, and shared tips and opportunities along the way.
Our long standing relationship and history of mutual support is why I am so excited to announce that FFA, a community dedicated to accelerating the success of women and non-binary founded venture-scale companies, has acquired Monarq Incubator. We will operate under the FFA brand and will run a single national accelerator, Ready Set Raise, which will now include Monarq Incubator graduates and mentors.
We believe our combined entities make FFA the largest network of women and non binary venture-scale founders, investors and industry leaders in the US, with substantial footprints in all major tech hubs nationally. Underrepresented founders are an untapped resource worth trillions
of dollars in revenue, and we are excited to realize that potential through leveraging our increased network of founders, investors, and partners.
Monarq Incubator founders Irene Ryabaya and Diana Murakhovskaya will transition to their new endeavors full time. Murakhovskaya recently announced the launch of The Artemis Fund, a $20 Million venture capital fund investing in female-led companies nationally. Ryabaya launched Warmintro, a mobile-based tool to meaningfully connect community members at scale through events, introductions, and online discussions. Having experienced first-hand what these two women are capable of, I am watching in awe and excited to see their careers take off.
The FFA team and I are so excited about what this acquisition means for the future of our community. In 2020, we will be hosting events in all major tech hubs (New York, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, and Los Angeles), and we can’t wait to bring our community together and continue showing the world what women and non-binary founders can accomplish.