**Happy April Fools’ Day! Ready Set Raise is no joke though – applications open in May. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know with the Female Founders Alliance.**
Last year, the Female Founders Alliance launched a startup accelerator specifically designed for women, by women.
We identified a gap among our members at the earliest stage of venture financing – and we built a program targeted at getting companies to that first round (we also designed it to address women’s specific challenges – you can read more about it here).
Against all odds, with a tiny team based in Seattle and with zero funding at the time, the program was a huge hit. We selected eight incredible companies from hundreds of applicants nationally, and attracted 75 VC and angel investors from Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Portland to attend our private demo day. Of the Cohort 1 graduates, less than six months in, two already closed their pre-seed rounds, one closed a non-dilutive round, and two are close to opening their seed round.
With the support of our sponsors, and based out of our partner WeWork Labs, we are excited to officially announce that we will run our accelerator this year once again. Applications open in May, and the program will run through August and September. (Sign up here for updates).
The design of the program will be largely the same… with one key difference. This year, we’re changing the game. I mean, the name. We’re changing the name!
Going forward, Ready Set Raise will be called X Combinator.
If that sounds familiar, it’s no accident. It’s a nod to the original, the benchmark of success for all other accelerators, our peers down in the valley: Y Combinator. At FFA, we deeply admire what Y Combinator has built through the years, and aspire to soon reach their heights. And considering that women founders produce better returns on investment, we’re confident that we’ll get there quickly (ps. if you’re an investor and would like to share in our upside, sign up here for an invitation).
While we’re paying homage to Y Combinator with our new name, there’s also a key – and obvious – difference. The Female Founders Alliance envisions a future where business owners & leaders’ gender makeup is reflective of the world they serve – and that includes everyone, of every sex and gender. Not just those that were born with a Y chromosome.
The Y Chromosome sets genders apart. But the X chromosome – every single human being shares that one. At our most basic, human, biological level, the X chromosome unites us.
At FFA, our programs are designed to welcome all genders and all intersections.
Our mission is designed to benefit all genders and all intersections. And our goal is to make venture financing accessible to all genders and all intersections. Because we’re frustrated, and our members are frustrated too. It’s not enough to build systems that work for one type of person, retrofit them to hit a diversity KPI that’s been forced on you by the media and public opinion, declare progress when the needle moves by 0.01%, and secretly gripe about how this is taking opportunities away from people who are not “intersectional” – those for whom the system was designed to work in the first place.
If you’re curious to reimagine the startup space as a true bed of innovation, one that works for everyone and innovates for everyone. If you’re hungry for better decision-making at the hands of diverse leadership teams. If you aim to be an agent of change and not a victim of it. If you want to partake in the windfall that’s coming to those who invest in the best founders out there…
We invite you to join us.
Happy April Fools’ Day! Ready Set Raise is no joke though – applications open in May. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know with the Female Founders Alliance.