The event next month will be the sixth office hours initiative run collaboratively by these industry leaders.
120 venture capital funds will also take part in the initiative, including Accel, Balderton, Project A and Seedcamp. The VCs will hold remote office hours for the participating female founders, who will have the opportunity to network, pitch for investment, discuss their business ideas or find a mentor.
Each founder will have the opportunity to meet four investors during one hour of remote office hours. Founders and investors will be matched using AI technology
Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK said: “Access to networks and warm introductions are key when it comes to fundraising, which is why we’re so delighted to continuously partner with Playfair and Tech Nation for the Female Founders Office Hours.”
“It’s a project where everybody wins – the VCs get access to exceptional founders, the founders get much needed cash to grow their businesses, and the customers get better, more inclusive, more competitive products, delivered by a more diverse tech ecosystem.”
Previous events under the office hours scheme have boasted a total of 3000 individual mentoring sessions, with 680 founders and 150 investors taking part.
27% of these founders have since raised significant fundraising after attending the event, including sustainable delivery startup, HIVED and personalised menopause platform, Vira Health.
Since female founders disproportionately struggle to secure funding, with only 1% of the available capital across central and eastern Europe in 2020, the office hours are crucial in addressing the gender funding gap.
Chris Smith, Playfair Capital’s Managing Partner, said, “Two years since the first edition of Female Founder Office Hours and I’m thrilled that we are seeing an increasing percentage of attendees go on to raise funding from VCs and angels.”
“Yet the fact our sixth event will be the largest ever tells us that the problems of access for women founders and the resulting imbalance in funding remain. With our partners, investors and the support of the ecosystem we are fully committed to continue the mission we have started.”