M12, Microsoft's venture fund, partnered with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group this past summer to kick off the Female Founders Competition, a global search to find and fund innovative female-founded startups bringing value to enterprises. The fund announced 10 competition finalists Wednesday (Nov. 14).
The goal of the competition is to accelerate access to capital for women entrepreneurs. "This competition has not only dispelled the myth that women aren't innovating in enterprise tech, but also reinforced our belief in the sheer number of them. In just two short months, we uncovered several hundred," says M12 Managing Director Lisa Nelson. The ten finalists are:
Acerta Analytics (Canada) — Acerta, founded by CEO Greta Cutulenco, provides an AI platform that ensures quality and reliability of vehicle systems throughout the vehicle lifecycle.
BitDam (Israel) — BitDam, founded by CEO Liron Barak, proactively protects an organization's collaboration channels, guarding against the cyberattacks of tomorrow by stopping advanced content-borne threats contained in any type of attachment or URL, pre-delivery.
Contilio (United Kingdom) — Contilio, founded by CEO Zara Riahi, provides a decision-making platform for smart delivery of construction projects, turning real-time site data into actionable insights.
CrowdAI (United States) — CrowdAI, founded by CEO Devaki Raj, provides automated object detection and classification from sky to ground.
Features Analytics (Belgium) — Features Analytics, founded by CEO Cristina Soviany, delivers AI-based conduct surveillance solutions for the detection of market abuse in equities, FX or other financial instruments, reducing operating costs, financial risks and exposure.
Jargon (United States) — Jargon, founded by CEO Milkana Brace, enables third-party voice apps to reach global users in their native tongues.
Mental Canvas (United States) — Mental Canvas, founded by CEO Julie Dorsey, reimagines sketch for the digital age by augmenting it with spatial strokes, 3D navigation, and free-form animations — all drawn with the ease of pencil and paper.
TrialJectory (United States) — TrialJectory, founded by CEO Tzvia Bader, provides an AI clinical trial matching platform for pharma that reduces extensive screening efforts and streamlines the entire patient recruitment process.
Verge.Capital (Ireland) — Verge.Capital, founded by Chief Risk Officer Ioanna Stanegloudi, aims to be the premier pan-European credit score provider, enabling EU citizens to freely carry credit scores across the EU and helping underbanked citizens access credit facilities.
Wenspire (Israel) — Wenspire, founded by CEO Mirit Kagarlitsky, provides a secure-by-design solution to protect, insure and safely share data with third parties, overcoming the pain and limitations of traditional cybermeasures and also eliminating risk assessment procedures.
Two winning teams from among the finalists will receive equal prizes totaling a combined $4 million in venture funding. The winners will be announced in December.