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Female Founder Fellowship

The Female Founder Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary female applicant for each semester, giving them the opportunity to participate in the Founder Institute for free. The recipient will be recognized as a female with the utmost potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur.

The Founder Institute is committed to narrowing the gender gap in high tech startups. When we announced the Female Founder Fellowship program in 2011, only 16% of Founder Institute companies were founded by females. Since then, the results of this program have been astounding, as our overall number of female-founded companies has more than doubled, to a total of approximately 33%. This is more than twice as high as most other startup programs. Learn more about the Female Founder Fellowship program here

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the Female Founder Fellowship for the upcoming semester, you must complete your application, be accepted to the program, and submit your payment by the Early Deadline listed on the top of this page. Any female who follows these guidelines will be automatically eligible - no further steps are required. 

Grant: The Female Founder Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary female applicant for each semester. The recipient will be awarded and notified within 5 days after the Early Admissions Deadline, and they will receive a full refund on their Course Fee within 1 week of the program start date. All applicants will be notified via email when the Fellowships are awarded.

Click here to apply for the Female Founder Fellowship

And the Finalists for the 15th Founder Showcase Pitch Competition are...

Posted by Joe Garza on 2014-05-13

While many worthy companies competed, only a select few could make it to the final round of the Founder Showcase, to compete onstage in front of hundreds of investors and press. Today, we are proud to announce the finalists of the 15th Founder Showcase

Tickets for the 15th Founder Showcase are still available. Click here to get yours today.

Competing on stage at the event will be;

  • Daylighted: Based in San Francisco, Daylighted transforms hotels and restaurants into digital art galleries by offering them the opportunity to easily display and sell photography.
  • emberlight: Another San Francisco-based company, emberlight is a home automation product that turns any light into a smart light, giving homeowners lighting control from anywhere in the world.
  • Feetz: Feetz utilizes new materials and 3D manufacturing processes to make custom-sized shoes, alleviating the need for shoppers to try on countless shoes before finding the perfect fit.
  • LifeAssist: LifeAssist builds wearable assistance devices for seniors to help them live independently, serving as a sort of “OnStar for people.”
  • TrustLeaf: TrustLeaf simplifies borrowing money from friends and family by organizing funds in a professional looking proposal, giving small business owners one less thing to worry about.
  • Vibease: Vibease is the world’s first wearable, smart vibrator that can be used for chatting and sharing intimate moments, even when couples are miles away from each other.

Getting to know the Founder Showcase Finalists

What was the inspiration behind starting the company?

Anson Liang (Co-Founder of TrustLeaf): Once I had a friend agree to loan me money for a startup, but figuring out the details of an agreement and putting it into writing was so stressful that I decided to decline his offer, even though I could’ve used the money.

Alex Cammarano (Co-Founder of Daylighted): In our team, we all love photography and travel. During our trips, we took tons of pictures and tried to sell them online, and discovered amazing photos and artists online, great photographers we had never heard about before. So we decided to bring art to the people, and not the other way around.


What has been the most challenging part of starting this company thus far?

Lucy Beard (Founder of Feetz): Solving complex physical good problems is hard, solving them bootstrapped is harder, and finding great people to join the hardest.

Anson Liang (Co-Founder of TrustLeaf): We actually raised our friends and family funding round on our own platform. Of course, we were constantly reminded of the irony: we were raising money from our friends and family to fund our enterprise that in turn helps entrepreneurs raise money from their friends and family.


What has been the most satisfying part?

Atif Noori (Founder of emberlight): Probably building the team, and seeing each person really motivated to drive their respective areas of the product. Second is when people that I talk to love the product and tell me that they want a dozen yesterday!

Alex Cammarano (Co-Founder of Daylighted): Getting the first customers was already rewarding, but it was all the most satisfying to have them recommending us to other potential customers.


Why do you think you will win the competition?

Jean Anne Booth (CEO of LifeAssist): We expect to win because seniors tell us we have a great product in an enormous market space, with over 20 million seniors 75+ today.

Atif Noori (Founder of emberlight): Although we may be an earlier stage company than the rest of the competitors, we have a combination of an experienced team, product vision, and market potential that could lead to something big.


Where do you want your company to be 1 year from the Founder Showcase, on May 15, 2015?  What will it look like? What progress would you have made?

Lucy Beard (Founder of Feetz): 10,000 customers will be smiling as they put their shoes on - walking down the street with an extra little bounce in their step! We will have launched in several retailers and signed on a major footwear brand.

Jean Anne Booth (CEO of LifeAssist): The company will have raised two rounds totaling $10M, and be on track for a market launch at the end of 2015. We’ll have signed the final contracts for first retail channels including AT&T Innovation Store and Verizon, and be in discussion with Walgreen’s and CVS.


To see these companies compete for the grand prize at the 15th Founder Showcase, click here to get your tickets.

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