June 16, 2016
Women in tech have been increasingly spotlighted in the tech industry lately, and with good reason. The need for more representation and visibility from women in tech and STEM fields is growing, and the work that has already been done by various organizations only needs to continue.
Emerging female tech creators and leaders across the U.S. have been working hard, too. The Audience Awards (AudAwards) are hosting a competition as part of the third annual Women Who Tech’s Women Startup Challenge – one of the tech world’s largest initiatives to bring together and support promising, early-stage, women-led start-ups.
Ten finalists have been selected from a pool of over 400 to compete in this competition. The judges include various tech leaders, including entrepreneur Craig Newmark, BBG Ventures partner Nisha Dua, Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton, Trinity Ventures partner Karan Mehandru, and BlogHer founder and entrepreneur Lisa Stone.
With the Jury Prize is a $50,000 award provided by Newmark and a $10,000 investment grant from Backstage Capital, the finalists have a lot at stake. Contenders will also have a chance to win one of the three Audience Awards of $120,000 (each) plus acceptance into the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program. The program itself will be vital for these emerging entrepreneurs as they provide a go-to-market support; business mentorship and services; and access to technical expertise to help startups build, launch and scale their business.
Votes can be cast on the AudAwards site until June 20th. Newmark commented on the need for more women-focused initiatives in tech, stating: “Less than ten percent of startup investments are directed to women-led startups. That’s not only unfair, it’s bad business. The tech world needs to be promoting its top talent regardless of gender.”
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