Sourcing and selecting Europe’s most promising female-led ventures

The investment readiness accelerator for female led ventures – Grow F

At Female Founders we held the first batch of out investment readiness accelerator – Grow F in 2019.  Since then we have supported 59 female-led ventures with innovative and scalable solutions, from across Europe and beyond, on their fundraising journey’s. We are extremely proud of the achievements, raised funds, and growth from all of the alumni who have completed Grow F. 

Now we are beyond excited to onboard 10 new startups for Batch 7. In order to join the program, startups need to have at least one female founder on their team, an MVP with first traction and be ready and eager to raise their first institutional round. In this blogpost you find out exactly how we source and select the startups for Grow F! 

Dealflow

For Batch #7, we received a record breaking number of qualified applications from female – led ventures totalling to 263 applicants! Looking at the breakdown shows us, we had applications from more than 60 countries all over the world. While we continue to see a strong dealflow from both the DACH region and the United Kingdom summing up to 50% of all applications, the trend of a further diversification across pan-Europe continues. We are really excited to see the trend of increased applications from Western European countries and the Nordics over the past years continue with this application round.

The same trend of diversification can also be seen by the industry or category the startups who applied are operating in. Many of the applying founders are striving to have a strong positive impact on our society and the world we are living in – so it comes as no surprise that we do see many startups in the areas such as HealthTech, FemTech, EduTech, and ClimateTech.

Moreover, we are specifically excited to see an increase in the maturity of the ventures. Many of the applying founders have significant industry experience and the startups have impressive early traction. 

A special thank you goes out to all our great community partners, the VC funds we work with, our mentors, experts, angel investors as well as our ambassadors that trust us and have supported us in sharing our activities with their communities.

Selection

Once applications are closed we complete a two step selection process to determine which startups will take part in the accelerator program:

 

1. Jury Selection

As a first step we compose a jury panel located across Europe consisting of investors with expertise and knowledge in different segments and geographical areas.

 

In addition to an external Jury Panel, our internal team including Carina, our Head of program and Nina, Co-Founder of Female Founders review all of the startups. 

In order to align the rating, we have set the following standardized criteria list following a clear scoreboard: 

  • team
  • business model
  • market size
  • degree of innovation
  • scalability
  • KPI/traction achieved
  • impact

On basis of the evaluation the top 40 companies are selected to move on to the final selection phase: 

2. Interview 

In a one hour interview, founders have to deliver a 3-minute pitch as well as a demo on their solution. The interview not only gives a deeper understanding of the problem and solution, but also of the founders and how the team is composed. 

Based on the jury selection and the impression of the interview, the top 10 startups will be selected to join the program which will start end of March. 

Partnership with Microsoft

For the second time, we are partnering with Microsoft who is aligned with our core values of striving for an equal world with equal opportunities. Together with our partner, we have searched for a B2B startup in the area of sustainability and ClimateTech. Microsoft will support the selected startup with mentorship and access to know-how in areas such as Go-To-Market Strategies, Technology and Sales.

What’s next 

Think your startup could be a good fit for Grow F? We have just opened our applications for Batch 8 which is starting in October 2022. 

Are you an investor and want to know even more about our dealflow or have any other questions? Contact us for more info. 

Are you a corporate and got interested in how we can help you to scout for promising startups? Contact us for more info here

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