Microsoft's venture fund M12 partners with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures to announce $6 million competition for women-led enterprise startups
Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits. "Last year's competition helped highlight that there are innovative female entrepreneurs developing enterprise tech solutions, and they just aren't getting equal access to capital," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Business Development, Microsoft Corp. "The tech industry can't afford to keep leaving women's good ideas on the table. We need to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, and together with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures, we aim to do just that with our second Female Founders Competition." According to Gartner, "The enterprise software market will experience the strongest growth in 2019, reaching $457 billion, up 9% from $419 billion in 2018. "2 Investing in women-led enterprise companies is essential to economic growth and to closing the gender funding gap. Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one female founder, have raised no more than $5 million in combined equity funding and/or debt loans upon date of application, and offer or intend to release a product, service or platform addressing a critical business problem for a global market.