SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Women Startup Challenge announced the winners of its first West
Coast competition for women-led tech startups held last night at
LinkedIn in San Francisco.
The top prize of $50,000 went to SIRUM of Stanford, California, a
“match.com” for unused, unexpired medicine which matches it with people
in need. The Audience Choice Award and $120,000 in cloud services went to
Blendoor of San Francisco, a blind recruiting app for job recruiters
that hides the candidate’s name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias
and facilitate diversity. A $10,000 investment from Backstage Capital
was awarded to bluDiagnostics of Madison, Wisconsin, one of the first
apps to enable women to understand their body through revolutionary
saliva-based measurement technology that provides immediate,
quantitative data about hormone levels.
The pitch competition, co-produced by Women Who Tech and Craig Newmark’s craigconnects,
awarded more than $400,000 in cash and cloud services. Sponsors included
Backstage Capital, Audience Awards, and IBM.
“We’re immensely proud of all the women who compete in each Women
Startup Challenge,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech, which
ran the competition. “They are innovators creating solutions to
real-world problems and challenges. They’re doing serious business, and
tech investors and venture capitalists need to take notice and fund
these ventures so they can scale.”
“Tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient, earn a higher
return on investment, and when backed by venture capital bring in higher
revenue. This is about fairness, but it’s also about good business,”
said Newmark, who advocates for men in the tech community to be true
allies to women colleagues.
The judges included prominent tech leaders: Lisa Stone, cofounder of
BlogHer and Entrepreneur; Nisha Dua, partner at BBG Ventures; Susan
Kimberlin, venture partner at Backstage Capital; and Ajay Chopra,
general partner at Trinity Ventures.
The first Women Startup Challenge was held a year ago in Washington,
D.C. The San Francisco competition was the third in 12 months. “Our
challenges have reached over 1,000 women-led startups from across the
country, all of whom are focused on solving problems for people,
businesses, and the planet,” said Kapin.
The Women Startup Challenge
Bruce Bonafede, 760-831-5080