We are excited to announce our 3rd Female Founder Office Hours edition.

The event will take place on May 19th and applications are now open! Read more about our Office Hours events here or apply directly here.

This event aims to promote female entrepreneurs in the UK's tech ecosystem. Female founders face long-drawn systematic barriers and as a result are underfunded and underrepresented.

Despite recent progress, we still have a long way to go. We’ve all heard the stats before but it’s worth hearing them time and again until one-day, the shock factor is over the fact that we sustained and even reinforced these ways for so long.

Here are a few jarring stats on the fundraising landscape in the UK (BBB):

  • For every £1 of VC investment, all-male founder teams get 89p while all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Mixed-gender founding teams get 10p.
  • 81% of all VC deals go to all-male founder teams while all-female founder teams account for just 4%. Mixed-gender founding teams account for 15% of VC deals.
  • Even at the improved current rates, it will take until 2045 for all-female founder teams to reach just 10% of all UK VC deals.

Gender diversity in the tech world is important for equal opportunity but there is also huge value to be gained by supporting female founders. Here’s why:

  • Female-led companies perform 63% better (First Round Capital).
  • Female-led companies have exited faster over the last 10 years (except for 2018) (PitchBook).
  • Female-led companies generate 35% higher returns on investments (Kauffman Fellows).

To reiterate: female-led companies perform better, exit faster and at higher values.

At Forward, we want to disrupt the status quo by taking even the smallest but necessary steps to get there. In a series of events and actions aimed at improving gender diversity in tech, we’re starting by getting more women in the investment funnel.

Female Founder Office Hours

On 19th May we will be hosting the 3rd edition of Forward’s Female Founder Office Hours.

Office Hours is a chance to pitch for potential investment (£300k-£500k) or receive advice and feedback on your startup. They’re 20-minute sessions led by you and they’re a great way to meet the investment team.

In this special edition, we are looking for pre-seed companies which are either led or co-founded by female founders. 50% of the founders we’ve invested in through Office Hours are women, and we would love to add more to the ranks.

If this is you, please apply here.

Looking to ace your Office Hours meeting? Give this a read.

Katie is an Investor with Forward Partners. She came from Vanedge Capital, a VC investing in Series A companies globally. Their sector focuses include machine learning & AI, cloud computing, SaaS, digital media and cyber security. At Vanedge, Katie was responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence and portfolio company management.


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