Female Founders Alliance Addresses #metoo with First Ever Champion Awards

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Women entrepreneurs in Seattle nominate hundreds of their allies and vote. Their inspiring stories will be featured when the winners are announced at the Champion Awards on February 1st.

In an attempt to correct the dramatic gender gap in Venture Capital, of which only two percent was invested in women-led companies in 2016, the Female Founders Alliance (FFA) Seattle Chapter will reward allies of women entrepreneurs at the first ever Champion Awards.

“The national conversation in 2017 revolved around destructive behavior, like institutionalized sexism at Uber, alleged pay inequity at Google, sexual harassment from certain investors, and the tidal wave #metoo movement. But a gender gap so entrenched won’t budge if we just point out the bad - we have to see the good, too,” says Leslie Feinzaig, FFA Founder and CEO. “We envision the Champion Awards to be a meaningful reward that counterbalances those punishments.”

Seattle business women agree, turning in more than 250 nominations. A selection committee of CEOs, investors, executives and media narrowed the list to 20 finalists. Winners will be announced during the Champion Awards celebration on February 1st.

“Reading through hundreds of nominations was enlightening,” said Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of Seattle-based Remitly, and member of the Champion Awards Selection Committee. “There’s so much that I now want to do. By bringing this behavior to light, the Female Founders Alliance is showing our industry what the standing operating procedure should be. I’m looking forward to a time when they no longer need to point that out.”

Nominators shared personal stories, many of them centered around introductions and referrals. “Nominations were consistent with what we know about female founders,” said Feinzaig. “What our members need most is access; 51 percent say they need introductions to investors, 43 percent to potential customers, and 34 percent to media. That kind of access is hard to come by, and that’s where FFA comes in.” Feinzaig hopes the Champion Awards will reward super connectors and prompt others to emulate their behavior.

Details about the Champion Awards can be found at http://www.championawards.co.

FFA Sponsors include the Washington Technology Industry Association, Uniquely HR, Fuel Talent, and Atlas Workbase. Champion Awards sponsors include YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, K&L Gates LLP, UPS, Pacific Science Center, Sweeney Conrad, PS and LifeCapsule Productions. Champion Awards media partners are KIRO 7, Geekwire, and KNKX.

About the Female Founders Alliance
FFA is a community of women founding and supporting startups who help each other succeed. Their mission is to create an investable pattern of success among female-founded, female-led startups by connecting every female founder in North America, focusing on access, and incentivizing all members to amplify and accelerate each other’s success. Founded by entrepreneur Leslie Feinzaig in 2017, FFA has chapters in Seattle and New York City with more in the pipeline. Learn more at http://www.femalefounders.org.

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