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The first Global Founders’ Summit and Founders Pitch Competition identifying women building the future of plant innovation will take place on December 5.
Called VWS Pathfinder, the virtual event aims to “ inspire, educate and empower emerging leaders in the identification of women to bring compassion to the plant and food technology industry.
The event, organized by the media and event organization Vegan Women Summit, offers a top prize of $ 50,000. This includes a $ 10,000 cash prize sponsored by Purple Orange Ventures, $ 35,000 of Evolution Bureau branded services, a global WeWork office space membership, and more.
The event will feature CEO panels, founder discussions and a session lineup featuring over two dozen of the world’s leading plant founders and CEOs, including Miyoko Schinner (Miyoko’s Creamery), Shama Sukul Lee (CEO of Sunfed Meats) Daniella Monet (co-founder of Kinder Beauty Box) and Denise Woodard (Partake Foods).
A number of notable venture capitalists will join the food tech industry. They include Matilda Ho (Bits x Bites), Lisa Feria (Stray Dog Capital), Regina Hecker (Blue Horizon Ventures) and Miray Zaki (Dismatrix).
Plant news is a partner of the event, which is sponsored by leading plant-based companies around the world, including Upfield, Miyoko’s Creamery and Califia Farms, in addition to more than half a dozen venture capital firms, including VegInvest, Big Idea Ventures, and Vegan Capital.
A recent study from the Vegan Women Summit found that out of 160 founders and senior executives identifying women in plant and cell-based food startups, 48% of those surveyed said they had faced prejudice during the fundraising process. , 75% of these women stating they had faced gender bias in particular.
VWS Pathfinder will help raise awareness of this “ persistent gender inequality that women entrepreneurs around the world face when raising funds and connect the brightest emerging ideas in plant innovation with leaders. venture capital ”.
Jennifer Stojkovic, Founder of the Vegan Women Summit, said: “Almost half of female founders and CEOs in the food tech industry have encountered prejudice, especially gender bias, from investors, while nearly half of half of all founders of color were victims of racial prejudice.
“VWS Pathfinder is creating a platform to showcase and drive investments from these underfunded and neglected future founders, while bringing out much-needed greatest industry leaders and educating this next generation.
“With the arrival of founders and CEOs from five continents, we are proud to create the necessary amplification for these voices and we will offer a range of more than two thirds of color founders.
Lisa Feria, CEO of Stray Dog Capital, is a venture capital firm supporting the event. She said: “Stray Dog Capital is proud to continue supporting Vegan Women Summit through the VWS Pathfinder event. Various teams have been proven to deliver outsized returns and we fully support the founders who run so many of these startups.”
Miyoko Schinner, CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery, added: “The future of the planet depends on finding the best and brightest talents around the world to change the food system.
“By building a more inclusive global ecosystem to empower, cultivate and support female founders through VWS Pathfinder, we can deliver more solutions, act faster to embrace change and create a kinder future for all of us.
To take part
Founders around the world can apply to participate in VWS Pathfinder and have until October 23 to apply. Ten semi-finalists will be selected and then reduced to five finalists, which will be announced on December 1.
The selection committee and final jury will consider “the market impact, team experience, growth potential, business model, differentiation and value proposition of each pitch”.
“Our challenge at the Vegan Women Summit is to find innovative ways to train the next generation of plant founders,” said Stojkovic.
“Thanks to the results of our recent survey, we discovered that more than a third of female founders entering space are moving towards a more plant-based diet. after found their business. We look forward to exploring this opportunity and creating a mainstream entry point into the industry for founders from all walks of life. “
You can read more about Vegan Women Summit here and find out more about VWS Pathfinder – including how to submit a pitch – here