VWS Pathfinder to present Global Summit and Pitch Competition on December 5th
Vegan Women’s Summit, a media and events organization dedicated to inspiring, educating and empowering emerging leaders in identifying women to bring compassion to their careers and industry, will continue to transform the fashion industry. food technology with the world’s first founders’ summit and a presentation competition dedicated to identifying women founders building the future of plant innovation.
On December 5th, VWS Pathfinder will help raise awareness of the persistent gender inequality that women entrepreneurs around the world face in fundraising and connect the brightest emerging ideas in plant innovation with the leaders of venture capital. The top prize of the competition is valued at over $ 50,000, including 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.
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“Almost half of female founders and CEOs in the food tech industry have encountered prejudice, especially gender bias, from investors, while almost half of all female founders of color have been victims of racial prejudice, ”said Jennifer Stojkovic, Founder of Vegan Women Summit ™. “VWS Pathfinder is creating a platform to showcase and stimulate the investments of these future underfunded and neglected founders, while bringing in top industry leaders to inspire and educate this next generation. With founders and CEOs from across five continents, we are proud to create the amplification essential to those voices and will deliver a range of more than two-thirds of color founders.
Last month, Vegan Women Summit ™ released the results of a survey of 160 founders and senior executives identifying women in plant and cell-based food startups around the world. In a key finding, 48% of those surveyed said they had faced prejudice during the fundraising process, with 75% of these women saying they had faced gender bias in particular.
The December 5 event will also feature CEO panels, founder discussions, and session lineup featuring over two dozen of the plant world’s greatest 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). Notable venture capitalists from the food tech industry include Matilda Ho (Bits x Bites), Lisa Feria (Stray Dog Capital), Regina Hecker (Blue Horizon Ventures) and Miray Zaki (Dismatrix). The event is also sponsored by leading companies across the globe, including Upfield, Miyoko’s Creamery and Califia Farms, in addition to more than a half-dozen venture capital firms including VegInvest, Big Idea Ventures and Vegan Capital.
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“Stray Dog Capital is proud to continue to support 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, ”said Lisa Feria, CEO of Stray Dog Capital.
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.
Applications for VWS Pathfinder will be accepted by founders around the world until October 23. Ten semi-finalists will be selected, then limited to five finalists, which will be announced on December 1. The selection committee and final jury will consider the impact on the market, the experience of the team, the growth potential, the business model, the differentiation and the 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.
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