On December 5, media and events organization Vegan Women Summit (VWS) is hosting the world’s first female founder summit and pitch competition dedicated to plant-based innovation. The worldwide virtual VWS Pathfinder event aims to raise awareness of the persistent gender inequality that female entrepreneurs around the world face in fundraising and connect the brightest emerging ideas in plant-based innovation with leaders in venture capital. The top prize of the pitch competition is valued at more than $50,000, including a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Purple Orange Ventures, $35,000 of branding services from Evolution Bureau, global membership to WeWork office space, and more. 

“The plant-based industry is set to hit $74 billion dollars by 2027, yet less than three percent of all investment worldwide goes towards female founders and less than one percent of investment goes towards female founders of color,” VWS Founder Jennifer Stojkovic told VegNews. “Through the launch of VWS Pathfinder, we’re working to combat this through driving investment and support towards female-identifying founders at our pitch competition and amplifying the voices of two dozen CEOs and founders across the world at the founder summit. Vegan Women Summit is building a global ecosystem of female founders, innovators, and investors driving the future of plant-based innovation.” 

Applications for the competition will be accepted from founders around the world through October 23. Ten semi-finalists will be selected and then narrowed to five finalists, who will be announced on December 1. Both the selection committee and the final jury panel will consider the market impact, team experience, growth potential, business model, differentiation, and value proposition of each pitch.

Photo Credit: Vegan Women Summit/Facebook

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