i/o ventures has partnered up with notable females Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan and Sarah Brown to put together the first Women In Engineering Prize, and will be announcing the winner at the first WIE Symposium on September 20th.
The deadline for hopeful female founders to apply is Sept 10th, and the lucky and hard working winner will receive 25k in investment, become part of the i/o program, get free office space for a month as well as a trip to New York to attend the conference.
i/o’s Paul Bragiel and Ashwin Navin initially put the award together because they noticed a lack of women applying for incubator funding at i/o, and was wondering if this was possibly because women lacked clear cut mentors in Silicon Valley.
This wasn’t unique to i/o either. Bragiel said, “I’ve talked to various other incubators and there were very few females there, so we figured we’d market directly to women and make it clear that there were opportunities specifically for them.”
The award will target young female startup founders looking for exposure and access to the i/o incubator, which mentors founders from product launch through the next stage of company development, sharing what has proven to work for product scaling, revenue growth and fund raising.
Bragiel holds that the competition and prize are the first of their kind, “The goal in our collaboration is to help more companies founded by women get exposure they need to the best investors and mentors both in the valley and world wide.”
Female entrepreneurs should also consider this an open call to go mentor at i/o. Aspiring WIE Prize winners can apply here.