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Female Founders Alliance CEO Leslie Feinzaig speaks at the GeekWire Summit 2017. (Photo by Dan DeLong for GeekWire)

Female Founders Alliance today announced the eight companies participating in its inaugural Ready Set Raise program designed to help women entrepreneurs land early-stage startup investments.

The startups hail from across the country, based in cities such as New York, Anchorage, Raleigh, Portland, and Seattle, and focus on areas including augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, legal services and finance. To participate in the program, each company needs at least one C-level female founder.

Ready Set Raise, first announced in July, is a month-long pitching and fundraising initiative that includes three weeks of remote virtual workshops, followed by a full week in Seattle, building up to a Demo Day on Sept. 27 with participation from dozens of angel investors and venture capitalists.

Based in Seattle, Female Founders Alliance is a social purpose corporation, aiming to help close the gender gap in angel and venture financing. For the new Ready Set Raise accelerator program, it partnered with Bellevue, Wash.-based venture capital firm Trilogy Equity Partners, which is subsidizing program fees for participating companies.

“Investing in diversity, in the broadest sense of the word, presents opportunities for great ideas to germinate and an opportunity for people with very different lived experiences to come together and collaborate in new and exciting ways,” Amy McCullough, partner at Trilogy, wrote in a blog post. “And, we believe, produces impactful returns for investors.”

Here are the participating Ready Set Raise companies:

  • Chanlogic (Seattle, WA): Global SaaS product for eCommerce channel managers.
  • Esq.Me Inc. (New York, NY): A document marketplace for lawyers, by lawyers.
  • Future Sight AR (Houston, TX): Augmented reality for engineering, procurement, and construction companies.
  • geeRemit (Raleigh, NC): Leverages blockchain to power remittances to Africa.
  • Magic AI (Seattle, WA): Artificial intelligence for livestock care.
  • MoxieReader (New York, NY): Improves child literacy through technology.
  • Pandere Shoes (Anchorage, AK): Expandable shoes for people with foot and health challenges.
  • Zeta Help (San Francisco, CA): A financial support platform for millennial couples.

“Ready Set Raise is designed to break the barriers that prohibit female-led startups from participating in accelerators, and we’re thrilled Trilogy is making a substantive contribution to make this promise real,” Leslie Feinzaig, the founder and CEO of Female Founders Alliance, said in a statement. “The inaugural cohort is a world-class group of leaders who are going to change the world. It is our privilege to fuel their journey.”

Female Founders Alliance won’t take equity from companies participating in the program. However, it plans to ask for a warrant to invest in each company. Warrants traditionally give the holder the right to buy stock at a fixed price.

The organization will work with partners to provide childcare for one child per company during business hours for the week in Seattle, and subsidized childcare for additional kids and investors.

With the new initiative, Female Founders Alliance joins a growing list of accelerators, incubators and boot camps designed to help women land startup investments. Other programs designed to help female-led startups include Women’s Startup Lab and Female Founders Fund and the Seattle-based Sybilla Masters Fund.

Female Founders Alliance has grown to more than 250 members since launching last year. Of the 94 members who joined the program in 2017, 36 closed a funding round, eight secured alternative financing, and 15 were admitted to accelerators, Feinzaig said in July.

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