Cardiff Start co-founder to judge leading competition for female tech entrepreneurs

Neil Cocker, who co-founded leading Welsh technology community Cardiff Start, has been confirmed as a judge for a competition promoting female innovators.

Women Who Tech, a US-based non-profit that represents women working in the tech and start-up industry, has announced plans for 2017’s Women Startup Challenge Europe.

The competition will bring together female technologists and entrepreneurs from all over the UK and mainland Europe. A cool €50,000 will be up for grabs.

Ten finalists will be given the opportunity to pitch their ventures to a panel of top industry executives at London’s City Hall on May 3rd. It’ll be hosted by the Mayor of London’s office.

Women Startup Challenge Europe is open to growing tech start-ups with at least one woman founder or co-founder, and they must be based in the UK or Europe.

Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech, explained that this is the organisation’s first international pitch competition and that it’s about identifying talented women.

“This will be our first international pitch competition for women-led tech startups. We’re doing our part to disrupt a tech culture that has made it difficult for women entrepreneurs to access capital,” she said.

“There is an abundance of talented women out there. And we hope to spotlight the true innovators so that they can get the funding they need to scale.”

The judging panel consists of names such as Baroness Martha Lane Fox, founder of Doteveryone; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; and Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon, CEO and chairman of the board of directors at AuFeminin. 

This year’s competition is being held in partnership with tech entrepreneur and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. He said: “Only 10 percent of global investor money goes to women-led startups, yet women-led companies yield a 35 percent higher return than those led by men.”