UBS Launches Third Year of Global Accelerator for Female Founders, Biggest Cohort Yet

UBS has launched Project Female Founder 2024, a year-long global program aimed at equipping early-stage female founders with the skills and resources necessary to access capital aligned with their goals. In collaboration with partners Fortuna, Coralus, and Live True, the initiative builds on UBS’s Female Founder Award program, designed to address the gender funding gap in enterprise tech and fintech sectors.

Project Female Founder offers a comprehensive investor readiness and mentorship program, featuring Fortuna Funding’s eight-week investor readiness and pitch practice sessions. Tailored to address all aspects of raising series A capital, the program includes mentorship from UBS Client Advisors and access to the global Coralus network, founded by Vicki Saunders. This ecosystem of early-stage female founders provides mentoring and connectivity, fostering meaningful relationships crucial for success.

Unique to the accelerator program is the involvement of mentors from venture capital, crowdfunding, private investors, and law backgrounds. These mentors, drawn from UBS’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, offer guidance and support to founders, leveraging their expertise to facilitate growth. The program has witnessed a 70% increase in applications from female founders and UBS Client Advisors, highlighting its appeal and networking opportunities.

Emma Wheeler, Head of Women’s Wealth at UBS Global Wealth Management, emphasizes the value of UBS’s entrepreneurial networks and specialist guidance in unlocking new opportunities for mentorship and funding. She underscores the importance of such support structures in aiding founders on their growth journey.

UBS’s commitment to addressing the gender funding gap is reflected in its 2021 report, “The Funding Gap: Investors and Female Entrepreneurs,” which explores the reasons behind the discrepancy and outlines strategies to narrow it. The report underscores the economic potential of investing in women-led businesses and the importance of strong networks in venture capital for deal sourcing and decision-making.

Delilah Panio, Founder and CEO at Fortuna, stresses the critical role of early-stage capital for female founders and the importance of understanding the fundamentals of raising aligned capital. Ana Mahony, CEO of Addition Wealth and winner of the 2023 UBS Female Founder Award, highlights the supportive community of women in entrepreneurship and the significance of women venture capitalists in driving investment.

Overall, Project Female Founder 2024 aims to empower female founders with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to thrive in the competitive landscape of entrepreneurship.

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