Amazon Launches Women’s Demo Week to Bolster Women-Led Businesses

Amazon Launches Women’s Demo Week to Bolster Women-Led Businesses

With an aim to shatter biases, AWS Women’s Demo Week highlights the power of women in the tech industry.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is launching its inaugural AWS Women’s Demo Week from November 6 to 10, 2023, in collaboration with various startup organizations such as Ajim Capital, Founderland, GrindstoneXL and Mogul Millennial. This global event, spanning 18 cities, aims to bridge the funding gap faced by women-led startups by offering them a platform to pitch to potential investors, partners and customers.

Startling funding discrepancies: A glimpse into women entrepreneurs’ struggles

Recent data underscores the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. In 2020, only 2.3% of global venture capital (VC) funding was allocated to startups founded solely by women. This gap has only grown, with the figure dropping to 2.1% in 2022 for U.S.-based all-women founding teams. The disparity is even more pronounced for women of color, with Black and Latino women securing less than 1% of VC funding.

Enhancing visibility: AWS’s initiative in 18 global cities

AWS Women’s Demo Week intends to address these discrepancies by enhancing the visibility of women-led startups and fostering valuable business relationships. In collaboration with startup organizations like Ajim Capital and Mogul Millennial, the event will take place in major cities across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Some of these cities include New York, Buenos Aires, London, Lagos and Madrid.

Kathryn Van Nuys, Global Head of Specialized Startup Segments at AWS, emphasized the necessity of acknowledging the potential of women-led startups, noting that they deserve recognition and support from the wider investor community, not just those focusing on underrepresented groups.

Impact stories: How AWS is catalyzing growth for women founders

Several women founders have voiced the importance of such initiatives. Sharon Obuobi, CEO and Founder of Alt/Finance, credited a previous AWS event for introducing her startup to an investor who subsequently invested US$1 million. “Having a leading organization such as AWS advocate for us as women founders is an invaluable business resource and also a significant confidence boost,” Obuobi said. Alt/Finance is a real-time market performance data platform utilized by wealth managers and insurance providers to appraise luxury assets such as art, jewelry, NFTs, watches, wine, whisky and more. 

Eunice Ajim, a partner at Ajim Capital, highlighted the significance of spotlighting African women founders, “AWS Women’s Demo Week is incredibly timely, as we are seeing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs widen in Africa. We are excited to showcase pioneering women founders from Africa on the global stage and help them access capital and connect with international investors.”

Brittani Hunter, CEO and Founder of Mogul Millennial, emphasized the additional challenges faced by Black women entrepreneurs and the need to counter biases against them. “That is why we are honored to support AWS Women’s Demo Week and make it a watershed moment to help talented women founders get the visibility they deserve. By showcasing the excellence and innovation Black women bring to the table, we can help shatter biases and forge a more equitable path forward,” said Hunter.

Selected startups participating in the AWS Women’s Demo Week will not only have the opportunity to pitch their businesses but will also benefit from US$10,000 in AWS Activate credits and access to various resources, including AWS technical experts and the Underrepresented Founder (URF) startup community.

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