FFA announces third cohort for accelerator program designed to help female and non-binary founders

Female Founders Alliance unveiled its third accelerator cohort as it looks to help more female and non-binary founders grow their companies and raise funding.

The Seattle-based organization this year is hosting a virtual version of its eight-week “Ready Set Raise” program, which requires each company to have a female or non-binary CEO.

FFA initially started as a private Facebook group of women who wanted to help support female founders and entrepreneurs. It now has 20,000 members since launching in 2017 and graduated two Ready Set Raise cohorts. Its last class raised nearly $5 million at the pre-seed stage in a few months.

The organization doesn’t take equity from companies participating in the accelerator program. However, it asks startups to grant pro rata rights: the opportunity to invest up to $200,000 in a future round, at a 20% discount from the lead investor’s terms in the round.

FFA is a social purpose corporation, a type of profit corporation the state of Washington created in 2012, and is funded primarily through corporate partners. FFA has also inked partnerships with groups such as Microsoft for Startups and Bellevue, Wash.-based venture capital firm Trilogy Equity Partners. It hosted its third annual Champion Awards event in August.

Last week FFA released a new report measuring the effect of the pandemic on women and non-binary individuals and what the prolonged health and economic crisis is doing to their entrepreneurial aspirations. Venture funding for female founders just hit its lowest quarterly total in three years, according to PitchBook.

Ready Set Raise 2020 runs from Oct. 19 through Dec. 11, with a Demo Night scheduled for Dec. 16.

Here are the participating companies, with descriptions from each startup:

  • Brightly: Combining commerce, content and community to scale conscious consumerism. CEO Laura Wittig, co-founder Liza Moiseeva. Seattle, Wash.
  • Womp.ai: Womp allows anyone to easily explore, create, share and make 3D. CEO Gabriela Trueba. Brooklyn, NY.
  • FixFake: FixFake delivers decision support tools to reduce fraud in e-commerce. CEO Kathryn Harrison, co-founder Jason Law. Bozeman, Mont.
  • tbd health: tbd is at-home, STI screening — made for women. CEO Stephanie Estey, co-founders Daphne Chen & Sherwin Lu. New York, NY.
  • Gearo: Digitizing outdoor retailers: Connecting consumers with outdoor retailers through digitization. CEO Justine Barone. Denver, Colo.
  • Mary Louise Cosmetics: Natural skincare and personal care products. CEO Akilah Releford. Los Angeles, Calif.
  • datacy: Marketplace enabling ethical and legal data exchange. CEO Paroma Indilo, co-founder Kaleb Wilson. San Jose, Calif.
  • Health In Her HUE: A digital platform connecting Black women to culturally competent providers. CEO Ashlee Wisdom, co-founder Eddwina Bright. New York, NY.

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