Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Update from our CEO, Darya Allen-Attar
Hello, Women Founders Network Community!
I hope that you are staying safe, healthy and SANE! At Women Founders Network, we spent time last December getting our plans lined up for 2020, and had never been better prepared to serve our community – our plans for providing education, mentoring and support were bigger and better, and our Fast Pitch was going to be the greatest we have ever had since our founding in 2013! Like everyone else on this planet, we have had to re-work our best laid plans, and are excited about our new initiatives to serve our WFN community in 2020.
Virtual Educational Events
We have planned eight education webinars for May and June. Dates and topics will be announced as we move forward. Some of you may have attended our first two events in April, which had standout attendance! All webinars are available on-demand ICYMI. These educational events will be free and content will be focused on elements for refining your pitch and how to best showcase your unique scalable business!
Applications opened on May 1st and will stay open until June 30th. The Fast Pitch will be just as great as before, but most likely will be all or mostly virtual. We will have five companies pitch and award prizes of at least $30K in cash. We will also have a virtual audience vote and prize! For attendees to the Fast Pitch, we’re exploring virtual networking options. Since we are sheltering at home, we are geographically limiting company applicants to close to home in SoCal.
Instagram Live Events
We are hosting a limited number of free events focused on providing our community with access to the knowledge of key WFN board members and leaders in the local entrepreneurship community, with a focus on how to help your startup survive 2020! The events will offer casual Q&A and audience participation. To gain access, join us on Instagram live to interact with WFN Board Members and Key Women Leaders! Don’t miss this, get on our mailing list!
As we social distance and isolate, more and more we crave interactions with friends, peers and mentors. We are excited to announce a new member-only Facebook group focused entirely on how to refine your pitch! We’ll be offering a robust slate of content and engagement, and will connect members with hard-to-access women in our network such as Deborah Benton. Join us on Facebook Groups when we launch on May 15th to become a member of this founder-focused group.
Mentorship, Pitch Coaching & Financial Mentorship for Top 5 companies
One of the most unique and valuable services we offer is providing our Fast Pitch finalists access to mentors and coaches who help them hone and refine their pitch in order to scale and grow their business. This year, our coaching services will be virtual. We have seen this support be very impactful for previous finalists.
In the past, we have offered our Fast Pitch finalists a chance to practice their pitch, in a format like the Springboard Enterprises Dolphin Tank. We are working on these plans and hope to incorporate a practice pitch opportunity in a virtual setting either with Springboard Enterprises or another partner. More info to come.
Women Founders Foundation
Our Junior Judges program hosted through our nonprofit foundation will continue focusing on inspiring, educating and engaging Next-Gen Female Founders and Female Investors. Inspire a girl you know to apply for our Junior Judges program: Apply May 15-July 1
Thank you to our sponsors!
Union Bank, Stubbs Alderton, and Fenwick & West, were early birds to our sponsorship program for 2020. We are most grateful for your early and generous support! Without you, we would not be able to move forward and support our community.
We continue to need Corporate Cash Sponsors and tax deductible donations to our 501(c)3 Women Founders Foundation. Please let us know if you can help us meet the challenge of 2020!
Wishing you good health! Darya Allen-Attar CEO, Women Founders Network
CEO, Women Founders Network
Executive Director, Women Founders Foundation
Darya is passionate about the advancement of women. In 2013, she co-founded Women Founders Network (WFN), a virtual accelerator whose goal is to connect women founders not only with the required capital but also with the resources, connections, mentorship and sponsorship they need to grow scalable, successful businesses. Since 2013, WFN and its members have awarded and invested over $1.5M in cash and services to women founders and alumni have raised over $100M in funding. Subsequently, Darya founded the nonprofit Women Founders Foundation (WFF) in 2017, with a mission of educating women and girls about entrepreneurship to inspire the next generation of women founders and investors. In 2008, Darya founded Broads Circle, an executive level women's networking group with a focus on money and power for women.
Darya has been recognized for her community service in California by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a leading woman “Making a Difference” in Los Angeles, Rising Star Category, LABJ 2013. She was also recognized as one of the “Most Powerful Women in California” by California Women Lead (November, 2016) for her community work and the advancement of women. Darya serves on the Investment Advisory Committee for the California Community Foundation. She also serves on the Boards of the Los Angeles Westside YMCA and the Los Angeles Chapter of Advisors in Philanthropy (LA-AiP). Darya earned her BA from Kalamazoo College, Certificate in Accounting from Northwestern University, and her MBA in Finance from Fordham University.
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