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Elaine Kunda, founder and Managing Partner at Disruption Ventures. Photo provided.
Connecting support with money, startup accelerator The Big Push and venture capital firm Disruption Ventures today announced a partnership to invest between $500,000 to $2 million in Seed or Series A rounds of women-led startups.
The Big Push is an accelerator with a specific focus on women-led companies that are in between their Seed and Series A funding. The accelerator uses a service-for-equity model, meaning they provide professional services, consulting, and networking opportunities through an elite group of executives – of all genders – to help women-led companies scale. They make a minimum $10,000 value investment, though they could invest up to $250,000 in services-value.
The next step for many of these businesses is fundraising real cash for founders to enable the strategic plan they create during The Big Push. That’s where Disruption Ventures comes in.
Helping women succeed
According to PitchBook, a VC database, companies with all-women founding teams received only 2.2% of venture capital money invested in 2017 despite all-women founding teams making up approximately 5.6% of startups at the time. However, those companies tended to perform better over time – a BCG study found women-founded or co-founded companies generated 10% more cumulative revenue over a five year period.
That performance gap is what The Big Push hopes to tackle with its services model, and Disruption Ventures with its funding thesis.
“Through our collaboration with Disruption Ventures, we are addressing and removing one of the biggest obstacles faced by women founders, and that is access to early stage growth financing,” said Sharon Zohar, founder and CEO of The Big Push. “Providing access to experts who will roll up their sleeves to support a business acceleration is the first step in helping to increase the odds of success for startups. The second step is providing ready access to a source of financing through a fund that was created specifically to remove the barriers to success for women-led technology startups.”
Accessing the funding from Disruption requires more than just being a Big Push member. Startups have to demonstrate they are qualified to receive the funding through success with business metrics.
Scaling successful businesses
The Big Push’s bet is that it can help companies get to “qualified” faster. They provide a “collective of senior executives with expertise across key practice areas (such as finance, marketing, sales, public relations, recruitment, etc.),” said the press release, which is all aimed at helping entrepreneurs in the program build real, scalable businesses.
“Together with The Big Push, we aim to deliver the greatest impact for startups that are founded or led by women and are looking to achieve global market readiness,” said Elaine Kunda, founder and Managing Partner at Disruption Ventures. “Our missions are aligned, and together we are creating a winning formula that positions our portfolio companies for success.”