GET Cities Unveils Seed Founder Cohort as a Catalyst for Change in the Tech Industry
Tech Equity Working Group tackles seed founder funding to close the gap in Chicago and to encourage others to directly invest in marginalized entrepreneurs at this stage as a catalyst for equity in tech nationally.
GET (Gender Equality in Tech) Cities and their Tech Equity Working Group (TEWG) announce the launch of the GET Seed Founder Cohort, co-designed with Chicago-based, women-founded tech startups to raise funds, build connections and amplify their brand(s). This first round of startups include WeSolv, Wave Therapeutics, Stigma, BakIt Box, Cyber Popup, Mycocycle, Co-Created Goods (Formerly This Moment), Neopenda and New Era ADR.
TEWG tackles seed founder funding to close the gap and encourage others to directly invest in marginalized entrepreneurs
GET Cities recognizes the need to invest in these women-founded companies as a way to address the national issue of the technology industry’s gender equity gap.
“One of the key ways we work to increase equity in tech is by finding the points of leverage in the system where a small change can make a big impact. Only 20-30% of seeded companies move on to Series A. But once you get there, the odds of success nearly double, making this a catalyzing inflection point if we want to increase the number of successful marginalized founders and the amount of capital they receive.” – Elle Ramel, GET Cities Chicago Director
According to P33, a Tech Equity Working Group member, women and BIPOC-founded companies are typically raising $1.2 million in the pre-seed and seed stages, while companies with teams made up of all men typically raise closer to $4.8 million in those same stages. Shrinking this 300% gap can have an outsized impact on who has power and influence in the industry.
“Based on our recent analysis of crunchable data, in the last 12 months, less than 14% of Chicago startups that received a pre-seed investment had a lead Chicago Investor. More evidence that the majority of viable venture-backable startups must leave the region to secure their first institutional financing rounds. However, thanks to the work of Long Jump, GET Cities, Fifth Star Funds, P33, and others, meaningful strides are being made in connecting founders with the capital they need both in Chicago and across the country,” Brad Henderson, CEO, P33.
The GET Cities Seed Founder Cohort is one of many initiatives to come out of GET Cities Chicago’s Tech Equity Working Group, which is a rolling cohort of accelerators, incubators, funds, and mission-aligned ecosystem supporters designing city-wide solutions and collective infrastructure to address gender and racial inequities for Chicago-based tech founders. Past successful piloted projects of the Tech Equity Working Group include a Venture Scout Fellowship that works to support aspiring marginalized venture capitalists (now hosted at TEWG member Chicago:Blend), and a Chicago Tech Desk that includes grants and consultation for marginalized entrepreneurs to tech enable their businesses. The GET Cities Seed Founder cohort is the first time all of our 17 current member organizations are collaborating to solve one big challenge together.
The participants of the Seed Founder Cohort receive assistance in reaching their next funding milestones and additional opportunities to network and connect with investors, clients and corporate sponsors. They’re kicking off the network building with a road show in San Francisco, including programming in and around Techstars FounderCon, to bring exposure to the exciting founders coming out of Chicago and to build connections across a broader national ecosystem. Since Chicago represents a tech hub with the highest number of women-owned startups in the country, the team is excited to test solutions locally that could be applied in other cities.
At its core, GET Cities aims to identify problems, test solutions at the local level and create a collaborative ecosystem intent on improving equity in tech. These pilots and initiatives aim to increase the number of marginalized founders succeeding and to put more money into their hands to create a more equitable tech ecosystem. With these initiatives, GET Cities is actively moving the needle toward gender equity in tech at a national scale.
GET Cities is looking for national and local partners looking to invest in seed founders or many of our other initiatives around equity in tech. Please reach out at contact details below to learn more.
GET (Gender Equality in Tech) Cities, led by SecondMuse Foundation and Break Through Tech in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, is an initiative designed to accelerate the representation and leadership of women, transgender, and non-binary people in tech through the development of inclusive tech hubs across the United States. Currently, GET Cities has established local tech hubs in three U.S. cities: Chicago, Miami and D.C.
Tech Equity Working Group (TEWG), powered by GET Cities Chicago, is a rolling cohort of accelerators, incubators, funds, and mission-aligned ecosystem supporters designing city-wide solutions and collective infrastructure to address gender and racial inequities for Chicago-based tech founders.
Notes for the Editor: Please address any and all press inquiries to Gabrielle LeVota, who can be reached at 310.497.6267. Email inquiries can be sent directly to [email protected] and more info can be found at www.techequityworkinggroup.com