Women Startup Challenge Europe announces 10 finalists for first-ever international event


WOMEN WHO Tech, a non-profit that advocates for women in tech and craigslist founder Craig Newmark announced today the 10 finalists for the Women Startup Challenge Europe.

Finalists will compete for 50,000€ cash courtesy of the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and $210,000 in cloud services from IBM. Contestants will pitch their ventures before a panel of tech industry executives and investors on Wednesday May 3 at London’s City Hall, hosted by the office of Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The panel of judges includes Baroness Martha Lane Fox, founder of Doteveryone; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon, CEO of auFeminin.com; and Rajeeb Dey, founder of Enternships.com and CEO of Learnerbly.

‘This is our first-ever international competition and the response from the tech community has been extraordinary,’ said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. ‘We had more than 200 applicants and our finalists include some of the most innovative women-led startups based in Austria, Finland, France, Ireland, Spain and the UK.’

‘Only 10 per cent of global investor money goes to women-led startups, yet women-led companies yield a 35 per cent higher return than those led by men,’ said Newmark. ‘We’ve got to invest in talent and close this gap.’

The Women Startup Challenge Europe was created in partnership with tech entrepreneur and craigslist founder Craig Newmark through the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund.

Finalists include:

BLITAB® (Austria), the world’s first ‘tablet’ for the blind, creating tactile text and graphics. The BLITAB® tablet empowers blind users to learn, work and play with one mobile device, to have digital access to information in real time.

Epicery (France) enables people to order fresh food online directly from local artisan shops. The best butchers, fishmongers, cheese makers, organic fruits and vegetables and pastries of your city are now available on-demand and delivered to your door in one-hour.

Lifebit (Spain) enables real-time genomic analysis — easy to deploy, portable across clusters and clouds, scalable, reproducible and more time and cost-efficient.

Open Bionics (UK) is a robotics startup that uses 3D scanning and printing to create advanced, affordable and stylish bionic limbs. They’re turning children with limb differences into bionic superheroes.

See Fashion (UK) helps fashion brands identify trends and buying opportunities in their market. The online platform collects and shares data from designers’ e-commerce sites along with marketplace metrics to provide highly segmented and contextualized product insights in real-time.

Simprints (UK) has developed an inexpensive biometric scanner, mobile app and cloud platform that could become the first source of providing identity to the 1.5B people who do not have formal IDs. By using people’s fingerprints to accurately link them to records, Simprints aims to create a world where lack of identity is never the reason why anyone is denied the services, care and rights they deserve.

Sound Bounce (Ireland) is an acoustic metamaterial, which provides significantly improved noise attenuation when compared to conventional materials. Sound Bounce can be integrated into automotive, aerospace, construction and many more industries to drastically reduce the impact of environmental noise.

POP (UK) is a marketplace for film and TV Production. POP’s mission is to enable productions to book, manage and pay for all people and services required to make their show seamlessly through one beautiful, integrated platform.

TechSixtyFour (UK) delivers unique and innovative technologies for families. Their lead product, the Gator watch, is a wearable mobile phone and tracker made for young children.

Tespack (Finland) provides mobile energy creation on the move with its smart clothes and Smart Wear. Tespack’s clients range from Vodafone to the United Nations to General Electric.

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