In June, Microsoft announced that, in partnership with Davis Wright Tremaine’s Project W, the tech giant had created a program for promising pre-seed, female-led companies developing enterprise SaaS solutions. The first SaaS Launch Lab cohort includes 12 companies that will undergo the five-week program.
Project W has hosted the Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camps since 2016. These are initiatives focused on closing the gender gap in funding for early-stage companies founded by women.
The 12 participants in the inaugural SaaS Launch Lab include:
1. Pradnya Desh, CEO of Advocat Technologies, an AI-guided legal document drafting platform for attorneys.
2. MH Lines, CEO of Automaton, a codeless monitoring and validation provider for complex SaaS environments.
3. Amanda Li, CPO and Co-founder of Banyan Infrastructure, a platform that automates contractual compliance and creates transparency throughout the loan lifecycle.
4. Kathleen Egan, CEO and Co-founder of Ecomedes, a cloud-based SaaS platform that leverages product data.
5. Sara Zetterberg, CEO and Co-owner of Haldor AB, which develops educational software solutions.
6. Jo Lynn Clemens, Founder of I’ve Been Vetted, a SaaS based AI platform with real-time worker risk scoring to predict, prevent, and mitigate crime and fraud.
7. Beth Porter, CEO of Riff Analytics, which provides AI-powered behavioral analytics that enhances team performance.
8. Ashley Williams, CEO and Founder of RIZZARR, a tech-enabled content marketplace that helps brands work with millennial and Gen Z content creators.
9. Oksana Sokolovsky, CEO and Founder of ROAR Augmented Reality, a self-service platform allows people to build AR experiences in a few clicks.
10. Tiffanie Stanard, CEO and Founder of Stimulus, Inc., a relationship intelligence software provider that helps companies build value through stronger vendor and supplier networks.
11. Gabriela Trueba, CEO of Womp, an esports micro-tournaments system that allows gamers to put cash on their own matches across gaming platforms.
12. Dawn Verdugo, CEO of yuFlu Inc., a social impact, a biotech startup focused on reducing "flu-like" illness.
The criteria for selection included the requirements that each company have at least one female founder, have developed an enterprise SaaS solution, and be aiming to raise a seed round.
The initiative offers virtual workshops designed to help these female founders refine their proof of concept, find the right product-market fit, build a team, and raise a seed round. Workshops will begin on September 10 and will run until October 8.