News Release

Female Founder Collective and Cisco Announce Launch of “The North” Platform With Grant Initiative

Aug 02, 2022

The North, the new platform from FFC, to facilitate one-on-one mentorship sessions with female thought leaders donating over 60 hours of their time, including Female Founder Collective Co-Founder Rebecca Minkoff and Webex Chief Marketing Officer & SVP Aruna Ravichandran

Aug. 2, 2022 (NEW YORK): Rebecca Minkoff and Alison Wyatt, co-founders of the Female Founder Collective (FFC), are pleased to announce The North, a new platform in partnership with Cisco, that facilitates mentorship sessions with female thought leaders and experts in their field. FFC and Cisco are also kicking off a joint business grant initiative for female entrepreneurs, which will culminate with a virtual event and opportunity to receive a $20,000 grant from FFC Foundation. Both the virtual mentorship sessions and the grant event will be hosted on Webex by Cisco.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Cisco to provide valuable grants to female founders and business leaders,” said Minkoff. “With female founders securing only two percent of venture funds in the U.S. in 2021, the grant program will not only provide much needed funds to innovative female founded businesses, but also shine a light on the next generation of female business leaders.”

“As caretakers and providers, women are often expected to give their time and work to help others without pay,” said Wyatt. “The North allows these dynamic women to set their own pricing and scheduling, capitalizing on their vast experience while still providing an important service to our community of female entrepreneurs.”

Set to launch on the week of September 19th, The North will allow female founders anywhere to sign up for one-on-one virtual meeting sessions with female business executives and thought leaders for advice on subjects like capital, scaling businesses, hiring, leadership skills, and more. Whether it’s advisors, investors, consultants, or short-term project help, The North serves as a North Star for those in search of advice and an incremental income source for those with hard-won knowledge. You can expect to see mentorship sessions from business moguls such as Jesse Draper of Halogen Ventures, Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, Michelle Grant of Lively, Sprinkles founder and angel investor, Candace Nelson, Babba Rivera of Ceremonia, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, Ann Miura-Ko, Co-Founding Partner at Floodgate, Arian Simone of Fearless Fund, “Queen of Clubhouse,” Swan Sit, and celebrity stylist and serial entrepreneur, Karla Welch who will donate their time to help advise and guide other female business leaders.

“When we sat down with the feedback we received from our community of founders, we wanted to make sure we created something that would be beneficial to everyone,” Minkoff added, “Studies have shown that structured mentorship initiatives only have a 16 percent success rate and that effective mentorship involves deliberate planning and making an intentional match so that women are set up with someone who can guide them throughout their careers. This is what we’re aiming to create with The North and the grant program, and we are so happy to be partnering with Webex to give these women an opportunity to connect.”

“Empowerment through female-led mentorship and support from powerful organizations like Female Founders Collective is critical to advance women’s entrepreneurship and leadership,” said Aruna Ravichandran, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Webex by Cisco. “Cisco is honored to participate in these collaborative mentorship sessions and equip FFC with the Webex technology and tools that will empower female-led businesses to reach their full potential and thrive.”

Beginning today, female founders can apply for the grant program and the chance to pitch their business live to Minkoff and Ravichandran, among others. The pitch event will take place in September in front of a live virtual audience of hand-picked and hand-curated investors from influential venture firms across the country.

FFC members looking to enter into the pitch event for a chance to win the $20,000 business grant can do so online at https://femalefoundercollective.com/grant now through August 31.

If interested in being a part of The North programming, please visit: https://findyournorth.co/

ABOUT FEMALE FOUNDER COLLECTIVE

FFC is a platform for connections, education and pathways to funding for over 14,000 women around the globe. From accelerator programs, to mini business schools to get your business off the ground, to daily programming to build skills, to grants - we connect founders and take them all the way through the journey to enabling their success.

ABOUT WEBEX BY CISCO

Webex is a leading provider of cloud-based collaboration solutions which includes video meetings, calling, messaging, events, asynchronous video, customer experience solutions like contact center and purpose-built collaboration devices. Webex’s focus on delivering inclusive collaboration experiences fuels our innovation, which leverages AI and Machine Learning, to remove the barriers of geography, language, personality, and familiarity with technology. Its solutions are underpinned with security and privacy by design. Webex works with the world’s leading business and productivity apps – delivered through a single application and interface. Learn more at webex.com.

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Public Relations