Seattle Female Founders Alliance Champion Awards honors top allies for women entrepreneurs

The Female Founders Alliance, dedicated to advancing opportunities for women-led companies in the tech industry, celebrated allies of women entrepreneurs at a sold out event on September 1 at the Pacific Science Center.

The inaugural Champion Awards, emceed by KIRO 7 News anchor Monique Ming Laven, built on the Alliance’s efforts to correct the dramatic gender gap in Venture Capital. Only 2 percent was invested in women-led companies in 2017.

The Champion Awards featured cameos by prominent CEOs and executives, as well as video messages from Senator Patty Murray and Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“We are in the middle of a cultural shift that is changing paradigms for women," said Leslie Feinzaig, Founder and CEO of the Female Founders Alliance. "We want to  ensure that this moment of opportunity results in tangible and long-lasting outcomes for female-founded companies,

"Women too often give and receive passive types of help. But advice, support and mentoring although important don’t make a business more successful. We want to encourage active championing over passive mentoring, and the Champion Awards are our way of recognizing the people who do that.”

Finalists were selected by a Selection Committee made up of prominent investors, CEOs, media and executives from more than 250 nominations submitted by the community. More than 600 professional women in the Puget Sound voted for the winners. The Selection Committee also chose nine honorees to receive Unsung Hero Awards.

The following winners were announced at the event:

Role Model: Winner - Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz

Investor: Winners - investors Sarah Imbach & Serena Glover

Advocate: Winner - Megan McNally, Founder, RheaMedia, Doyenne Legal, FBomb
Breakfast Club

Sponsor: Winner - Chaitra Vedullapalli, CMO of Meylah & Founder of Washington Ignite

Unsung Heroes:
● Sandy Anuras, VP of Technology at Blokable
● Rebekah Bastian, VP of Community & Culture at Zillow
● Melody Biringer + WIT regatta organization team
● Sue Borgman, Principal of Ernst & Young LLP
● Michelle Goldberg, Partner at Ignition Partners
● Brandy Rhodes, + Seattle Startup Week Leadership Team
● Elizabeth Schmidt Ringwald, Content Marketing Strategy Consultant
● Kalpana Viswanathan, Principal Software Engineering Manager for Microsoft
HoloLens, Founder of Kal Academy
● Keita Williams, Founder & Chief Strategist of Success Bully