October 4, 2023—Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced its first-ever AWS Women’s Demo Week, a week-long global event focused on helping women-led startups connect with investors. AWS Women's Demo Week will host pitching events for women-led startups in 18 cities across the globe from November 6 to 10, 2023, with the support of startups organizations, including Ajim Capital, Founderland, GrindstoneXL, and Mogul Millennial. Women founders will be invited to pitch their startups in front of a live audience of potential investors, partners, and customers, as well as other key stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.

“With a tighter capital market, women-led startups have faced a significant decline in venture funding. We want to ignite a movement to showcase the grit and ingenuity of these founders and help them get in front of investors during AWS Women’s Demo Week,” said Kathryn Van Nuys, Global Head of Specialized Startup Segments at AWS. “With the help of our network, we want to leverage our investor connections and resources to demonstrate that women-led startups are good businesses and should be taken seriously by all funders, not only those focused on supporting underrepresented groups".

In 2020, only 2.3% of global VC funding went to women-only founded startups, with Black and Latino women receiving less than 1% each. In the past couple of years, the funding gap has worsened, with latest data from Pitchbook showing that in the U.S. alone, VC funding for all-women founding teams represented just 2.1% in 2022. These statistics spotlight the sizable and growing funding discrepancies facing women entrepreneurs worldwide, especially women of color. AWS Women’s Demo Week aims to increase the visibility of women-led startups, facilitate valuable business connections, and ultimately create a more inclusive, equitable, and innovative tech industry.

“Having a leading organization such as AWS advocate for us as woman founders is an invaluable business resource and also a significant confidence boost,” said Sharon Obuobi, CEO and Founder of Alt/Finance, a real-time market performance data platform used by wealth managers and insurance providers to price luxury real assets, such as art, jewelry, NFTs, watches, wine, whisky, and more. “We participated in one of the women founders showcases promoted by AWS in New York last year and were introduced to a VC that committed a $1 million investment in Alt/Finance—these are the types of doors that AWS is opening for us.”

"AWS Women's Demo Week is incredibly timely, as we are seeing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs widen in Africa", said Eunice Ajim, Founding Partner at Ajim Capital, a venture firm supporting African founders. "We are excited to highlight groundbreaking women founders from Africa in the global stage and support them in unlocking access to capital and connection with international investors". 

"While women-led startups in general have less and less venture funding, Black women founders have been disproportionally affected by the economic downturn," said Brittani Hunter, CEO and Founder of Mogul Millennial, a content and connections platform on a mission to empower Black women to excel as entrepreneurs. "That is why we are honored to support AWS Women's Demo Week and make it a watershed moment to help talented women founders get the visibility they deserve. By showcasing the excellence and innovation Black women bring to the table, we can help shatter biases and forge a more equitable path forward."

Through November 6 to 10, some of the best women-led startups will be selected by AWS and partners to pitch their ideas to investors, and connect with potential customers and partners at in-person networking events in 18 cities across five continents, including:

North America:
New York
San Francisco
Washington DC
Los Angeles

Latin America:
Buenos Aires
São Paulo
Mexico City

Europe, Middle East, and Africa:
Cape Town
Tel Aviv

In addition to gaining valuable venture introductions, participant startups will also receive $10,000 in AWS Activate credits, be connected to AWS technical experts, and have access to the URF startup community.

Details on each event and information on how to apply to join the live audience can be found here: www.awsstartupswomensdemoweek.splashthat.com

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