Even Founders

Even out the playing field for female founders


Even Founders

Even Founders are on a mission to create and fund more female founders. An experienced team who empower women with practical tools and see tangible outcomes.



Less than 2% of funding goes to women-led teams.

The funding situation for female founders needs to improve. We need more female entrepreneurs and more investments for them. Even Founders is an NGO trying to close this gap. Even Founders is a collective of entrepreneurs, investors, and female leaders who formed a Startup School that future entrepreneurs can join to learn how to start and build a company.

Their operating thesis? Less than 2% of venture capital goes to women-led teams in the Nordics. It’s a sad data point and not exclusive to the Nordics. Gender diversity is also absent from global unicorns, companies that are valued at more than 1 billion dollars. According to Aileen Lee, founder and managing partner of Cowboy Ventures, only 14% of today’s unicorns have a female in the founding team, and only 5% have a female CEO

Ana co-founded Even Founders to even out the playing field for female founders. She’s not trying to fix women; she wants to change the environment. People often need clarification on what the need for change is. Ana and the team at Even Founders are trying to increase the number of female founders and the investment opportunities available to them.

The team has identified some core reasons women aren’t building startups. Their research led them to create a database where investors can find early-stage female founders and a startup school for women.

Investors want diversity but don’t know where to start.

Even Founders spent a lot of time with investors to better understand why such a small number of female founders were able to raise money. One of the main challenges that venture capitalists face is they don’t know where to find these founders. Especially in the early stage, it’s tough for VCs to identify female founders. Platforms like Crunchbase don’t help the discoverability of early-stage founders. It’s a helpful tool for later stages, but early-stage founders aren’t even on their radar. This insight led Even Founders to build a database of female founders. They wanted to give venture capitalists a tool to gain quick access to founders who could ensure diversity in their portfolios. 

They partnered with early-stage investors to identify the traits that were important to them. They used this feedback loop to determine which filters and tags they needed for the database that simulated how the VCs would look for startups to invest in. The tool is built to support investor's existing deal flow and helps them fill their pipeline with exciting cases that, as a bonus, help them with a more diverse portfolio.

A scalable database no longer requires developers. 

The team had a lot of requirements in terms of design and functionality. They needed complete styling control to blend into their existing look and feel seamlessly. One of the main requirements is that it needed to load fast. The database now hosts more than 3,000 female founders and hosts vast amounts of data. If the data is slow to load, it will not benefit the many investors who use the tool. The team at Even Founders built this database without technical support. They didn’t have developers available and therefore relied on a tool like toddle, where they could create all the functionality without writing a line of code. 

Their existing page was built in Webflow, and their database was an Airtable with several thousand founders and the companies they have created. They built a web component in that pulled data directly from Airtable and embedded the web component directly in Webflow. Changing their tech stack was unnecessary to achieve their desired result. They leveraged their existing stack and used toddle to enrich the experience. Their database is a web component they exported from toddle and embedded natively into their Webflow site. That way, VCs can search for thousands of female founders in seconds without building a new website.

A startup school for future female founders.

The team at Even Founders designed a six-week program that builds the skillset you’d need as a founder, helps remove mental barriers, and builds the network you need as a founder. 

The six-week program focuses on how you can translate your startup vision into a business model. How to validate your idea with potential customers, how to build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) , what it takes to scale a business, and how to pitch their idea to investors or secure funding from other sources, if applicable.

The course is designed to remove all the large and small blockers that keep capable women from starting companies. We all know the worries: Will I need legal support? Do I go full-time from the beginning? Do I need funding? How do I fundraise? How do I build my first MVP? I can’t code. Do I need a technical co-founder? 

Helping future founders address these questions helped Even Founders better understand the blockers that future female CEOs run into. They used this data to design an even better program to get more female founders started. 

Why aren’t there more female entrepreneurs?

According to Even Founders, there are two main reasons:

  1. The communities women build aren’t necessarily geared towards founding companies. In other words, their network is less prone to support them in business matters.
  2. Fundraising is biased towards men. Many female founders are impact-focused, and these projects are typically more complex to scale. 

The team at Even Founders addresses these two points in their startup school. They bring in founders and experts with different expertise. Sometimes, they bring in a pricing expert; other times, they bring real-life examples to show who succeeded and who didn’t. They use these examples as a guide for future entrepreneurs to help them gain valuable expertise and learn from other's mistakes and successes. It’s a great way to introduce expanders and show that people like them can and have done it. It helps reduce the fears one has as an aspiring entrepreneur and gets them past their inner misconceptions of what is possible. According to a study posted on the Educational Psychologist, 2001, seeing someone else achieve success can motivate individuals to set ambitious goals and work diligently towards achieving them. 

This is the recipe the team at Even Founders is trying to follow, along with great advice that helps female founders tackle difficult situations.  

You don’t necessarily have to be a good candidate for venture capital.

Being a good founder does not mean you are a good candidate for venture capital. The team at Even Founders is trying to expand the definition of what makes for a promising startup. They help open up the door to alternative paths. Some businesses benefit significantly from a bootstrapped approach, where you invest your savings, while others are good candidates for public grants. There are many ways to build a healthy business, and Even Founders want to guide their founders in the best direction for the type of business they are trying to develop. The only requirement for candidates is that they have a high growth potential. 

They want to get rid of the typical stereotype of being a founder. All genders have the faulty perception that the only way to call yourself a real startup is if you get backed by venture capital. In many cases, it’s the wrong approach as it comes with some constraints to freedom. Every case is different, and this step usually comes when the team understands the businesses their cohorts are trying to launch.

Once their cohort is ready for the next step, they prepare for what comes next.

Women are treated differently, and it’s a systemic issue.

There are a lot of biases in decision-making when it comes to investments. You can make people aware of their bias, but it’s hard to fix. To open your perspective, you can work on a bias and learn more about the other side. One thing that often happens when Ana is in touch with investors regarding female-founded businesses is that she is immediately referred to their female partners. This act makes it seem that they aren’t interested in the business and limits the investment opportunity.

Not enough women in the ecosystem

There are not a lot of females in partner positions at VCs, and there aren’t a lot of females in startup schools who can attract other potential founders. Because of this, women run into issues men would never face. One of the most common questions VCs ask female founders is not related to their business but to family. This is something that Ana from Even Founders thinks is a fair question but believes is equally applicable to men, yet they are never asked about this topic. Even Founders teach their cohorts about bias and how to handle these questions as they fundraise. They teach their founders the difference between biased and unbiased questions and help them address both. There are also perceptions, such as men being assertive and women being bossy. Even Founders help their cohorts navigate these classic perception issues. 

Perception and bias are just surface-level. The gap that Even Founders try to address is that VCs mostly back their existing network. Most funding goes to founders with a track record or through an existing network. 

Ana, the founder of Even Founders, has a background in venture capital and states that most venture capitalists recommend founders pitch them through their website. Looking at the numbers, you find a clue to the bigger problem.

Most investors have never invested in a startup that applied through their website. Most investors have never invested in a startup from a pitching competition.

People often confuse equality with equity. Equality means that everyone gets the same, and anyone can apply. Equity is getting people precisely what they need, and that’s what Even Founders is trying to do for female founders. 

Even Founders have many partners and investors who share their vision lined up. They leverage their network to create warm introductions to founders who need it, which is one of the benefits of their program.

We need to fast-track females into their second cycle of founding a company.

Statistically, there are more male founders, and most are on their second, third, or fourth cycle. They have a track record and the network you need to start a company successfully. 

Most women are on their first cycle, meaning fewer experiences to fail fast are available to first-time female founders. Even Founders try to fast-track females into their second cycle and get them to a point where they have the knowledge and network to increase their chances of success. More females in the ecosystem will automatically avoid a closed-loop network where men invest in men. 

What’s next for Even Founders?

The goal is to grow over time and offer more services and support. They’d love to be more involved in the funding process but focus on scaling the program to enable more female powerhouses. 

All female founders are welcome, and it’s free.

Anyone can apply if they are a woman or identify as a woman. The Startup school does not discriminate, but it does filter and with good reason. Even Founders want to help and can’t do that without the right network or expertise. That’s why they filter out coffee shops or professional services. You are a great candidate if you have an idea for a scalable product or are already developing one. 

If you are a female founder in the Nordics, go and check out Even Founders. Sign up to Even Founder's Startup School
here .


Ana Andonovska
Ana Andonovska
Ana Andonovska
Ana Andonovska
Ana Andonovska
Ana Andonovska

Even Founders built a searchable database with more than 3,000 female founders. What will you build?


Even Founders

Even Founders are on a mission to create and fund more female founders. An experienced team who empower women with practical tools and see tangible outcomes.