The BlinkAI team was thrilled to take second place at the very first Female Founders Summit pitch contest hosted by Qualcomm Ventures recently.
The exclusive, invite-only competition brought together ten U.S. based, early-stage technology companies with at least one female founder to pitch to the venture capital arm of telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm.
BlinkAI co-founder Selina Shen’s pitch on how our imaging intelligence technology uses machine learning to boost sensor performance in low-light was awarded a spot in the top two and $15,000 in free legal services from DLA Piper.
The event was held to help combat the gender gap in funding with women-run startups pulling in just over 2% of the $130 billion of venture capital money in 2018.
Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures, Quinn Li, said:
“We recognize in the fields that we invest in - these deep technology areas like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and autonomous cars - there are fewer female-founded startups in those sectors. We are trying to do our part to promote these companies.”
Also in attendance were eight of Qualcomm’s partners with executives from Nasdaq, Silicon Valley Bank, DLA Piper, Amazon, consulting firm McKinsey, First Round Capital, Venture Partners, and Microsoft’s M12 venture fund hearing pitches.
Blue Canoe Learning, whose mobile app uses speech recognition and artificial technology to help non-native English speakers improve their pronunciation, took home first place.
Senior vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, Susie Armstrong, said: “I heard the pitches for all ten companies and I was impressed not only with the inventiveness and the creativity of the ideas but also the economic possibilities.“We are very interested to see if we can do this kind of event again.”