Weekly Refresh: Microsoft’s Venture Fund for Women-Led Startups, and More

by Gordon Gottsegen
October 21, 2019
Microsoft M12
Microsoft

Microsoft’s M12 venture fund announced a $6 million competition for women-led startups. M12 partnered with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures to create the Female Founders Competition, which will be handing out $1 million to $2 million checks to four B2B software startups. Applications for the competition are open until Dec. 15. [Press release]

Maven secured $20 million in new financing. Maven is a Seattle-based media company that is perhaps best known for purchasing Sports Illustrated earlier this year. The company also revealed its plans to get into political journalism ahead of the 2020 presidential election. [Press release]

Techstars hosted its Alexa Accelerator Demo Night on Oct. 15. Techstars is a startup accelerator program that provides young startups with funding, mentorship and networking opportunities. Each Techstars class hosts a Demo Night at the end of its 13-week program, where it presents the startups that made it through. The class that was presented on Tuesday consisted of startups working to build upon Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa.

Amazon donated $1 million to the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE). CASE is a group working to elect new people to Seattle’s City Council. This brings Amazon’s total donations to the City Council elections to $1.45 million. [GeekWire]

Ex-Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu launched his CBD company. The company is called ZoneIn CBD and makes CBD products which can be taken as capsules or droplets.  The products can be purchased online or in some Seattle dispensaries. [Puget Sound Business Journal]

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