Call for applications from female founders in Fintech / Insurtech


"What products and solutions have female founders and leaders created that are relevant to the financial services and / or insurance industries?"

Apply Online Starting October 1st, 2017

Provide your email address and we'll remind you when the online application opens on October 1st




1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

All three winners will receive mentoring, business development guidance, a dedicated blog post, and social media promotion.



October 1
Online Application Opens

October 31
Online Application Closes


November 3 – 12
Online Judging Period

November 15
6 Finalists Announced


November 15 – December 8 
Mentoring / Pitch Material Development

December 11 (New York City)
Final Live Pitch Event at Open Innovation Lab at Alley powered by Verizon

How can I get involved?


E-mail us at femalefounders@quesnays.com if you are any of the below:


Qualified Start-up

See FAQ below. Further details will be included in the Official Rules which will be available on this website.
You can also provide your email address below and we'll remind you when the online application opens on October 1st!



There are still opportunities to participate as a sponsor. Our brochure has more details about sponsorship levels and benefits. (Click the link above to get the brochure for sponsors)


Join a community of industry thought leaders, academics, and investors as an online judge. Judging will take place from November 3rd - 12th and be done virtually through our online platform. We anticipate a 2-3 hour commitment from each judge during this period.


Use your skills and expertise to mentor one of the six finalists as they develop their materials for the Final Live Pitch Event. Mentoring will occur between November 15th - December 8th. We anticipate a 4-6 hour commitment for each mentor during this period.


Help us spread the word to the qualified startups and thought leaders in your network who may be interested in this important topic. We would also love to share your work in this area.

Feel free to share the competition brochure.



Who are we and why are we doing this?

Over the last 5 years, we(Quesnay) have been working with clients in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, and media to help accelerate innovation. We run innovation competitions, create customized acceleration programs, and develop digital partnership strategies in order to source external ideas/startups and connect them into our clients’ organizations. Together with our partner, Skild, we have run over 400 competitions. You can see an example here of a global social-impact competition focused on IoT solutions that Quesnay developed and ran with Verizon.

We are now taking this experience and these best practices to run our own competition to address another meaningful topic. We, like many others, recognize the distinct lack of representation and startup funding among women and want to use the competition format as a way to fund, support and mentor female founders in the financial services arena, where the gap is particularly stark. At Quesnay, our own founder, Jennifer Byrne, is a female founder and angel investor, so this is a cause that resonates with us on multiple levels.

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Who should apply?

  • You qualify if you are startup with a female founder / co-founder / C-Suite leader with a technology product relevant to the financial and/or insurance industries. The product must be at least a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that is ready to launch or has been launched in market.
  • More specifics on eligibility criteria will be provided as part of the Official Rules, which will be posted on this website.

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Why should I apply?

You will have access to a number of opportunities:

  • As an Online Round applicant:
    • Opportunity to have your product evaluated by leaders from business, academia, and the VC / incubator community.
    • Potential to be added to Quesnay’s database of qualified solution providers which is leveraged to establish partnerships during projects with corporate clients.
    • Invitation to Final Live Pitch Event on 12/11 in NYC.
  • Finalists will also receive:
    • Advice and Mentorship.
    • Introductions to Fintech / Insurtech / women in tech leaders  / investors / incubators as appropriate to topic / stage.
    • Feature placement on www.quesnays.com.
  • Winners will also receive (in addition to the above):
    • Cash prize: $10,000 (first place), $6,000 (second place), $4,000 (third place)
    • Business development guidance: Quesnay will work with each winner following the Final Live Pitch Event to identify a partnership or mentorship opportunity.
    • Dedicated blog post.
    • Promotion: Quesnay will also help promote each winning startup through our media channels and extensive partnership network to raise awareness of each winner’s work and solution. Our network consists of VC / investor community, insurance and finance leaders, technology platforms, and prominent universities with entrepreneurial networks.

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What are example products and solutions that qualify?

  • Products and solutions can be applicable across multiple industries as long as they include a relevant use case for the financial and/or insurance industries. Examples:
    • Topic areas such as Financial inclusion, wellness, literacy; Millennial lending & saving; Digital insurance – creation, access, and distribution for new segments
    • Applications / platforms using Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Voice Activation, Augmented / Virtual Reality, IoT, and gamification

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Where and how do I apply?

  • We will be including a link on this website on October 1st that will take you to the online registration and application page.
  • The application link will require you to register, acknowledge the Official Rules, and then answer a few questions in writing on your product. We will also ask you to upload a brief (around 15 seconds) phone quality introductory video with your Online Round application. You may also upload an optional video demo of your product. More detailed requirements will be provided in the Official Rules.

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What happens after the Online Round?

  • Once the Online Round judging is complete, 6 finalists will be selected to present a live pitch in front of a panel of judges (criteria for judging will be available in the Official Rules). The live event will take place on December 11th in New York City (Details below).
  • Finalists will also have the opportunity to work virtually with mentors who are leaders and experts in the Fintech and Insurtech space to develop their final pitch materials.

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What will be expected of the Finalists for the Final Live Pitch Event?

  • Each finalist will be expected to deliver an 8-10-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with a panel of judges. The pitch will include a product demo and further company and product details. Building on the details provided in the Online Round application, the finalists will be asked to elaborate on their growth strategy and the areas where they’ll benefit from partnerships. More details on the pitch materials and judging criteria will be available in the Official Rules. 
  • The female founder / co-founder / C-Suite leader will be required to present at the event.

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Where and when is the Final Live Pitch Event being held?

  • Verizon is proud to host Quesnay's Female Founders in Tech final live pitch event in their new Open Innovation Lab at Alley powered by Verizon in New York City. In addition to changing the way we discover, consume, and engage with digital media, the Verizon Open Innovation Lab is helping design and build the next generation of media experiences.
  • Date and Time: Monday, December 11th from 6 - 9 pm.

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Will travel costs be covered for the Final Live Pitch Event?

  • We will cover the cost of travel and one night of hotel stay for one participant - the female founder / co-founder / C-Suite leader from each of the Finalists. Reimbursement of up to $1,500 total in documented reasonable travel and lodging expenses is available for one participant. You may have other staff members attend the event at their own expense.

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Who should attend the Final Live Pitch Event?

  • The event attendees will be our six finalists, corporate sponsors, judges, mentors, and leaders from the VC / investor community, insurance and finance industries, technology platforms, and prominent universities.
  • However, we do have limited seats for general admission, which are open to entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders in the Fintech/Insurtech community, as well as those who are passionate about our competition focus.

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What is the cost to attend the event?

  • $15.00. We will be sharing an invitation closer to the event date.

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