The largest startup pitch competition in 2017
aimed at female-led Startups In FinTech / InsurTech space

Within FinTech and InsurTech space, the competition recruited...

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The competition yielded real business opportunities, such as...

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Most importantly, the competition Created connections between the finalists and the corporate sponsors:



"The TD purpose is to enrich the lives of our customers, our communities and our colleagues, so when I think about this partnership with Quesnay, it hits me from a couple of perspectives - getting introduced to start-ups doing really great, cool things and helping to drive transformational change... I also look to investing in our female leaders both within TD, and well as external to TD."

Karen Buck (EVP, Commercial, Retail and Payment Operations)
TD Bank, Silver Sponsor


“It's an honor to win. It's more than just money, it's the business development, contacts and partnership from this community that are priceless. Female-led businesses generate US $1.6 trillion in annual revenue, yet only 4% of VC funding goes to female entrepreneurs. It's time to flip the script, and programs like Female Founders in Tech have the potential to accomplish this.”

Tanya Van Court (Founder & CEO)
Goalsetter, First Place Winner 2017


Event Highlights 


Sponsor Highlights

Full Recap

Meet the Seven Finalists (and the Three Winners)

Goalsetter is a goal-based savings and gifting platform, targeting millennial parents.

Led by Tanya Van Court
Founder & CEO

LENDonate provides a marketplace lending platform for non profits and supporters.

Led by Vivienne Hsu
Founder & CEO

Marinus uses technologies to help identify and fight crimes like human trafficking.

Led by Emily Kennedy
Founder & CEO

Allows underserved individuals to perform secure financial transactions via mobile app.

Led by Amanda Graham
Co-founder & COO

Jumpstart democratizes disaster insurance, starting with the earthquake risk in CA.

Led by Kate Stillwell
Founder & CEO

Commercial real estate debt platform directly connecting borrowers to lenders.

Led by Yulia Yaani

Reply.ai is an enterprise-level solution to scale chat bots across messaging platforms.

Led by Clara de Soto


Meet our Panel of sponsor Judges       


Kelle Bub
Innovation Manager


Karen Buck
Head, Women in Leadership
TD Bank


Mary Burke
Head, Global Customer Proposition Operations  
Thomson Reuters


Breanne Diorio
Senior Manager Brand Strategy
John Hancock  


Jesse Honigberg 
Chief Digital Officer
Sterling National Bank



Sharleen Smith
Head of Digital


Competition Details 




Mentoring / business development guidance from industry experts

Dedicated blog post and social media promotion

Access to $25,000 worth of Microsoft Azure cloud computing credit

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place



October 1
Online Application Opens

October 31
Online Application Closes


November 3 – 12
Online Judging Period

November 15
7 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

Sponsored by

Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsors



Technology Sponsor


Event Sponsor


Media Sponsor


Platform Sponsor


Supported by


Featured Judges & Mentors


Drew Aldrich
American Family Ventures

Helen Altshuler
Engineering Leader

Mark Berthiaume
CIO and Chief Innovation Technology Officer, Hanover Insurance Group

Denny Boyle
Managing Director, FinTech Sector Head
Silicon Valley Bank

Kelle Bub 
Innovation Manager

Susan Gault-Brown
Fintech Regulatory Partner
Wilson Sonsini

Florian Graillot
Partner, astorya.vc
(ex- AXA Strategic Ventures)

Theodora Lau
Director, Market Innovation

Ilana Messing
Director, Mastercard Lab Start Path

Scarlett Sieber
Top FinTech Influencer

Andrea Silvello
Co-Founder & CFO

Yair Smith 
VP, Strategic Development
AmTrust Financial Services

Ron Suber
Independent Entrepreneur, Executive and Coach

Dave Thomas 
SVP, Director of Digital Channel Management
Sterling National Bank

Click here for the list of influencers participating in the 2018 program 


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.


E-mail us at femalefounders@quesnays.com if you have any questions.