The W Founder Award

Starting a company is one of the most challenging journeys one can undertake in the business world.

  • In BCG's recent research study it was found that for every dollar of funding, women co-founded startups generated 78 cents, while male-founded startups generated less than half that — 31 cents. However, when women business owners pitch their ideas in the early stages of fundraising they receive on average more than $1 million less than men.

  • In 2017, just 2% of VC funding went to all-women teams, and only 12% to those of mixed-gender, as reported by Pitchbook.

  • According to the latest gender equality report published by WEF, the gender gap in the AI workforce is three times larger than the average.

The numbers are bleak -- they can and will be changed.
This is why we created the W founder award. We want to celebrate the achievements of women co-founded companies in the data science, machine learning and AI space worldwide -- their founders and their teams.

We'd love to hear more about your journey, goals and anecdotes along the way -- whether you're just starting out and opened up a cloud account yesterday or you have already raised some money and opened up an office.

What does the W founder award contain?

  • $2,000

  • $20,000 of Google Cloud credits

  • Ticket to the WIDS Zurich 2019 conference and paid travel expenses

We aim to give out up to 3 W founder awards. We're so excited to receive your applications!

To apply, just fill out an application form available here. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on

The applications for 2019 are now closed.

Larissa's founder story


LARISSA LAICH, WiDS 2019 organiser


I started my company Frogg GmbH together with my friend Frederik Riedel at the age of 15. We both are very passionate about technology and love building apps. Our mission is to spread education, health, and joy through the App Store. We’ve released a series of educational apps, some of which have become very successful. Already in 2013, we’ve reached top 5 paid App Store charts.

One of our most downloaded app, iRedstone, teaches the basics of electrical engineering and computer science using the redstone-system in the popular computer-game “Minecraft”. Processing for iOS, another app we developed, allows everyone to write code on their iPhone and iPad using the programming language Processing. This app is free and open source to make programming more accessible for everyone. Our apps are used at high-schools and universities and even for projects in Africa to teach kids how to code.

Together, we were awarded with the WWDC student scholarship by Apple nine times.

We are running our company by combining our personal passions with our enthusiasm for app development. Our most recent project is a climbing tracker since we share a huge love for climbing.