Uber is teaming up with Girlboss, the media company started by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, to help put money toward women entrepreneurs. Uber will invest more than $200,000 in three founders as part of the initiative.
“We are proud to work with Uber to support the Girlboss community and beyond, contributing resources and mentorship to help change the ratio of women-owned businesses,” Amoruso said in a statement. “The only way to do that effectively is to fund businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity and provide as many entrepreneurs as possible with access to the types of resources, tools, and mentorship that have been essential on my own journey.”
Entrepreneurs can submit applications from today through October 21, and on October 30, five finalists will be chosen and invited to pitch a panel of investors and founders at the Girlboss Rally, an annual conference that convenes in both New York City and Los Angeles. (They will also receive a $5,000 stipend to account for travel costs and accommodations.)
During the first day of the NYC Girlboss Rally in November, finalists will present their pitches to the panel, which includes Away cofounder Jen Rubio, Drybar founder Alli Webb, Gingerbread Capital partner Ita Ekpoudom, and Uber’s Erika Decker. Three winners will be announced on the second day of the conference.
A number of women-run startups, from The Wing to Bumble, have recently launched programs to invest in women entrepreneurs. For Uber, this is likely also part of an ongoing rehabilitation of its image following a series of controversies related to its culture last year. Uber recently rebranded, debuting a new logo and typeface. And the company is reportedly spending about $500 million on a sweeping ad campaign that includes the TV spots you’ve likely seen, as well as investments in billboards and digital ads. Considering all that, investing in female founders sounds like a much cheaper endeavor.