Committed to inclusion

We know how difficult it can be to grow a successful startup. Building innovative technology, recruiting the right talent, and landing customers are challenges that every founder faces. But for some entrepreneurs, including women, non-binary people, and BIPOC, there are additional hurdles that prevent them from breaking through. 

Dr. Maria Luisa Pineda | Co-founder and CEO | Envisagenics

At M12, we aspire to realize a VC and startup ecosystem more reflective of the global population that technology serves. Studies show that diverse leadership is positively correlated with innovation and financial returns. Beyond the business case, it’s the right thing to do.

As an industry, we’re just starting to chip away at deeply entrenched biases that determine who can be an investor or who gets access to capital. But at M12, we’re committed to progress.

Here are some of the initiatives and organizations we’ve supported in pursuit of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive startup and venture ecosystem.

Female Founders Competition

2020 winners

We partnered with Mayfield and Melinda Gates' Pivotal Ventures to award $6 million to four female-founded enterprise software and deeptech companies.

Learn more about the 2020 winners
Female Founders logo
Michelle Zhu headshot
Michelle Zhu Co-founder and CEO, Huue
Tammy Hsu headshot
Tammy Hsu Co-founder and CSO, Huue
Cecilia Flores Headshot
Cecilia Flores Co-founder and COO, Webee
Emma Rees headshot
Emma Rees Co-founder and CEO, Deployed
Kayleigh Kuptz headshot
Kayleigh Kuptz Co-founder and COO, Deployed
Mehak Mumtaz headshot
Mehak Mumtaz Co-founder and COO, iLoF
Paula Sampaio headshot
Paula Sampaio Co-founder and CSO, iLoF
Joana Paiva headshot
Joana Paiva Co-founder and CTO, iLoF
Greta Cutulenco, Founder and CEO at Acerta

“As a Female Founders Competition winner, Acerta was able to get deep support from the Microsoft Azure team, and closely collaborate with the automotive and sales teams to gain access to potential customers.”

Greta Cutulenco | Co-founder and CEO | Acerta

2018 winners

We partnered with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group to award $4 million to two women-led companies building software solutions for the enterprise.

Learn more about the 2018 winners
Female Founders Competition Logo
Greta Cutulenco giving a speech
Greta Cutulenco Founder and CEO, Acerta
Julie Dorsey giving a speech
Julie Dorsey Founder and Chief Scientist, Mental Canvas
Julie Dorsey, Founder and Chief Scientist at Mental Canvas

“Being recognized as one of the most promising enterprise startups in an international competition provided a tremendous confidence boost and reaffirmed that we were on the right path.”

Julie Dorsey | Founder and Chief Scientist | Mental Canvas


We’re proud to partner with world-class organizations providing resources, mentorship, and networking access to underrepresented founders and investors.