Women Outside the Box (WOTB) has launched a competition called Upstart Women, to find the UK’s best female digital start-up, with a £10,000 prize.

The winner of the competition will be awarded a place on WebStart Bristol, a tech entrepreneur incubator, which lasts 10 weeks, takes place in Bristol and starts in October this year. The prize is worth a total of £10,000.

Founded by Bristol-based Joni Farthing in 2012,  the WOTB is a community for women in business, with an online platform supported by offline clubs and events. These include regional City Business Clubs, the UK’s biggest festival of female entrepreneurship, and WOTB Online, a forum and networking hub.

WOTB founder Joni Farthing

“Women in the creative industries like advertising, design, production, PR, marketing and publishing have exactly the mindset and experience to come up with what the market wants, but in a fun or disruptive way," said Farthing. "If they’ve got that idea within them but aren’t sure how they could make it happen, then they’d be crazy not to enter Upstart Women.  We’re not looking for people with all the tech or business answers.  We’re looking for savvy, creative ladies that can see the future right now.”

The WebStart Bristol 10-week incubator programme includes desk space in Engine Shed, Bristol’s thriving tech hub, business mentoring from a panel of specialists, hands-on support in areas such as graphic design, website and app design, PR and social media marketing. The winner of the competition will receive help to put together a pitch, and the opportunity to make that pitch before investors at the end of the programme.

Ideal start-up teams will contain two or more founders- at least one of the founders must be female - but WOTB is also open to single female entrepreneurs.  

Digital start-ups involving apps, websites or web services for rapid deployment will all be accepted for entry. No product development or agencies will be considered. Start-ups at idea stage or with a year of bootstrapping can enter. Full entry details are on the WOTB site.

"You don’t need to code to make it," continued Farthing. "You just have to brief the digital people involved well. That will be the key to success for businesses going forward.  And women really need to get on board.  Stop worrying if you don’t know enough – an entrepreneur gathers a team about herself who know enough between them. Her job is to have a brilliant idea and manage her team and raise investment. That’s what this competition is all about - changing the mindset of women.”