New startup connects female students and founders, advancing women in business

Two Canadian college students started a company to connect female students to female entrepreneurs. It’s on track to bring in $600k in revenue in 2021.

January 23, 2021

In 2019, college students Michelle Kwok and Ravina Anand were thrilled to take part in a Canadian entrepreneurial leadership program.

But when they discovered that just 18% of their cohort were women, the excitement dissipated.

To help raise that percentage, they launched a media company called FLIK to interview female founders and highlight their stories.

In countless FLIK interviews, they heard the same thing: “Female founders are under-resourced, undercapitalized, and wished they had mentors when they were starting,” Kwok told us.

The numbers don’t lie…

While female-founded startups have doubled in the last decade, funding is at a 3-year low.

But Kwok and Anand saw opportunity: They had like-minded peers interested in learning from the bootstrapped founders highlighted in FLIK’s stories.

So they transformed FLIK into an apprenticeship platform to connect female students with female founders — giving students on-the-job experience and mentorship, and founders much-needed extra hands.

With positive testimonials circulating on Slack channels, FLIK’s small team started generating revenue late last year, charging founders $50/mo to use the platform. As of today, they’ve facilitated apprenticeships for over 1.6k women.

With a 10k-person newsletter community and members in 52 countries, the women-led business is on track to bring in $600k in revenue this year.

For female founders and students, “it’s a win-win,” Kwok told The Hustle. As for her team, they “can’t wait to continue advancing women’s economic participation globally.”

  • Founders: Michelle Kwok and Ravina Anand
  • Employees: 7 employees, 3 contractors
  • Year of launch: 2020
  • Cost to launch: $1k
  • Funding methods: grants, accelerator, some bootstrapping
  • 1st-year revenue: $35k (since Nov. 2020)
  • Current annual revenue: $600k (projected)

Want more startup stories? You can read dozens more here, including tales of:

  • A red light camera defender
  • The “TurboTax for reputation management”
  • A “younger, more profane” Hallmark Shoebox card company

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