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“From Invisible to Investible”: The FoundHer™ Forum challenges invisibility barriers and champions investing in female founders

The FoundHer™ Forum, an event series that engages the Philippine startup community to elevate the conversation on investing in female founders, kicks off its 2024 series on March 12, 2024, 2:00 to 5:00 PM at KMC One Ayala, EDSA corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Launched in October 2023 by inclusion studio Imaginable Impact, the FoundHer™ Forum bridges female founders with investors and ecosystem leaders. Through an open and collaborative medium, startup stakeholders tackle what it means to close the gender investing gap.

This particular Forum will tackle the question, “How might we break the invisibility barrier for female founders and women-led ventures?” 

The discussions will be led by a veritable Who’s Who of the Philippine startup community. Delivering the keynote is Tina Di Cicco, Chair of Manila Angel Investors Network (MAIN)’s Gender-Lens Investing Committee and a staunch advocate of investing in women. Joining the Investor Panel to share perspectives from their unique lenses are: Raya Buensuceso, Managing Director of early-stage venture capital firm, Kaya Founders; Rene Cuartero, CEO and Co-Founder of independent venture builder, AHG Lab; and startup pioneer Jojo Flores, Co-Founder of Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play Tech Center and Philippine incubator and accelerator, Launchgarage. 

Representing the female founder community to deliver her Founder Story is Carmina Bayombong, Founder and CEO of InvestEd, a multi-awarded startup known as the Philippines’ most sustainable and inclusive student loan company.

Moving female founders “from invisible to investible”

Imaginable Impact’s co-founders share the backstory behind the theme for this FoundHer™ Forum.

According to Niña Terol, Co-Founder and CEO, “Since Day One of our work with the startup ecosystem, investors have been asking us, ‘Where are the female founders? Where are the investible women?’ The question came as a surprise to us because we see and know these women. We’ve seen the innovative businesses they’re building and the underserved markets they’re engaging — many of which have huge economic potential.”

Terol continues, “But many of them are still largely under the radar of investors and ecosystem enablers, so they aren’t able to access the capital, the network, and the resources they need to grow and scale their businesses and their impact. So at the end of the day, women are still absent in deal rooms, and we still have a huge capital gap for female founders.”

While the local data on gender lens investing is still lacking, there is a burgeoning demand for the ecosystem players — investors, enablers, and founders alike — to go deeper about what it means to invest in females and their ventures.

“You can look at the gender investing gap as an ecosystem issue,” says Candice Quimpo, Co-Founder and COO. “While it is important for investors to evaluate and address their pipeline issues on their own, and for female founders to actively seek their funding matches, we need to realize it takes a collaborative approach for all of us — to look at funding models and paradigms that go beyond how we look at investing in startups today.” 

Quimpo adds, “Women are not in the pipeline because they’re incapable of running a business; global data has already shown that women-led companies yield better returns on investment. Yet, females are in need of a lot of support to be able to get in front of investors in a meaningful way. Female founders looking to scale need better investment literacy, wider networks and influence, and non-capital support to validate their models and build traction. Let’s start here.”

Inclusive and open to all genders

Although the FoundHer™ Forum was developed to support female founders, Imaginable Impact’s co-founders underscore that it’s an inclusive event, open to all genders.

“Allyship has been an important part of our work, and we’re here because many allies have opened their doors to us and connected us to important people and resources,” shares Quimpo. “It’s important that everyone — regardless of gender — takes part in the FoundHer™ Forum conversations because we need champions and collaborators who will advocate for the systemic shift we’re working towards.”  

“At Imaginable Impact, we believe that, ‘When women thrive, we all win’”, Terol adds. “When we support female founders in building successful, scalable businesses, we enable them to create impact that extends to entire families, communities, and even industries. We enable them to create jobs and generate returns for their investors. There is tremendous potential in a female-led economy — and we all will benefit from it.”

The FoundHer™ Forum happens on March 12 (Tuesday) 2-5PM at KMC One Ayala, EDSA corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City. It was made possible through the support of our event partner, 1882 Energy Ventures, an AboitizPower company.
To learn more about the event and to buy tickets, go to