FAQs

For entrepreneurs

What are the criteria to considered by fivethirteen?


We’re looking for companies that:

  • Have at least one woman founder (must be genuinely a founder and leader of the business, i.e. a Director and a significant shareholder).
  • Are incorporated in the UK - we are based in the UK and this is our focus. (If you are based in the US, check out our friends over at ClimateRaise).
  • Have cleantech at the core of their business model - their product or service is designed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions or address resource scarcity issues, or otherwise significantly benefit the planet. We’re not looking for regular businesses who are becoming more sustainable, or a company with a CSR team.
  • Is fundraising now or will be in the next six months.
  • Is an early-stage start-up i.e. next fundraising round will be less than £5m.




Do we have to have raised money in the past?


No, we understand that perhaps you are struggling to find investors and that’s why you are here. However, anything you have in the way of a credibility indicator will help your story with investors e.g. grants, awards, evidence of customer interest, backing of a Non-executive Director, backing of a University.




What do you mean by “woman founded”?


At least one of the founders of the company must identify as a woman or as being of non-binary gender.




What about other minorities?


We’re focussed on gender equality. We think this will help all underrepresented groups, but we can’t focus on them all and this is where we feel best equipped to start.




Does the company have to agree to be included?


Yes, we will not feature companies who have not given us their explicit consent to be included.




What is the selection process?


  • All applications will be filtered to make sure they meet the FiveThirteen criteria.
  • Each month, around five companies will be selected to pitch to the selection committee.
  • The Selection Committee will decide which three companies to include in that month's newsletter, based upon their evaluation of the company's quality.
  • In the future we are planning to include a database with all companies that have applied and met the criteria in the previous six months.




What does it cost?


Nothing. FiveThirteen is run by volunteers to help for woman-founded businesses. There is no fee to companies to apply, to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, or to be actually featured. There is no payment to FiveThirteen from investors, and no payment to the scouts for recommending you. Sounds to good to be true? All we ask is that you pay it forward. When you are in a position to do so, please raise up those around you too. And, do let us know if you get funding from someone introduced to you by FiveThirteen - case studies are very helpful.





For investors

Can I see all companies that have been proposed to FiveThirteen?


Yes! We will include a list of all companies with our monthly newsletter that gets sent to investors. If you are an investor, please sign up to receive the newletters.




Have companies been been vetted?


No! We have checked that companies meet our criteria, and have agreed to be included. Companies featured in our newsletter will go through a selection process including a pitch. However, we have not performed any detailed checks, that’s up to you.




What kinds of investors is FiveThirteen intended for?


FiveThirteen is intended for sophisticated or professional investors interested in making early-stage investments in the UK. This includes angel investors and funds, as well as incubators, accelerators etc. By signing up for the email newsletter as an angel investor, you are confirming that you self-certify as being one of these investor types.




What does it cost?


Nothing. FiveThirteen is run by volunteers to help for woman-founded businesses. There is no fee to companies or investors, and no payment to the scouts for their recommendations. Sounds to good to be true? All we ask is that you pay it forward. When you are in a position to do so, please raise up those around you too. And, do let us know if you invest in someone introduced to you by FiveThirteen - case studies are very helpful.




Where can I learn more about reducing bias in my decision making?


Our resources section is a good place to start.





For scouts

Who can join fivethirteen's team of scouts?


You must be: - An experienced cleantech investor - you are a VC, angel, accelerator or family office that has made at least two cleantech investments. - Actively investing in UK cleantech companies - you have made at least two investments in the last year or plan to this year. - A supporter of woman-founded companies - with at least one female founder in your portfolio.




Why can’t anyone propose companies to be included?


We are investors ourselves, and our newsletters and resources are designed to help investors find great companies to support. We know first hand how the kind of recommendation investors make to other investors are different from those from people with no “skin in the game”. However, we are also doing this to break down some of the barriers that women face in trying to get investment, so we also welcome direct approaches from entrepreneurs to hello@fivethirteen.org.




Will I get paid for my introductions?


Sorry, no. This is a volunteer-run process to help for woman-founded businesses. There is no fee to companies or investors. We think that scouts are people who will come across exciting companies anyway through their other activities, and will see the benefits to us all of this support.