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Scholars and Innovators: Showcasing Female Founded Fintech Achievement


In 2022, Finovate launched its Demo Scholarship Program. The goal of the program is to highlight fintech founders from underrepresented communities, as well as fintech startups that are tackling issues of climate change, diversity, and financial inclusion. At each event, starting with FinovateFall in 2022, Finovate grants five scholarships in the categories of Environment, Social, Governance, Person of Color Founded/Owned, and Female Founded/Owned.

With Women’s History Month drawing to a close this week, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the scholarship winners in our Female Founded/Owned category since our scholarship program was launched last year.


FinovateSpring 2023 Scholarship Winner – Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Pave enables credit risk teams to identify healthy borrowers, optimize credit limits, and improve collections outcomes. Pave’s technology provides access to a unified view of end customers’ cash flow and financial profile to help power a range of use cases including cash advances, credit building, overdraft protection, and more.

Pave was co-founded by Ema Rouf in 2020. Previously, Rouf co-founded Adazza – a company that built integrations with telecoms and mobile money operators in emerging markets including Africa and Central Asia in order to collect and analyze data for analytics and machine learning applications.


FinovateEurope 2023 Scholarship Winner – Headquartered in London, U.K., and founded in 2018, Quoroom offers an end-to-end fundraising and cap table management software solution for private companies. The firm’s technology enables users to raise capital up to four times faster thanks for Quoroom’s investment workflows. Quoroom supports a range of functions including building an investor pipeline and conducting investor matchmaking and outreach, as well as legal completion and cap table management.

Ulyana Shtybel is co-founder and CEO. Shtybel was named to the Inspiring Fifty Europe’s roster of the Top Fifty Women in European Tech for 2022.


FinovateEurope 2023 Scholarship Winner – Based in San Francisco, California and founded in 2017, TAZI AI is a machine learning platform that enables businesses and data scientists to develop ML models for agile decision-making. The company earned recognition from Gartner as a Cool Vendor in Core AI Technologies for its continuous learning, explainable AI, and human-in-the-loop technology. TAZI AI won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope this year.

Zehra Cataltepe is co-founder and CEO. A former professor of computer engineering for 17 years, Cataltepe is a member of the Forbes Technology Council, and an alum of the Alchemist Accelerator, Class 26.


FinovateFall 2022 Scholarship Winner – Based in Miami, Florida and founded in 2021, Debbie is the Noom for debt loss. The company leverages behavioral psychology and rewards to help users pay off 3x more debt and enable lenders to recession-proof borrowers. Debbie won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2022 for its app that guides borrowers in a curriculum based on actionable financial assignments, offers rewards for successful goal achievement, and makes it easier for borrowers to connect and track all of their debt accounts.

Co-founder Frida Leibowitz is CEO. A member of the inaugural class of On Deck’s fellowship program in 2021, Leibowitz spent more than two and a half years working for Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Photo by fauxels


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