We are looking for the next generation of female engineer entrepreneurs.

Applications and nominations for Spring 2024 cohort are open now and rolling. Deadline is March 1.

Apply Nominate

An intimate founder circle of female engineers, guided by successful female founders and leaders.

Join a like-minded community

Join aspiring and early-stage female technical founders to explore startup ideas and build life-long relationships

Be inspired by visionaries

Attend intimate fireside chats with visionary and successful female leaders and founders

Gain valuable fundraising perspectives

Learn about what VCs they look for and learn from the mentorship from female founders who have successfully raised

Learn from Pear partners

Gain insight on industry expertise and workshops on AI, go-to-market strategy, product-market fit, hiring, tactical storytelling and speech coaching

Connect at social events

Enjoy curated events including wine tastings, spa days, yoga and dinners in local hubs (SF, NY)

Introducing our new initiative: Female Founder Circle Retreat!

Inspired by FFC, The FFC (Female Founder Circles) Retreat is an invitation-only one and a half-day gathering in Palm Springs for female founders, inspired by successful female founders and leaders.

Being a founder is tough. Being a female founder poses its own set of challenges. Founders need support. Who better to give support to than fellow founders? Join us as a group of female founders, from seed to unicorn, share experiences, build community, and support each other.

We’re sold out – but apply next year!

Learn from visionary leaders and founders.

Kate Ryder

CEO and Co-Founder, Maven Clinic

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Julianna Lamb

CTO and Co-Founder, Stytch

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Laura Behrens Wu

CEO and Co-Founder, Shippo

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Linda Lian

CEO and Founder, Common Room

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Wei Deng

Wei Deng

CEO and Co-founder of Clipboard Health

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Claire Hughes Johnson

Former COO of Stripe

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Farnaz Azmoodeh

CTO of Linktree, former VP of Engineering at Snap

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Deb Liu

CEO of Ancestry, Board of Intuit, Author of Take Back Your Power

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Mar Hershenson headshot

Mar Hershenson

Founding Managing Partner

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Mada Seghete headshot

Mada Seghete

Co-founder and VP Marketing at Branch

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Padmasree Warrior

Padmasree Warrior

Founder & CEO Fable, Former CTO Cisco, Board Spotify & Microsoft

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Magi Richani headshot

Magi Richani

CEO and Founder of Nobell Foods, Pear Founder

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Kirsten Green headshot

Kirsten Green

Managing General Partner and Founder of Forerunner

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Jess Lee headshot

Jess Lee

Partner at Sequoia, Former CEO and Founder of Polyvore

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Maria Zhang headshot

Maria Zhang

VP of Eng at Google, Ex-CTO of Tinder, Founder of Alike, Acq YHoo

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Kristin Fortney headshot

Kristen Fortney

CEO and Co-Founder of BioAge (Pear Company)

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Andrea Goldsmith

Andrea Goldsmith

Dean of Engineering at Princeton

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Lily Sarafan headshot

Lily Sarafan

Founder TheKey, Board of Instacart, Thumbtack; Board of Trustees Stanford

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Sarah Tavel

Sarah Tavel

GP Benchmark

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Varsha Rao headshot

Varsha Rao

CEO of NuRX, COO of Clover Health

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Magdalena Yesil headshot

Magdalena Yesil

First Investor and Founding Board of Salesforce, Board of Informed, SoFi

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Lily Zhang headshot

Lily Zhang

Senior Director of Engineering at Instacart, Founding team of FB Stories

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Kristin Tedford headshot

Kristin Tedford

Co-Founder of BoldEcho, 30 years of speech coaching

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Cathy Polinski

Cathy Polinsky

CTO Data Grail, Board of Aetion

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Katherine Liu headshot

Katherine Liu

CEO and Co-Founder of FormFunction, Pear Founder

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Vivien Ho

Vivien Ho

Pear VC

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Deena Shakir headshot

Deena Shakir

Partner at Lux Capital

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Melissa Zhang headshot

Melissa Zhang

CTO and Co-Founder of Bonfire, Pear Founder

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Julie Yoo headshot

Julie Yoo

General Partner at A16z Bio + Health

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Mercedes Bent headshot

Mercedes Bent

Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners

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Arpana Bio Photo

Aparna Sinha

Visiting Partner

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Ajay Kamat headshot

Ajay Kamat


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Jill Puente headshot

Jill Puente

Marketing Partner

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Anne Lee Skates headshot

Anne Lee Skates

Partner at A16z Consumer

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Kendra Kawala headshot

Kendra Kawala

Co-Founder of Maker Wine

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Matt Birnbaum headshot

Matt Birnbaum

Talent Partner

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Jo Bio Photo

Jo Zhu

Head of PearX

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Maryna Bio Photo

Maryna Sivaieva


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Laura Bio Photo

Laura Wright


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Placeholder headshot

Sarah Hoffman

Co-Founder of Maker Wine

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femail founder circles group photo
Helena Merk

Most of my time as an engineer and now founder is in male-dominated spaces, and I had no idea how much I’d value having a strong group of female founders in my life. I’m grateful to Vivien for inviting me to join and the entire Pear team for being such warm (and brilliant) humans!

Helena Merk Founder

Ashe Magalhaes

I can’t speak highly enough about the Pear VC community…I’m continuously in awe at the team’s brilliance and groundedness. Thank you, Pear (and especially Vivien Ho!) for curating amazing conversations and friendships through the Female Founder Circles.

Ashe Magalhaes Founder

Nicole Alonso

I’m extremely thankful to have participated in Pear VC’s first Female Founder Circle program! I can’t even put into words how impactful and inspiring each session has been. A huge thank you to Vivien for curating such an incredible cohort of female technical founders and guest speakers!

Nicole Alonso Founder

Cynthia and Mariale

The community that Pear VC has built for female founder engineers is special. It is hard to meet that many strong female role models and founder colleagues in one place. We are grateful for Vivien and the Pear team’s dedication to building and cultivating this community.

P.S. We met during the first cohort!

Mariale Montenegro & Cynthia Alexander Founders


Who is eligible for this program?

Any woman that has a background in STEM or engineering

Actively working on a startup idea full-time or part-time outside of work

At least a few years out of school – we have separate programs for students

How does Pear choose FFC members?

If you’re nominated or apply, we will reach out to conduct a 15-minute interview to see if you are a good fit given your stage, eligibility and background. We only accept 40 founders per cohort and we get over 800 applicants. We encourage nominations and referrals!

How much does it cost?

It’s free – no strings attached. We just ask you to commit to all the sessions and being an active member. We have a <5% acceptance rate

Do I need to have started a company to join?

No, but we require everyone to be actively working on a startup idea full-time or part-time

What are the dates of the program?

Spring 2024 will begin in March 20 and go for 12 weeks.

What’s the time commitment?

We expect individuals to commit to coming to as many sessions as possible and getting to know the community, and attend all events in person or on Zoom.

Does FFC happen in person or virtually? What if I’m not based in SF?

FFC is hybrid. If you’re in the Bay Area we expect you come to in-person sessions. We accept those who are outside of the Bay Area and welcome them to attend events on Zoom.

How can I find out more / get in touch?

Feel free to reach out with any questions to vivien@pear.vc. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Do you have a referral or nomination for Pear Female Founder Circles?

Refer someone great!