Vanessa Dawson, The Vinetta Project

upstarts vinetta project

Vanessa Dawson wants to see more powerful women prevail.

So far, she's helped female founders raise a collective $33 million in less than two years through The Vinetta Project ("Vinetta" means prevailing.)

The idea for her company stemmed from a one-off pitch night that Canadian-born Dawson organized in August 2013. "We wanted a really actionable event," she said.

The Vinetta Project connects female founders with male and female investors through curated events, like showcases and dinners.

"If we want to create this equilibrium and want equality then we can't be blocking out the other half," said Dawson, 30, who is based in New York.

The Vinetta Project organizes events in Vancouver, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and, soon, Washington, D.C. Next month, Dawson will launch a private online community to further extend the reach of Vinetta. She also plans to launch an investment platform. "We focus on high-growth female founders, getting them access to capital, and making them the [next] billionaire founders," she said. -- S.O.

First published June 24, 2015: 8:22 AM ET

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