Women Founders Network Announces Ten Finalists Who Will Compete for More Than $100,000 in Cash and Services at October 20, 2015 Fast Pitch Competition

109 Applicants, Up 33 percent Y-o-Y · Top Ten From Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Denver · Cash Award for Winner Doubles Y-o-Y to $20,000

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Women Founders Network today announced the ten finalists who will compete in its Fast Pitch Competition on October 20, 2015.  The top five finalists will receive cash and professional services valued at more than $100,000 and all ten will gain visibility and exposure to leading early-stage venture capitalists, angel investors and Los Angeles business executives who are judging the event.

The cash award for the winner has doubled to $20,000 this year.  In addition, one of the ten finalists will win the $5,000 Junior Judges award for the Best Fast Pitch presentation.  This award empowers girls aged 10-18 to make an impact and to be inspired by women entrepreneurs.

The Ten Finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • District2.Co, Cassie Betts, CEO, Los Angeles, CA – online B2B platform connecting apparel brands with manufacturers
  • Ezkie, Anais Tadlaoui, CEO, San Francisco, CA – peer-to-peer home-sharing marketplace for students
  • Genomic Expression, Gitte Pedersen, CEO, New York, NY – cancer diagnostics
  • LIA Diagnostics, Bethany Edwards, CEO, Philadelphia, PA – discreet, environmentally friendly pregnancy test
  • PELV-ICE LLC, Jill Bigelow, CEO, Los Angeles, CA – medical device for pelvic soft tissue recovery
  • PregPrep LLC, Marjorie Goldner, CEO, New York, NY - safe, natural products to help women get pregnant
  • Shippabo, Nina Luu, CEO, City of Industry, CA – web-based application to book and manage ocean shipments
  • Sugarwish, Elizabeth Vezzani, CEO, Denver, CO – candy gifts personalized by the receiver
  • TomboyX, Fran Dunaway, CEO, Seattle, WA – clothing and accessories for tomboys
  • WEARAWAY, Lee Greene, CEO, Venice, CA - mobile marketplace for renting designer apparel and accessories

"This is our third year and we continue to increase awareness with more than 100 applications from women-led companies based in major cities across the U.S.," said Darya Allen-Attar, Founder and CEO of Women Founders Network.  "The support from LA's investment and business community has been tremendous.  This year, we have doubled our cash award for the winner through increased sponsorship.  We have also attracted powerful women CEOs from LA-based companies and executives from leading early-stage venture capital and angel investment firms as Fast Pitch judges, increasing visibility for our finalists."

Exposure to Leading Early-Stage Venture Capital Investors

In addition to competing for cash awards and professional services, the top ten Fast Pitch presenters will gain exposure to leading venture capital and angel investors as well as top business leaders in Los Angeles who support women entrepreneurs. 

The roster of 2015 Fast Pitch judges includes the following venture capital and private equity firm executives:

  • Deborah Benton, Breakwater Investment Management
  • Jamie Kantrowitz, MESA Ventures
  • Renee LaBran, Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners
  • Matt McCall, Pritzker Group Venture Capital
  • Rick Smith, CrossCut Ventures

The Fast Pitch Competition will take place on Tuesday, October 20th from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Luxe Sunset Hotel, 11461 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, REGISTER HERE.

About the Women Founders Network Entrepreneur Competition

We support women entrepreneurs building high-growth early-stage businesses.  To apply, the company must have a woman co-founder, president or CEO, or be majority owned by women.  The company can operate in any industry, and must generate revenue or demonstrate proof of concept.  Finally, applicants may not have raised more than $1 million in outside funding, excluding research grants.  The total 2015 prize package of cash and professional services is valued in excess of $100,000.

About the Women Founders Network Judges

Women Founders Network applicants are judged by an independent panel made up of leading CEOs, CFOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, wealth managers, legal professionals and communications strategists.

About the Women Founders Network Junior Judges Award

Reflecting a desire to encourage young women to pursue their dreams, the Women Founders Network Pitch Competition features a Junior Judges Panel and Award.  A panel of 15 girls aged 10-18 will select their favorite Fast Pitch contestant and award the winner with a cash prize of $5,000.

Women Founders Network Competition Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors for their support.  In particular, we'd like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, UnionBank, and Financial Sponsors, EY and PwC. In addition, we'd like to thank those who have committed to supporting the Women Founders Network with in-kind sponsorships: Pepper Hamilton LLP, Olmstead Williams Communications, DLA Piper, Manatt, MacMedan Financial Communications, Supporting Strategies, Accretive Solutions, HR Pals, Straight Line Management, TriNet, Traklight, Crucial Consulting and Broads Circle.

About Women Founders Network

Women Founders Network "WFN" (previously Chick Launcher) connects women building high-growth businesses with the tools and resources they need to achieve business success.  Over the past two years, Women Founders Network has directly granted (or invested) cash and prizes valued at approximately $250,000 into 11 different companies, in addition to introductions that raised more than $2mm for our finalists.  Visit us at www.womenfoundersnetwork.com.

Media Contact: Stephanie Harnett, Olmstead Williams Communications, 3108249000, sharnett@olmsteadwilliams.com

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SOURCE Women Founders Network



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