Pitch Competition Winners

As you know from my previous post… we had our 3rd Annual Pitch Competition Last Night. All 12 teams were AMAZING. Honestly, just getting up in front of 67 strangers and sharing your dream, your passion… it’s NOT easy. They all did great and deserve a large round of applause. As I said last night, I believe it is my job/calling to help ALL female founders. And I will continue to coach and connect all 12 teams (as well as those that didn’t make the pitch and/or didn’t apply) to resources that I believe can assist them to the best of my ability.

But, at the end of the day, our resources and funds are limited. So, we need to make tough choices.

I am VERY pleased to announce the StartupChicks Accelerator Program 2012 class:

  • Team Fenom,
  • Synkup,
  • Intellitaste,
  • Do Good Get Rewards,
  • Home Anatomy,
  • RAISE Global Services

These companies were chosen based upon the following criteria:

  • viability of idea/growth potential
  • credibility of founding team
  • ability to be coached
  • StartupChicks’ ability to help the company

We’re gonna go radio silent about these companies and coach them for @ 4 months.  But, watch out in June for our Graduation and News!!

A Founder's View – Pitch2012

It’s late. And it’s been a long month, long week, long day. I am exhausted AND exhilarated. Tonight we held our 3rd Annual Pitch Competition. 12 Female Founders pitched for cash, prizes and an opportunity to participate in our StartupChick Accelerator Program. Part of me feels like today was the end of the journey. But, the reality is the journey is just beginning. For ALL 12 companies.

Companies Who Pitched:

Badili Solutions
Do Good Get Rewards
Home Anatomy
Intellitaste
Multi Money Media
My Friend’s Lane
Raise Global
Smartview Technologies
Synkup
Team Fenom
The Garage Saler
Translate Your World

Tomorrow, I will announce the winners. But, tonight ALL 12 are winners. The viability of the business ideas, the teams, the quality of the Executive Summaries & the pitches surpassed not only my expectations, but those of the judges & the 60+ folks in the audience.

As we approach our 4 year birthday, and expand into other cities, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make an impact and how to measure that impact. How you measure an organization like StartupChicks is a little vague…. Number of attendees at our events? At other events? BUZZ/Feel? Testimonials?

By all accounts at tonight’s event, we are succeeding. My goal for this year: get less vague.
– Number of Female Founded Companies Funded?
– Number of Jobs Created?
– Investment Dollars Raised?
– Revenue Generated?

Together, we are getting there and making a substantial difference in the Startup Community. My goal is that we make a substantial ECONOMIC difference in Atlanta and the other cities we launch chapters in or partner with.

Help us.

Thank you for your support, guidance, participation, open-ness and believing.

Jen

Stop SOPA/PIPA

I normally try to stay away from political issues at StartupChicks to the best of my ability. There have been issues that I have fought against via Twitter Campaign in the past.

TODAY, I’m asking you to stop SOPA/PIPA. These 2 bills (if passed) will censor the internet, slow economic growth and HURT some of our StartupChicks Businesses.

IT’S SUPER SIMPLE to take a stand. Just enter your name, email and address @ http://sopastrike.com/strike/

Start with the Why

SweetriotLast night we had a special StartupChicks event part of our new StartupChick Cameo Series.  Sarah Endline founder and CEO of sweetriot chocolates came and told us her story from idea to Whole Foods.  It was very inspirational.  And there was dark chocolate involved.  😉

Start with the Why.

During our StartupChick Accelerator Program, we tend to start with the End in Mind: the Outrageous, Crazy Vision.  But, Sarah talked about starting at the vision but figuring out the why for the vision.  The vision will change.  Your vision for this company, will be different than the next company.  But, your WHY will remain constant.

What is your Why?

How Long is a 30 Minute Pitch?

TimerI had the unusual experience of getting to sit in while a StartupChick pitched a funder today, think “fly-on-the-wall”.  This woman is a serial entrepreneur and has a very successful business, starting another initiative for which she is hoping to raise funds.

She did a GREAT job:

  • She got their early and got set-up.
  • She tested the technology she needed for her pitch, before hand to ensure that it worked.
  • She made an instant connection with the funder by speaking in this person’s native language.
  • She finished with an ASK.

So, what did she do wrong, you ask??

She had a time-slot of 30 minutes.  Her pitch was timed perfectly for 30 minutes, including a 7 minute video.

So, in my opinion, her pitch was 15 minutes TOO long.  There was no time for interaction with the funder. The minute the funder asked 1 question, she was over the time limit for the meeting. Interaction is the BEST thing that could possibly happen in a 1st round investor meeting. Plan for it. Pray for it.

The second thing I believe she did wrong is… the video was too long.  2 minutes TOPS.  7 minutes is long enough that you could lose their interest before you get a chance to gain it.  Investors invest in people.  You should do the talking… not some video.

Just my 2 cents.

 

The Road Less Travelled

MapOver the weekend I heard that Tessa Horeheld had left Engauge and was about to embark on an exciting journey.  This morning I finally caught her <a href=”http://tessahorehled.com/2011/my-best-fit-leaving-engauge-and-adventures-ahead/”>post</a> on it.

And it made me think about my own journeys, where I am at now, and well, about all of the StartupChicks who are forging their own path.

Being an entrepreneur is NOT easy.  The odds are against us from the outset.  You’ve read the stats.  70% of small businesses started this year will NOT be in business in 2013.  50% in 2016. (SBA.gov)  The funding stats are even worse… Each year just over 1/2 a million businesses launch, about 3000 companies will get funded (http://www.dawnbreaker.com/about/phase3_win09/investment.php) by VC and/or organized angel groups.

Anyone in their right mind, would NOT choose this life.  But, that’s just it…isn’t it? We didn’t choose this life, we didn’t choose this path?  This path is who we are.  We are entrepreneurs. We are StartupChicks. We are ALL blazing new trails and living an authentic life.

Tessa – Farewell. Safe travels. I look forward to reading about your journey as it unfolds!

 

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