FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2015
WASHINGTON – Women Who Tech, which is on a mission to showcase and fund women-led startups, announced the selection of the 10 finalists in its Women Startup Challenge NYC competition, its first regional competition for women-led startups. Nearly 200 entries were received from across the Northeast.
The pitch competition will be held in New York City on November 9, 2015 at Microsoft in Times Square. The judges will be investor Joanne Wilson; Susan Lyne of AOL's BBG Ventures; Kathryn Finney – Founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID); and Victoria Song, VC, Flybridge. The grand prize winner will be awarded $25,000 in cash for its winning venture. Other prizes include complimentary office space by Silver Suites and consultations with investors. Information is available at http://womenwhotech.com/women-startup-challenge
The 10 finalists include:
HeyU – HeyU is a new video dating app that brings Snapchat to online dating. Users upload 15 second videos (or less) of themselves singing, dancing, or showing the world through their eyes.
StyleSage – StyleSage delivers data-driven insights to fashion brands and retailers to maximize sales and optimize merchandising and planning. Their platform tracks and analyzes over 1,000 eCommerce retailers across 100+ countries.
Vizalytics – Vizalytics supports local shopkeepers and innovates government through their proprietary knowledge graph powered by open city data.
SoftSpot by Moonlab – SoftSpot is a plug+play sensor system for clothing. Their garments capture and send the data to a mobile phone or other IoT devices. It is invisible, washable, and wireless and can be easily integrated using common garment manufacturing techniques.
UpScored – UpScored cuts through the clutter of recruiting by intelligently connecting candidates to their best job prospects and companies to top talent. The UpScore is a proprietary algorithm that formulates a graded score that reflects the quality of a job seeker's resume against a company's job description.
GoKid – GoKid provides a complete carpool solution for busy families. The app provides a high tech platform for old fashioned collaboration between parents who already know and trust one another. GoKid will save parents time and money and will reduce traffic and emissions.
Closet Collective – Closet Collective is creating the world's largest virtual closet. Through their membership-based platform, women rent every day designer fashion from each other and rotate their closets each month.
SIREN – SIREN aims to empower, protect, and celebrate women, while highlighting the global issue of sexual and physical violence that women face every day. They are first to market with a patented line of protective accessories featuring a hidden wearer-actuated 110+ dB alarm and rechargeable power supply, used to simultaneously disorient/deter attackers and attract help.
Rubitection – Rubitection is a pre-revenue medical device startup that provides low cost, and reliable tool for early pressure ulcer diagnosis.
LIA Diagnostics – LIA Diagnostics is developing an at-home pregnancy test designed by women, for women. Their easier-to-use test is constructed from flushable materials which offer greater privacy and sustainability.
On November 10 these finalists will also join investors for the first-ever Women Startup Speed Dating event at AOL. The event is designed to give women founders one-on-one access to investors and experts to help them hone their startup pitches and ideas.
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, is partnering with Women Who Tech on the competition as part of his craigconnectsinitiative. "I'm supporting this competition because a good idea is a good idea whoever it comes from. That's only fair," said Newmark.
"The Women Startup Challenge is shaking up a culture and economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women entrepreneurs to access capital," said Women Who Tech founder Allyson Kapin. "Currently, only seven percent of investor money goes to women. If we truly want to innovate and create the best products for people in this world, we need to radically change how we invest. And that is what we are hoping to ignite through the Women Startup Challenge."
Women Startup Challenge NYC is a regional competition. The first competition held by Women Who Tech was national in scope and held on June 30 in Washington, D.C. The crowdfunding campaign raised $315,000 for 88 women-led startups. An additional$50,000 was awarded to the grand prize winner, On Second Thought. Additional funding and advisory support went to other Challenge finalists.
About Women Who Tech
For the past seven years, Women Who Tech has worked with more than 4,000 women and entrepreneurs to provide a supportive community and network. Beyond the Women Startup Challenge, Women Who Tech has also hosted TeleSummits featuring change makers like Arianna Huffington, SlideShare cofounder Rashmi Sinha, and startup investor Joanne Wilson. The Women Startup Database and events, with partners like Medium and General Assembly, provide a diverse and influential community of cross-generational women entrepreneurs from every industry and startup stage a platform to pitch their startups and connect with investors, entrepreneurs, and reporters. www.womenwhotech.com
Launched in March 2011, craigconnects is Craig Newmark's personal, Web-based initiative to support philanthropy and public service. The initiative spotlights individuals, organizations, and agencies working for veterans and military families, trustworthy journalism, voting rights, women in tech, peer-to-peer giving, and other areas. www.craigconnects.org
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