Women Startup Challenge NYC Announces Winners; Top Prize Goes to SoftSpot by Moonlab

Women Startup Challenge NYC Announces Winners; Top Prize Goes to SoftSpot by Moonlab


November 11, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Women Startup Challenge announced the winners of its first regional startup competition for women-led startups, Women Startup Challenge NYC, at Microsoft in Times Square on November 9. In all, close to 200 of the best women-led startups in the Northeast entered the competition.

The top prize was taken by SoftSpot by Moonlab, a plug+play sensor system for clothing. As grand prize winner, SoftSpot received $25,000 in cash. Second place went to SIREN, protective jewelry and accessories with a hidden 110+ dB alarm to disorient/deter attackers and attract help.

Judges for the competition included investor Joanne Wilson; Susan Lyne, president of BBG Ventures; Kathryn Finney, founder and managing director of digitalundivided (DID); Victoria Song – VC – Flybridge; and Lisa Stone, cofounder of Blogher.

On November 10, finalists joined investors for the first-ever Women Startup Speed Dating at AOL's BBG Ventures. 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, was a sponsor of the event as part of his craigconnects initiative, which supports women in technology and a host of philanthropic and public service causes. Other partners included Microsoft, BBG Ventures, NY Tech Meetup, Invisu, Maven Cocktails, and Silver Suites Offices.

The inaugural Women Startup Challenge pitch competition was held in June in Washington, D.C. The grand prize winner was On Second Thought, an app that enables the retrieval of text messages.

"This Northeast event was our first regional event, and, like our first national event in the spring, this was a runaway success," said Allyson Kapin, founder and chief executive of Women Who Tech, which holds the Women Startup Challenge competitions. "It's thrilling to see so many innovative ventures being led by women who are disrupting the technology, news, and financial industries. People are starting to get the message that women-led ventures deliver a higher return on investment than male-run startups."

Women Who Tech has also produced an infographic that highlights the latest data about women-led startups at http://www.womenwhotech.com/startupinfographic

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

About craigconnects
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, voting rights, peer-to-peer giving, trustworthy journalism, and other worthwhile organizations focusing on the use of technology for the public good. craigconnects is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. www.craigconnects.org

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Bruce Bonafede