'OpenTable for kids activities' wins InnovateHER DC finals - Technical.ly DC

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Dec. 2, 2015 9:49 am

‘OpenTable for kids activities’ wins InnovateHER DC finals

Activity Rocket now has the chance to be selected as a national finalist.

Activity Rocket cofounders Lisa Friedlander and Ilene Miller during their pitch.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Lisa Friedlander and Ilene Miller, the cofounders of Activity Rocket, really stuck that 10-point landing at the end of their pitch at the InnovateHER D.C. regional finals on Tuesday night. An appreciative giggle wound through the crowd at Hera Hub D.C. as they declared their platform “one giant leap for momkind.”

In front of a room full of onlookers, supporters and a panel of judges, Activity Rocket and two other area startups — CJ’s Kids and Splurge — battled it out for a space in the next round of this national competition. We previously wrote about the D.C. semi-finals from where these three companies were selected.

The judges panel for the D.C. region included Amita Shukla, founder and CEO of Vitamita, Julia Westfall the CEO of Hera Hub D.C. and Adam Zuckerman, founder of Fosterly.

Activity Rocket, the company with the winning pitch, is a self-described “OpenTable for kids activities.” Essentially it’s an online resource for finding kids classes, activities and camps, aimed at providing busy moms with an easy place to find and book activities for their kids. “Moms are juggling so much more than back in the day,” Miller said during the pitch. Why not use technology to help?

On the other side of the equation are activity providers. For organizers, who pay a monthly subscription to be featured, Activity Rocket is a kind of marketing.

Activity Rocket launched in 2011 and is currently available only in the DMV area. Miller and Friedlander have grands plans for expansion, however, starting with a focus on the northeast and going from there. They say the site has hosted over 100,000 individual programs to date.

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Activity Rocket will now submit a business plan to the U.S. Small Business Administration for judging in the semi-finals of the national round. The SBA will select 10 national finalists who will pitch again in D.C. in March 2016 with a total of $70,000 in prize money on the line.

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