#VinettaProjectDC choses a second finalist in the $20K challenge - Technical.ly DC


May 26, 2016 8:49 am

#VinettaProjectDC choses a second finalist in the $20K challenge

Saureen Desai will join Alex McManus and one more yet-unchosen finalist at the series' conclusion in September.

At the Vinetta Project's second pitch and panel showcase.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

On Tuesday evening the Vinetta Project’s organizers, supporters and, of course, founders all convened at Social Tables HQ for the second round of the organization’s ongoing $20,000 pitch challenge. The evening, as co-organizer Amelia Friedman announced, marked one year since the Project’s launch in D.C.

After appetizers and networking, host Julia Landauer (yes, of NASCAR fame) led a panel of industry experts through a discussion on startup life. Jennifer Hsin, CFO of CNF Investments, Jiemin Jordan, managing partner at Decisive Investment Group, Caren Merrick, founder and CEO of Pocket Mentor and Tim Hwang, founder and CEO of FiscalNote each offered stories and advice.

Hwang, who took the unusual journey of starting a software company in Silicon Valley and actually moving it back to D.C. offered this insight into what makes the District a great home for FiscalNote:

And then it was time for the pitches.

Saureen Desai of ShipLync pitching her company. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Saureen Desai of ShipLync. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Alice Hu, cofounder and CMO of BigSpool, Saureen Desai, cofounder and CMO of ShipLync and Sarah Rumbaugh, cofounder and CEO of RelishMBA each gave a two-minute pitch, followed up by questions and advice from the panel.


Ultimately, it was Desai and ShipLync that came out on top.

The company, which Desai described as the “Expedia of logistics,” is a platform that allows “shippers” (at the commercial level) to get competitive quotes from a bunch of different logistics providers in one place. It provides price transparency in an industry that, Desai said, has traditionally been based on old-style business relationships.

Desai will join Alex McManus of Eyrus, the finalist chosen from the first pitch event back in March, at the finals in September. One more finalist will also join — but we’ll have to wait for the third and final semifinal showcase on July 25 to know who that will be.

Companies: Social Tables
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