Female founders: Apply for Vinetta Project DC's $20K Venture Challenge - Technical.ly DC

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Jan. 17, 2018 12:49 pm

Female founders: Apply for Vinetta Project DC’s $20K Venture Challenge

The collective has three D.C. events with pitches in 2018. The deadline to apply is February 21.

At a Vinetta event in D.C. in September 2016.

(Photo by Micah Gold/Vinetta via Facebook)

The Vinetta Project DC is continuing its work to help female founders raise money in 2018.

Through Feb. 21, The Vinetta Project is accepting applications for its 2018 Venture Challenge. Semifinalists will be announced on March 7, followed by the first showcase on March 21. A second is held in June.

Startups in Vinetta’s community also get access to meetings with angel and seed investors at speaking engagements, dinners and other events. A winner is chosen this fall and will receive $20,000 in prize money.

“We really want to help female founders,” said Kelly O’Malley, city fellow for the Vinetta Project DC. “One thing that keeps coming up is a female founder with a great company will pitch to a male investor, and they tell her, ‘Why don’t you find a female founder to invest in your company?'”

Last year, Meghan Gaffney-Buck, the founder of healthcare data startup VEDA Data Solutions took home the win and $20,000 just as she closed on a $1 million seed round.

To participate in the Challenge, a startup has to have at least one female founder, and be ready to face teams of angel and seed investors at events attended by hundreds of people.

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“It has grown exponentially in the last three years,” said O’Malley, adding that every 2017 event was sold out. “The first events had about 25 people. Now we hit somewhere at 200 to 250 people.”

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