Pitches / Startups

CultivatePeople and Pearl Certification advance to Vinetta Project pitch finals in September

The startups pitched at the organization's first showcase of 2019 featuring women founders.

CultivatePeople founder Lola Han pitching at Vinetta Project's first 2019 showcase. (Photo by Michelai Graham)

Four women founders pitched at Vinetta Project‘s first showcase of the year on March 19 for a chance to advance to the final Vinetta Project DC Venture Challenge in September.

The pitches were judged by an expert panel including Marla Beck from Bluemercury, Tom Davidson from EverFi, Mark Ein from the Venturehouse Group and Anna Mason from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest. The first round of semifinals was hosted at the Booz Allen Hamilton’s Innovation Center and this year’s venture challenge is in partnership with BNY Mellon and Paley Rothman.

Here’s a look at the founders who pitched:

  • Rachel Lee and Ramya Possett, founders of  BlueFoot, created an online platform that integrates Wall Street data with tech to so users can view and compare financials, products, patents and activities across industries and companies. 

  • Lola Han, CEO of CultivatePeople, launched a startup that’s a compensation consulting and software company providing HR services to help companies retain their employees. CultivatePeople mainly works with startups and emerging tech companies to help companies pay their employees competitively and fairly.
  • Cynthia Adams, CEO of Pearl Certification, created a national firm that provides a third-party certification to home sellers that shows how energy efficient a home is across multiple platforms. The certification is currently available for contractor licensing nationwide.

  • Gentry Lane, CEO of ANOVA, pitched her company that’s a computational cybersecurity and threat intelligence firm. In her pitch, Lane said “We fight the bad guys with math.” The aim is to keep advanced persistent threats (APTs) out of companies. The cybersecurity startup created its flagship product at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the federal research and development lab that built the atomic bomb.

The judges selected CultivatePeople and Pearl Certification to advance to the final venture challenge pitch competition. Vinetta is also doing a second round of applications due May 19, and notifications to selected semifinalists will go out on June 10, followed by a second pitch day on June 19 to select the last two female founders to pitch at the main event in September. In the end, the overall winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize.

Companies: EverFi / Booz Allen Hamilton
Projects: The Vinetta Project

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