There are 12 women founders slated to pitch at the second annual Hera Fast Pitch DC competition. The event, hosted by Hera Hub DC, will take place on June 13 at the female-focused coworking space in Friendship Heights.
The finalists will have a chance to interact with investors and vie for in-kind prizes from the event’s grand prize sponsor, the NEXT program powered by Shulman Rogers. There are also prizes from AMS Strategic Marketing Consulting, Tamzin B. Smith Portrait Photography, the Get Found Get Funded Podcast and Barbara Guterman, an entrepreneurial consultant. Google will also be awarding $1,500 to the company that strives to organize data and information in a way that is meaningful to consumers, a press release states.
The competition was created to give women entrepreneurs a chance to compete for cash and advance to Hera’s national startup pitch summit in the fall. Last year D.C.-based Femly, a startup that develops hygiene products for women and delivers them via a monthly box subscription, won the inaugural Hera Fast Pitch DC, and the company’s founder, Arion Long, went on to win the entire competition at the Hera Venture Summit in San Diego in September of 2018.
“We are excited by the volume and the caliber of the applications we received and are looking forward showcasing these businesses to potential investors and other startup experts,” Julia Westfall, CEO at Hera Hub DC, said in a press release. “We are committed to helping women-owned businesses find the capital, resources and connections they need to start and grow their companies.”
Finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges from D.C.’s startup and investment communities. The 12 women entrepreneurs will compete in two categories: grow stage and early-stage.
The grow stage finalists are:
- Amazi Foods: Vegan, paleo, and ethically sourced, every bite of their made-in-Uganda snacks that the company sells promotes job creation and farming communities.
- Alodia Hair Care: Offers easy, seamless hair care solutions that nourish the scalp and hair.
- ANOVA Intelligence: Finds cyber threats that others miss because they scan where others can’t reach.
- EnrichHER: A fintech platform focused on funding women entrepreneurs.
- Last Call: A platform that allows restaurants to share excess food they have near closing time at a discounted rate. This company was part of 1776 DC’s first accelerator cohort and is included on Technical.ly DC’s 2019 realLIST.
- Nanobiofab: develops wearable nonotech healthcare and medical devices.
- The Pocket Palette: Curates a single-use makeup kit.
- Warble: Helps companies identify disruptive behavior early.
The early-stage finalists are:
- Dafero: Provides sugar-free sweets and spreads while employing local women who are refugees.
- Forget Me Not ai: Automated touchpoints with a personal touch powered by AI and machine learning.
- The Storied Life: A media company for a behind-the-story look into fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle brands.
- Viva Vita: Provides engaging virtual reality experiences for seniors in retirement communities.
A panel of judges will select the grow stage winner, who will receive cash and in-kind prizes valued at $10, 000. The audience will pick the early-stage winner, who will receive $1,000 worth of in-kind prizes, Westfall told Technical.ly. Hera’s CEO said she is encouraging attendees to purchase an Audience Choice Award ticket, with 10o percent of their donation going directly to the early-stage winner. Those tickets are $25, which is the same price for general admission.
Insperity is sponsoring an invite-only cocktail party this week to kick off Hera Fast Pitch DC, where all applicants, finalists, sponsors, jurors and investors can come to network.
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