Entrepreneurs / Pitches / Startups / Women in tech

KnoNap took home the top prize at HERImpact DC’s first Social Enterprise Pitch Competition

Fourteen women social entrepreneurs competed for $50K as well as in-kind support at the event hosted by Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures.

The three women entrepreneurs accepting their prize at the the first HERImpact DC Social Enterprise Pitch Competition in March 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Three women social entrepreneurs won big at a pitch competition hosted by Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) and 1863 Ventures this past weekend.

After some intensive coaching, mentoring and training, 14 women competed for $50,000 in cash as well as in-kind support at HERImpact DC‘s first Social Enterprise Pitch Competition that took place on Saturday, March 16, at Georgetown University. The two organizations teamed up to launch this joint initiative after a report from BEACON, a D.C.-based women founders initiative, showed that the District is one of the 10 fastest growing states for women-owned businesses in the U.S, DC previously reported. HERImpact DC is another initiative like the Vinetta Project geared toward boosting funding for women-led startups in the D.C. area.

The competition was judged by Aurelia Flores of Athena Digital Media Group and the Get Found Get Funded Podcast, Pamela Alexander of Ford Fund and Rob Runett of Motley Fool Ventures.

The winners are as follows:

  • First place: Danya Sherman of KnoNap received $25,000.
  • Second place: Arion Long of Femly received $20,000.
  • Third place: Fonta Gilliam of Invest Sou Sou received $5,000.

Staying true to its recognition, KnoNap was named one of DC’s realLIST 2019 companies. Founder Danya Sherman created a one-of-a-kind discreet napkin that tests for the presence of date rape drugs in beverages. Sherman also competed at the Vinetta Project last year, winning $5, 000 and the “young social innovators award” presented by Booz Allen Hamilton and she also competed in the annual pitch competition at Startup Week DC last year taking second place and winning $500. KnoNap’s pitch competition wins don’t stop there, after winning a preliminary pitch competition hosted by George Washington University and eMerge Americas in February, Sherman will be heading to Miami next month to compete at the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase during eMerge Americas, a Miami-based tech conference focused on connecting Latin America to the world’s tech ecosystem.


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