Updated: Jul 8
- Top five finalists awarded over $40,000 cash and $135,000 in services during the virtual event -
LOS ANGELES, November 2, 2020 – Women Founders Network (“WFN”) today announced Kate Dilligan, CEO of Cooler Heads, builders of the evidence-based products cancer patients and survivors need to thrive, won the first place $25,000 cash award from the WFN judges and the $5,000 cash award from the Junior Judges at our 8th Annual Fast Pitch Competition on October 27, 2020, hosted by UCLA Anderson Price School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Second place winner, Reetu Gupta of Cirkled In, received a $7,500 cash award and won the popular vote from the audience, and third place winner, Celine Tien of Flowly, received a $5,000 cash award.
“We are passionate about supporting the female founder. This year, our top five finalists proved that they can thrive in an uncertain economy, with each business poised for tremendous growth over the next five years,” said Darya Allen-Attar, CEO and Co-Founder of Women Founders Network. “We want to thank our generous sponsors for their support while we went 100% virtual. We’d also like to thank all of the pitch coaches, mentors and professional service providers who are supporting these amazing founders.”
Allen-Attar added, “Kate Dilligan recognized an unmet need in the $5.4 billion cancer side effect management market and her innovative cold cap therapy marks just the beginning of Cooler Heads’ journey to become the trusted brand in cancer care. We wish her and the other amazing finalists much success as they continue to grow and build their companies.”
About the Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition
We support women entrepreneurs building high-growth early-stage businesses. To apply, the company must have a woman co-founder, president or CEO, or be majority-owned by women. The company can operate in any industry, and must generate revenue or demonstrate proof of concept. Finally, applicants may not have raised more than $1 million in outside funding, excluding research grants. The total 2020 prize package of cash and professional services is valued in excess of $175,000.
About the Women Founders Network Judges
Women Founders Network applicants are judged by an independent panel made up of leading CEOs, CFOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, wealth managers, legal professionals and communications strategists.
About the Women Founders Foundation Junior Judges Award
Reflecting a desire to encourage young women to pursue their dreams, the Women Founders Network Pitch Competition features a Junior Judges Panel and Award. A panel of 15 girls in grades 6-12 learn about entrepreneurship through our nonprofit Women Founders Foundation program and participate in guided study of the top 10 companies leading up to the Fast Pitch event. The girls select their favorite Fast Pitch contestant and award the winner with a cash prize of $5,000, generously sponsored by Stacey Feinberg, President of 33 Capital.
Women Founders Network Competition Sponsors
We would like to thank our sponsors for their amazing support! In particular, we’d like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, MUFG Union Bank, our Gold Sponsor and event Co-Host, UCLA Anderson Price Center. Our Silver Sponsors USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Fenwick & West, KPMG and Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP.
In addition, we'd like to thank those who have committed to supporting the Women Founders Network with in-kind services sponsorships. Platinum Sponsor: Evolution; Gold Sponsors: Supporting Strategies and Troutman Pepper; Silver Sponsors: Elevate My Brand, Olmstead Williams Communications and Robyn Young & Co.; Bronze Sponsors: ARC, Aura Business Advisors, Cooley, Countsy, dunster.io, Early Growth, Flodesk, KindPerks, SBDC Los Angeles, and Smart Women Smart Solutions.
About Women Founders Foundation
The mission of Women Founders Foundation is to educate young women and girls about entrepreneurship and the life of a business from ideation to long-term success. We want to provide young women with the confidence, knowledge, and skills needed to build a business from the ground up, across all industries with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Through this work, we hope to inspire the next generation of women founders and investors. Visit us at https://womenfoundersfoundation.org/.
About Women Founders Network
Women Founders Network (WFN) connects women building high-growth businesses with the tools and resources they need to achieve business success. WFN has awarded and directly invested over $1.5 million in women-founded companies in the past six years, and alumni have gone on to raise over $100 million in funding. Visit us at https://www.womenfoundersnetwork.com/.