Women Founders Network Announces Ten Fast Pitch Finalists - Women Founders Network
Women Founders Network provides capital, visibility and mentorship for female founders. Our annual Fast Pitch competition awards cash and services to women entrepreneurs.
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2018 Top 10 Finalists

Women Founders Network Announces Ten Fast Pitch Finalists

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Women Founders Network Announces Ten Finalists Who Will Compete for $45,000 in Cash and Over $200,000 in Services at Sixth Annual Fast Pitch Competition

— Top Ten Finalists Breaking New Ground in e-Commerce, Cloud Software,
Blockchain Technology, Consumer Products and Active Lifestyles —

Women Founders Network today announced the ten finalists who will compete in its Sixth Annual Fast Pitch Competition on October 16, 2018. The competition awards early-stage women-led startups a total of $45,000 cash and more than $200,000 in professional services.

The cash prize is comprised of the judges’ award totaling $40,000 to be awarded to the top three finalists and a $5,000 Junior Judges cash award for their favorite Fast Pitch presentation. This award empowers girls in grades 6-12 to participate in the process and be inspired by women entrepreneurs. All ten finalists will receive professional services totaling over $200,000. The group will also gain visibility and exposure to leading early-stage venture capitalists, angel investors and Los Angeles business executives who are judging the event and attending the two pre-pitch events on July 24th at Microsoft in Playa Vista, CA and September 12th Dolphin Tank with Springboard Enterprises in West LA, CA.

The Ten Finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • BOXFOX, Sabena Suri, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, El Segundo, CA – an ecommerce company that seeks to modernize gifting—offering thematic, curated gift boxes or the ability to digitally “build” a 100% custom gift from a selection of products across home, beauty, lifestyle, and food. Each gift is hand-packed in a keepsake box, topped with a handwritten note, and shipped anywhere in the US or internationally.
  • CityGrows, Catherine Geanuracos, CEO & Co-Founder, Los Angeles, CA – the only self-service cloud operations platform for government that helps manage permits, licenses, processes and requests online for any department, process, or size of government.
  • Coozie Gear, Rachelle Snyder, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Los Angeles, CA – an e-commerce company that allows you to book on-demand premium outdoor gear delivered to your door. It’s the smart alternative to owning, maintaining, and storing gear.
  • Edoughble, Rana Lustyan, Founder & CEO, Los Angeles, CA – the first and only premium edible cookie dough dessert that is 100% safe to consume raw, made with a clean label and has a delicious, straight from the mixing bowl taste.
  • PantyProp, Crystal Etienne, CEO, Farmingdale, NY – performance hygiene-wear products with built-in proprietary technology that bridges the gap between health, hygiene, and comfort for people who suffer from incontinence or menstrual flow.
  • PRZM, Kim Stiefel, CEO, Los Angeles, CA – PRZM is an intelligent CRM for direct-to-consumer brands, powered by machine learning. We offer smart replenishment: predictive, frictionless and more delightful for consumers—unlocking a powerful alternative to subscription and a $100B opportunity for our customers.
  • Shipsi, Chelsie Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, Venice, CA – we partner with brands and retailers to give online shoppers an additional option at checkout to receive merchandise in 1 hour or less.
  • The Labz, Farah Allen, CEO, Mabelton, GA – helps song creators protect and memorialize their music by centralizing their collaboration, automatically logging the contributions of individual team members, and instantly publishing their work on a blockchain-backed song information page.
  • Thousand, Gloria Hwang, Founder, Fullerton, CA – on a mission to rebrand the bike helmet to help save lives and empower people to connect to their cities. We make bike helmets people actually want to wear.
  • Zygo, Sheera Goren, CEO, Playa Vista, CA – the first waterproof headset with simultaneous live one-way communication and streaming audio.

“It was difficult to narrow down the exceptional number of high quality applicants to ten finalists, and we’re excited to be working with these amazing women founders to help accelerate their success,” said Darya Allen-Attar, Founder and CEO of Women Founders Network. “Through the support of our invaluable sponsors, this year we have increased the total cash award by 30% and doubled our professional services offering. Beyond that, we have attracted a powerful slate of Fast Pitch judges, including leading women CEOs from LA-based companies and executives from early-stage venture capital and angel investment firms, increasing visibility for our finalists.”

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, among other criteria.

The Fast Pitch Competition will take place on Tuesday, October 16th from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA, Los Angeles. This event is open to the public and tickets will be available through our website.

Women Founders Network Competition Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors for their amazing support! The Fast Pitch is presented by Union Bank this year and we appreciate their generous support as our Platinum Sponsor. We would also like to thank our Corporate Sponsors: CBIZ MHM LLC, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, KPMG, Greenberg Glusker, EY, Temple Two Investments, Latham & Watkins, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Deloitte, and CohnReznick. In addition, we’d like to thank those who have committed to supporting the Women Founders Network with in-kind services sponsorships: Sandler Training, PJ Tech CPAs, Evolution, California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), Pepper Hamilton LLP, Elevate my Brand, DME Law, Supporting Strategies, The Amplify Lab, LIFT Development Enterprises, The Blaine Group, Countsy, Cross Campus, Cooley, CBRE, Hawke Media, Solve Your Finances, Mazars, Nanneke Dinklo, Miners Mills, NJP Photography and Xcelerate Financial. We’re also pleased to welcome new Corporate Partners, AWS Activate, TriNet, and Chewse.

If you are interested in joining our roster of sponsors, please contact Kim Christensen, director, Women Founders Network, at kim@womenfoundersnetwork.com.

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 $1.1 million in women-founded companies in the past five years, and alumni have gone on to raise over $45 million in funding.

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