Apply To Women 2.0 PITCH Early-Stage Startup Competition



For the latest Women 2.0 PITCH Competition, click here.

The 5th Annual PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition is open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high growth business ventures in mobile to web, from double bottom line businesses to connected devices.

Applying companies must have a female in the founding team, be in beta stage, and have received less than a million in funding.

Application deadline: December 7, 2011 @ MIDNIGHT (PST).

Thanks for applying — now hang tight! Finalists will be notified by January 2 — thank you for your patience!

Check out previous PITCH events: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.

Why Apply to PITCH:

How to Enter the Women 2.0 Startup Competition:

1.)  Fill out the one-page application online.
You can start and continue updating your online application here anytime up to the closing date of November 30, 2011 December 7, 2011. Applying teams must have at least one female on the founding team.
2.)  Mail in your napkin business plan.
Scribble and doodle your business idea on a paper napkin, and send it in.
3.)  Film a quick 2 minute video pitch.
This isn’t a business pitch to the investor, but a marketing pitch to your consumer.
4.)  Submit everything by December 7, 2011.
Last day to edit your application online and upload your 2 minute video is December 7, 2011.
5.)  Hang tight!
The judging panel will review submissions and and we’ll notify the finalists.
6.)  Join us on February 14, 2012 as the finalists pitch live at the Women 2.0 Conference

Entry Requirements:

  1. The founding team must have at least one female.
  2. The founding team must have a technologist* on the founding team. A technologist is an engineer, scientist, mathematician, biologist, etc.
  3. Your venture must be in beta. This means you should have a prototype (alpha or beta version) or the product is already in the market.
  4. Raised less than a million in funding
  5. PITCH is focused on companies with high-growth potential.

Awards will go to the startups for:

  • Most likely to change the world
  • Most disruptive
  • Most likely to be a sticky time suck
  • Most promising team
  • Most promising business model

Got questions about PITCH? Email [email protected].

Finalists pitch live at the Women 2.0 Conference on February 14, 2012 in San Francisco. Previous years’ prizes included meetings with Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital), Tim Draper (Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and Esther Dyson (EDventure Holdings).

Apply to PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition

How to apply to the Women 2.0 PITCH Startup Competition — there are 3 parts:

  1. Fill out the one-page application for PITCH on Gust. Once you start an application, you may edit your application anytime prior to the closing date of November 30, 2011 December 7, 2011. Application fee is $100 per startup. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Bing, the first 100 applicants to PITCH in San Francisco will have their application fees waived.
  2. Mail in your business model scribbled on a paper napkin — Capture your creativity on the paper napkin with your doodles and drawings. Submit your business idea on a paper napkin no larger than 7×7 inches. Your name and contact info must be on the napkin so we can match it with your online application.Mail this napkin to “Women 2.0 c/o PITCH Director, 625 2nd Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107” but first email a picture of it to [email protected] if the napkin doesn’t arrive to San Francisco by December 7, 2011. Napkins will be exhibited to the public at the Women 2.0 Conference. By default, your napkin will be exhibited. If you do not wish to participate in the exhibition, state clearly on a note and attach it on the napkin.
  3. Film a 2-minute video pitch — Think of this as a traditional television commercial, and the audience/viewers are your “perfect” customers. How will you pitch your product to them? The video should be uploaded along with your business plan through Gust. Uploading video takes time and bandwidth, we suggest you do not wait until the deadline to submit your video pitch. Gust will allow you to upload a video of up to 5 minutes long, but we strongly suggest you keep your video to 2 minutes — you should be able to distill your message into a 2 minute video for uploading.

Finalists will be invited to present at the Women 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on February 14, 2012. If you are selected as a finalist, the entire team must present at the conference.

This competition is in line with Steve Blank’s position that startups model while companies plan — hence, Women 2.0 is holding a business model competition rather than a business plan competition. Judging is based on not just the initial business model but what the team learned by pivoting, for example, avoiding the “beauty contest” of business plans where judges resort to choosing the best “paper exercise” plan (rather than the best business or the team that has made the most progress in figuring out product-market fit). Teams, whether they win or lose, finish the competition significantly more prepared to launch their business in the real world. Read more »


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  • Tiffany underwood

    I want to apply for pitch 2012, but I can’t find the online application. Can you please tell me where I can find it?

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  • Coco

    What is the prize for the competition? I looked all over and couldn’t find this answer. Is it just seed money, or is equity asked for?

  • DC

    I would love to apply but the link to the application is broken?

  • ron sheridan

    how can arrange to attend the event?



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  • Heather

    Do founders that are software/IP/business lawyers count as “technologists”?

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  • Rebecca

    @Heather Software/Business/IP lawyers would count as technology co-founders if they were working in a technical capacity (writing code, developing the front or backend, etc.) I do not doubt the technology savvy required to be a good IP lawyer, but someone on the team has to be a developer. Please note that the female cofounder on the team does not have to be the technological cofounder. One female on the team, and one technical cofounder…they could be one and the same, but do not have to be. @Ron the Pitch conference page will launch soon!

  • Ruth Febonio

    Get Started:

    And never again wonder if you have thought of all the key components to plan a successful business.The Funding Roadmap multiple choice Platform process is an efficient and complete method to ensure you have your presentation ready for investors,lenders anytime from anywhere.

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  • Toni Gras

    What is the reward for possibly attending this? This needs to be posted before those from out of town will consider it.

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  • Janice Taylor

    I am in the process of completing my online application for the Pitch contest. It is not clear if the napkin is all you require for the business plan or if you want our full business plan included on the application form on Gust? Please let me know… is there a FAQ for this event? Who are the previous winners? What is the prize? Thank you and if selected, I look forward to the event…

  • Bridget

    Hey Women 2.0 – the signup process for this is really cumbersome. Next year, please consider using another service or providing detailed instructions.

  • John Shiple

    We are trying to add Shara Senderoff, CEO of Intern Sushi, but will not let me register. Is there someone else we can connect with regarding this opportunity?

  • John Shiple

    Got into Gust…just too hard to sign up now. Can’t get the application out of paused mode. Maybe we’ll try again next year.

  • Robin Bylenga

    I own a women’s specific bike shop. We have a mechanic on duty … does that qualify as a “technician”?

  • Katrina

    I sure wish I could enter this contest. My sister and I, along with my boyfriend have started a business to help teens succeed. Our ages are 12, 15 and 17. None of us are degreed technicians – yet – but we are studying programming, calculus etc. We have published books available on Amazon. “Secrets to Your FairyTale Romance ~ For Teens” And “Little Love Stories”. Our website is We love the business model type of planning that you advocate. Maybe we will be able to enter in a future contest.

  • @Switchgirl

    IS this for online start-ups only?

  • Angie

    @Toni –

    The reward is the opportunity to pitch onstage at the Women 2.0 PITCH Conference on February 14, 2012 in San Francisco in front of investors, entrepreneurs and the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

    @Janice –

    Please fill out the required sections of the Gust application online. All questions from Women 2.0 are required, or else you can’t save and submit. The deal document is not required. The term “deal documents” refers to all documents in your Gust application.

    For previous winners, you can check out previous PITCH conference pages at the top where it says “Check out previous PITCH events: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.” – Each year has been hyperlinked and you can access previous years’ events and view the proceedings including the winners.

    @Bridget –

    Will do, it seems the application platform has become more complicated over the years and we will evaluate before opening next year’s competition with the same platform. Thanks for the input!

    @John –

    Sorry to hear about that..

    @Robin –

    Hm that is something to ponder. I think the bigger question would be if your venture is a high-growth venture. If so, you should definitely apply – don’t let anyone or anything stop you!

    @Katrina –

    Apply today!

  • Cynthia Figge

    I have filled out the Gust app online, but am not sure how to apply to Pitch 2012.

  • Daisy

    Hi, I was unable to upload my video on the gust website. I uploaded via Youtube and shared the link in my application. Will that do? Is anyone else having problems uploading their video?

  • Sherry

    Hi. Your instructions say the deal documents and all documents are not required – we have ours (pitch deck, financials, biz plan, etc.) in the gust form, but disabled them. Is this the correct way to submit for the contest?

  • Angie

    @ Cynthia —

    Hit the “Share” button after you have filled out all required parts of the application (you can’t submit until all required parts are completed).

    @ Daisy —

    Sorry I need to clarify my comment “The deal document is not required”, I had confused it with an earlier inquiry which asked about “What is the deal document that is required?” — Gust refers to all documents as deal documents so I apologize for the bad UI and user experience on their platform, we will reevaluate our choice of application software next year.

  • LiAnn
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  • EmmieC

    Hey! It’s January 2, 2012! Any idea of when the winners/chosen ones will be selected? (or have they been selected and we’re not notified yet?)

    Our team is out of state and we want to arrange travel asap if we need to go to SF! And we’re excited to go if chosen!


  • Maria R

    Just noticed that team SendGiftBox has not been selected to pitch :( Is it possible to receive some feedback on what criterias we didn’t meet / why we weren’t selected? Many thanks, Maria

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