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Women Founders’ Valentine’s Day PITCH

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By Chitra Rakesh (Writer, Mountain View Patch)

Some of the smartest women in Silicon Valley – and beyond – celebrated women entrepreneurs on Valentine’s Day at the in Mountain View.

Women 2.0, an organization committed to increase the number of female founders of tech startups, held its fifth annual PITCH Conference & Competition on Tuesday, February 14. The turnout far exceeded expectations and the event sold-out with 1000 participants.

The competition received 172 applications from 12 countries and 64 states across the world.

While Dave McClure, founding partner of Mountain View-based 500 Startups, Thomas Korte, founder and managing partner, AngelPad, and Naval Ravikant, founder, AngelList – the only men on the judging panel – played cupid, the nine finalists took center stage.

Tiny Review, a company that allows users to lend expression to their photographs in just three lines, took home the top prize as overall winner and walked away with two prized meetings with top venture capitalists. Co-Founder and Lead Designer, Melissa Miranda rocked it with her presentation.

“Product Most Likely to Change the World” went to Susan Nicholas’ DocsPons, an online platform that provides outpatient healthcare services, issuing discount healthcare coupons.

Perfect Beauty, product marketplace and community for women based on trusted beauty and self-image advice, won the “Most Disruptive Startup” title. Most promising team went to Tara Hunt, Jerome Paradis, and Cassandra Girard from shopping Q&A platform, Buyosphere.

Other companies that pitched included Kismet, a real time, location based social app for meeting new people; DINKlife, a social platform targeted towards couples without kids; Evo, an app that gives working parents updates from their baby’s monitor on iPhone; Hotseat, an interview prep community; and Prosperity, provider of small business budgeting software.

Successful women entrepreneurs shared valuable corporate lessons. Every woman in the room – founder, investor, designer or engineer – had a story to tell. People sat on floors, crowded hallways, attended mentor sessions to learn, network and share.

It was by far one of the few tech conferences where women set the tone.

“Our mission is to increase women founders,” said Sepideh Nasiri, director of sponsorships and events at Women 2.0. “We’re trying to bring balance to the ecosystem.”

This post was originally posted at Mountain View Patch.

Photo credit: Chitra Rakesh

About the guest blogger: Chitra Rakesh is a writer of Mountain View Patch. She is a marketing, communications, brand and media professional. She’s working on launching her consumer internet startup in the first part of 2012. Inspired by some of the smartest entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, she decided to translate her three-year-old idea into a working model. Chitra has worked in the software, financial services and e-learning space.