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PITCH SF 2013 Finalist Maker’s Row Scores Seed Funding

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The marketplace for connecting businesses to American factories announces a $1M round. 

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Tanya Menendez and her co-founder Matthew Burnett earned a place as a finalist in this February’s PITCH SF 2013 competition with Maker’s Row, their startup that connects designers, businesses and makers with homegrown American manufacturers. Now the idea has won further backing as the company announces $1 million in seed funding today.

The round was co-led by Comcast Ventures and Index Ventures with prominent angels Joanne Wilson and Alexis Ohanian also participating.

COO Menendez told Women 2.0 in an email that she sees the infusion of cash not only as a sign of optimism about her businesses but also about U.S. manufacturing in general. “Our fundraising success is definitely a vote of confidence in the resurgence in American manufacturing. We are fortunate to have partnered with investors that are value-add and understand the manufacturing industry,” she said.

Last time we caught up with Maker’s Row they were scrambling to keep up with demand from manufacturers interested in being featured on the site. The funding should help keep up with the crush. “We are using the money to build out our tech team and expand into new industries. Also, to continue our regional efforts in the USA, as we did with Newark, NJ,” Menendez wrote.

Burnett hopes growing the team will help not only Maker’s Row flourish, but will benefit other businesses hoping to connect with manufacturers — and American factories themselves —  as well.

“From first-time entrepreneurs to big brands, everyone faces the same problem when it comes to finding a factory in the U.S.” he said in a statement. “When your resources are limited, your options are limited and overall business suffers. Maker’s Row provides the means for a good idea to become a great product here in the United States.”

Congratulations to the founders!

Interested in participating in our next PITCH competition in November? If you have at least one female founder and have received less than $1M in funding, apply here!

jstillman Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter @entrylevelrebel.