The latest in our series of weekly posts catching up with past PITCH finalists. HealthyOut's co-founder talks about all the good that came of honing her skills and slides at the competition.
By Dana Rosenberg (PITCH Competition Coordinator, Women 2.0)
This November Women 2.0 is bringing its signature conference, PITCH, to the fabulous Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. In our fifth year now, PITCH has brought together thousands of members of the Women 2.0 community to connect, learn from one another, and form meaningful long-lasting relationships. But, what we hadn’t predicted is how great of an impact the startup competition would have on female founders and the companies they build.
Past PITCH Startup Competition Finalists have gone on to raise $1.2 million in seed funding, join the ranks of 500 Startups and Y Combinator, and be acquired by the likes of Yahoo!. Others, have found the competition to be a tremendous learning experience, networking opportunity, and feedback session that helped propel their company forward.
In the spirit of recognizing some of our past finalists (and hopefully encouraging you to apply), we’re running a quick profile series where we highlight one founder’s experience each week.
Wendy Nguyen, CEO of HealthyOut (PITCH SF 2013)
Self-proclaimed "healthy foodie" Wendy Nguyen is CEO and co-founder of HealthyOut, a healthy meal delivery platform that uses tasty restaurant dishes to help people reach their health goals - whether that's just to be healthy or to lose weight. Prior to HealthyOut, she was the VP of Product and Marketing at SocialChorus. Prior to that, she worked in private equity.
Why did you decide to apply to PITCH?
I thought applying to PITCH was a great opportunity to tell the world - both potential HealthyOut customers and investors - about what we do. Also, the Women 2.0 community has really been an inspiration to me as I started HealthyOut. In early 2012, I was given a "bootstrap" entrepreneur ticket when I had just gotten back from a volunteer stint in East Africa. I had a few ideas about the startup that I wanted to build and it was great to go and be surrounded by women who were building and have built companies.
How did pitching as a finalist impact you or your company?
The pitch practice really helped to hone our pitch. The slides that we used for the competition have been used in subsequent investor meetings...and we raised our $1.2m seed round. I also met another female entrepreneur at PITCH. Both of us were later accepted as TechCrunch Disrupt finalists, so I emailed her and got her advice as we went through the process. Finally, it was really helpful in meeting key accelerators, like AngelPad.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
Meeting the other entrepreneurs and the folks involved in Women 2.0.
What's one piece of advice you have for future applicants or finalists?
Win or lose it's about making connections with the people you meet that's most powerful and can make the most impact on your business. So, don't be shy...
Are you a female founder? Apply to PITCH Vegas today.
Dana Rosenberg is Director of Business Development at Rock Health. She manages strategic partnerships and sponsorships across the incubator, events and research. Prior to Rock Health, Dana led user acquisition, engagement, marketing and PR at HealthTap and was a consultant at Easton Associates, a healthcare strategy consulting firm. Follow her on Twitter at @DanaRosenberg. Photo credit: TechCrunch via Flickr.