Women 2.0 Startup Competition
By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
The run-up to Women 2.0 PITCH Conference on February 14, 2012 is defined by Women 2.0′s fifth annual Startup Competition for early-stage tech startups.
Here are the 10 finalists of the 2012 Women 2.0 PITCH 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!
By Maria Umar (Founder, Women’s Digital League)
Two years ago, I launched a startup called the Women’s Digital League. It’s a virtual firm that provides basic digital administrative services to clients around the world that I often describe as proudly owned and powered by Pakistani women working from home.
I first started working online in 2009 when I was a virtual assistant on oDesk. That got me thinking; why not provide opportunities to other women in Pakistan who for various socio-cultural restrictions could not work outside their homes? I could form a network of women all over Pakistan working from home doing digital tasks. Little did I know that this would change everything the way it did!
I had no background in business and my startup idea was just that: an idea. But now a whole plethora of possibilities was opening before my eyes. I had to decide what to do. That’s how Women’s Digital League was born — from an idea, some encouragement, and an initiative by some amazing women helping empower other women.
By Emily Chiu & Chiara Piccinotti (Co-Founders, Apply in the Sky)
Winning the award for “best web start-up” at Women 2.0’s PITCH Competition last November was a surreal moment for us. Here’s a visual for you: picture two first-time entrepreneurs, trying (successfully, we hope?) to hide our nerves, as we stood before a live audience of over 300 in San Francisco, preparing to pitch our company, Apply in the Sky, for the first time.
By way of background, at that precise moment it had been:
- 458 days since we had gathered up the courage to ditch our cubicle jobs;
- Less than a year since we had finally gotten comfortable with the panic of giving up our regular finance paychecks to bootstrap our way towards visions of self-actualization;
- 63 days since we had launched our beta for Apply in the Sky (after slaving through 300+ bug fixes);
- 2 weeks since our first big partnership conversation;
- And less than 3 hours since we had each pulled all-nighters to put together our Women 2.0 slides and video demo… to present Apply in the Sky to the public for the first time.
For both of us, it had been a long journey from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. And, in many ways, we are atypical tech entrepreneurs: we are both women – women without technical backgrounds, one might add; neither of our parents are entrepreneurs (in fact, they’re quite conservative); armed with finance degrees from Wharton, we both started our careers in investment banking – a move that isn’t typically the first step towards founding a start-up; and we were surrounded by few examples of peers that would dream of throwing away competitive jobs and stable salaries to work out of a garage on something that no one had ever heard of.