A finalist from our Las Vegas PITCH Competition explains why participating in PITCH is especially helpful for startups not based in big tech hubs.
By Dana Rosenberg (PITCH Competition Coordinator, Women 2.0)

The time has come! Our annual PITCH Competition San Francisco is just around the corner, and we’re already accepting applications. If you’re an early-stage startup with a female founder and less than $1 million in funding, we want to hear from you! Applications are open through January 10, 2014.

PITCH gives you the opportunity to pitch on stage February 13-14th, helping expose your startup to influencers and investors across the country. 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!

You don’t have to be based in San Francisco or the Valley apply. In fact, participating in the competition can be particularly beneficial for startups who aren’t located in a major tech hub, according to one co-founders who was a finalist in our last competition in Las Vegas. She explains why below.

Tina Tran Neville, CEO & CO-founder of CollegeAppz

Tina Tran Neville, co-founder and CEO of CollegeAppz, was a political refugee from Vietnam and 1st-generation college student. She graduated with a BA from the University of Tulsa and a MA from Yale and joined the U.S. Department of State as a U.S. diplomat to Pakistan and Iraq during wartime. Tina then taught in schools in Washington DC and founded Transcend Academy, a college admissions company that won a Stevie Award for Women in Business.

Why did you decide to apply to PITCH?

We decided to apply to Women 2.0 for the experience and exposure of pitching in front of investors and a large audience.

How did pitching (so far) as a finalist impact you or your company?

We gained great connections and leads on investment and product development.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

The best part was being part of a larger technology and business community outside of Washington, DC. We have follow-on meetings in San Francisco as a result. It was also great to interact with other female entrepreneurs!

What’s one piece of advice you have for future applicants or finalists?

Apply. Practice your presentation. Walk away with tangible follow-up items. Each opportunity truly is what you make of it.

Are you planning on applying to PITCH?

Dana Rosenberg is Director of Business Development at Rock Health. 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.
Image credit: Mike via Flickr.