The founder of New York-based startup explains how participating in PITCH helped her meet west coast investors. 
By Jessica Schimm (Assistant Editor, Women 2.0

There are only three days left to apply to our annual PITCH Competition in San Francisco. If you’re an early-stage startup with a female founder and less than $1 million in funding, we want to hear from you! But why should you participate?

PITCH gives you the opportunity to pitch on stage February 13-14th, helping expose your startup to influencers and investors. 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! It’s also great if you’re looking to make the leap from east coast to west and are in need of connections across the country, as former PITCH finalist and CEO and founder Jessica Brondo explains below.

Jess Brondo, Founder & CEO of

jess cropPrior to founding, Jess Brondo was the founder and CEO of The Edge in College Prep, an elite test prep and admissions counseling company with five international offices, and an online SAT/ACT prep course. She was named to the top 50 women in business by LI Business News, and has been featured in Ellegirl, Forbes, MSNBC, Mashable, and Family Circle.

Why did you decide to apply to PITCH?

I’m a huge supporter of female entrepreneurs and am always eager to meet other female startup founders. Pitching at Women 2.0 was a great way to meet other female entrepreneurs and investors interested in backing female-led companies, as well as showcasing the admittedly platform, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

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

So far it’s been a really great experience. We got great exposure to new investors, especially those on the west coast and reconnected with investors we knew from the east coast.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

The actual pitch itself. Being on stage in front of hundreds of people and answering the investor’s questions was really electrifying, and there was a fantastic energy coming from the audience.

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

Be relaxed and enjoy the moment. At the end of the day, you want to be able to enjoy all of the other parts of the conference without stressing too much about the pitch.

Ready to apply to PITCH? Here’s the application form.

Jess headshotJessica Schimm (@JessicaSchimm) is the assistant editor at Women 2.0. She is a recent graduate of San Francisco State where she earned a B.A. in journalism and was the editor-in-chief of SF State’s Her Campus chapter. She has a strong interest in women’s topics and writes about them on her blog.