The latest in our series of posts catching up with past PITCH finalists. Tara Hunt on how "the best prize ever" made a big impact on her startup. By Dana Rosenberg (PITCH Competition Coordinator, Women 2.0)
We’ve assembled 20 great judges to sift through applications to PITCH at our conference at the fabulous Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas on November 14th and November 15th 2013. Why should you participate? Just ask a past finalist.
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 this series of quick profiles highlighting the experience of PITCH participants.
Tara Hunt, Co-founder of Lime Foundry (PITCH 2012)
Tara “missrogue” Hunt is one of the founders of Lime Foundry, a boutique social content strategy firm. Tara was named as one of the most influential women in technology as well as one of the 25 female startup founders to watch in Fast Company. She wrote The Whuffie Factor/The Power of Social Networking (published in eight languages), is a conference speaker and co-founded the international coworking movement. Follow her on Twitter at @missrogue.
Why did you decide to apply to PITCH?
I've always loved Women 2.0 and saw them grow from early days with small gatherings to massive conferences attended by a room overflowing with VCs and press looking to invest in women. Who wouldn't want to be part of that?!
How did pitching as a finalist impact you or your company?
Well, for one, we won the best prize ever: one year free hosting on Rackspace! That made a BIG impact on our monthly burn. But in general, the exposure we got at PITCH was better than many of the other pitch competitions and conferences we've participated in. It was SUCH a great decision.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
I really loved being exposed to the variety of startups women are working on. I particularly love that most of them weren't the standard "photo sharing network" or gadgety site we see at general pitch competitions. Many of them solve real-world issues. I particularly loved the woman disrupting health insurance in the US (Docpons, I think it was).
What's one piece of advice you have for future applicants or finalists?
Listen carefully to the Women 2.0 advice and instructions. Their formula is right on. My investor decks from PITCH forward were much stronger for it.
Interested in being part of the conference? Tickets are still available. Want an extra 30% off? Get a Women 2.0 membership! And…if you are a tech startup, with less than $1M in funding and at least one female founder, apply to PITCH! 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.