The winner of our Las Vegas PITCH Competition explains the amazing connections with customers, investors and fellow founders she made by participating. 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!
What has winning the competition meant for our latest winner, AbbeyPost? Co-founder Cynthia Schames shares her thoughts on participating below.
Cynthia Schames, CEO & Co-founder of AbbeyPost
Cynthia (@cynthiaschames) is a second-time founder. Her background includes 10+ years of enterprise software sales experience at VC-backed startups. Previously, she was the founder of La Boite Orange. She is also a startup advisor and mentor, a 2014 Startup Leadership Program Fellow, and the Founders Network Peer Accountability Leader for the NYC Chapter.
Why did you decide to apply to PITCH?
I've been excited about the PITCH competition ever since I first joined Women 2.0, because it's one of the very few events and organizations truly focused on female-founded startups. The timing was exactly right for us to participate in the Vegas event, because we're just on the verge of launching an entirely new and revolutionary approach to women's apparel.
How did pitching (so far) as a finalist impact you or your company?
The response after our PITCH competition win has been really phenomenal! In addition to a great spike in consumer interest and user registrations, the conference itself was an opportunity for fantastic market research and validation--we talked to over 100 women in detail about our concept! But the biggest impact has been we've received a significant amount of inbound investor interest. In just the past weeks since the competition, over half of our funding round has been committed.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
I really loved hanging out with and bonding with my fellow PITCH finalists. In our group, there were four New York City-based companies; We were already somewhat familiar with one another, but it was great to be able to spend real quality time getting to know one another. I honestly believe that each of us can only succeed when we have the support of our fellow entrepreneurs, so the PITCH competition definitely gave us an awesome opportunity to build deeper relationships.
What's one piece of advice you have for future applicants or finalists?
Relax and be yourself!