10 Emerging Female Tech Leaders From Across the U.S. Compete for $410,000 in Cash Awards, Funding Opportunities & Services
Shark Tank-Style Startup Challenge Launches at LinkedIn H.Q., June 14th People’s-Choice Vote Runs June 14-20 at TheAudienceAwards.com
MISSOULA, Mont. — June 6, 2016 — For Immediate Release — The Audience Awards (AudAwards), an innovative, online, video contest platform, will host a competition as part of the third annual Women Who Tech’s Women Startup Challenge, one of the tech world’s largest initiatives to bring together and support promising, early-stage, women-led start-ups.
Ten finalists (full list, see below), selected from almost 400 hopefuls from coast to coast, will compete June 14 in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition at LinkedIn’s San Francisco headquarters, with the winner being selected by a jury of distinguished investors and industry leaders, including Craig Newmark of Craigslist and Craigconnects, who partnered with Women Who Tech to sponsor the competition. Other jurists are Nisha Dua, partner at BBG Ventures; Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital; Karan Mehandru, general partner at Trinity Ventures; and Lisa Stone, entrepreneur and co-founder of BlogHer.
The Jury Prize is a $50,000 award provided by Newmark and a $10,000 investment grant from Backstage Capital. Contenders will then have a chance to win one of three Audience Awards of $120,000 (each) in cloud services provided by IBM plus acceptance into the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program. The program provides go-to-market support; business mentorship and services; and access to technical expertise to help startups build, launch and scale their business.
The finalists’ 10 pitches will be filmed by AudAwards and hosted on its website for a people’s-choice vote, from June 14 (opening, 10:30 p.m. EST) through June 20 (closing, 6 p.m. EST), allowing audiences to come together to support outstanding talent and innovation.
To vote for your favorite contender, visit:
According to studies by the Kauffman Foundation, tech companies led by women are more capital efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment and, when backed by venture capital, bring in 12 percent higher revenue.
“Less than ten percent of startup investments are directed to women-led startups,” Newmark said. “That’s not only unfair, it’s bad business. The tech world needs to be promoting its top talent regardless of gender.”
Commented Allyson Kapin, founder of the non-profit Women Who Tech, which organizes the competitions, “The Women Startup Challenge has one goal—to shake up a culture and economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women entrepreneurs to access capital. Our startup challenges have reached over 1,000 women-led startups from across the country, all of whom are focused on solving problems for people, businesses and the planet.”
Said Paige Williams, founder & CEO of AudAwards, “As a female entrepreneur in tech myself, Audience Awards is very excited to partner with IBM and Women Who Tech to support these innovative women and this exciting program. We are pleased to use our unique, contest-based platform to shine a spotlight on these emerging industry leaders and to give three, worthy projects an opportunity in to flourish in the marketplace.”
Commented Sandy Carter, IBM general manager, developer ecosystem and startups, “IBM is committed to increasing diversity in the tech industry because it spurs greater innovation. The combination of IBM cloud technology and mentorship will go a long way to helping the top three winners succeed in their business ventures.”
Added Pat Wadors, senior vice president of the Global Talent Organization at LinkedIn, “We are excited to host the Women Startup Challenge in LinkedIn’s new office in San Francisco. The finalists are all accomplished professionals that have put forth exciting ideas. It’s going to be a real challenge for the judges to choose a winner.”
SPONSORSHIP PARTNERS: craigconnects, Audience Awards, LinkedIn, Rad Campaign, IBM, 500 Startups and Invisu. For more information on the Women Startup Challenge, visit:
Finalists participating in the competition are:
- Babyation — Samantha Rudolph, St. Louis, Mo. — Revolutionizing the breast pump by making it quiet, comfortable, discreet and controllable by smartphone, offers customizable programs and an app for “smart” data logging.
- Blendoor — Stephanie Lampkin, San Francisco, Calif. — A blind app for job recruiters, which conceals the candidate’s name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias and facilitate diversity.
- bluDiagnostics — Katie Brenner, Madison, Wisc. — A revolutionary app enabling women to understand their body through saliva-based measurement technology, giving women immediate, quantitative data regarding hormone levels.
- Cake — Suelin Chen, Somerville, Mass. — The mint.com for end-of-life planning, experts help create a comprehensive strategy, stored securely in the Cloud.
- ClearVest Advisers — Sara Malak, New York, N.Y. — A financial-tech alternative investment platform, providing access to established and emerging managers with lower investment minimums.
- Design Flux Technologies — Courtney Gras, Akron, Ohio — Revolutionizing the energy storage industry by creating and selling the world’s first battery operating system, “Cognicell,” via clean energy applications.
- Embrace Family Health — Denise Terry, Woodside, Calif. — A mobile-first, digital, health platform which empowers women with personalized information for maternity and baby care.
- Entry Point VR — Carissa Flocken, Santa Monica, Calif. — Provides cross-platform distribution and analytics for virtual reality content.
- Mohop — Annie Mohaupt, Chicago, Ill. — Utilizes robotics to digitally mass fabricate customizable footwear-on-demand.
- SIRUM: Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine — Kiah Williams, Stanford, Calif. — The match.com for unused, unexpired medicine, redistributing it to people in need.
About the Audience Awards:
Launched in 2013, Audience Awards (AudAwards) is an innovative, online, video contest platform, with a rapidly growing community that is 100,000-members strong. AudAwards competitions are an organic opportunity to cross- promote brands, projects, products, services, causes and the work of emerging filmmakers on a broad scale. We understand what it means to be an independent filmmaker, struggling to be heard and seen – usually on a shoestring budget – and AudAwards is a unique stage for advancing careers. Top brands like Hilton, Kodak and Fusion, among numerous others, call upon our member filmmakers to produce and submit videos (following specific criteria) for people’s choice voting, allowing audiences to come together to support outstanding talent. Winners receive a variety of cash awards ranging as high as $50,000 and other in-kind prizes. Competitions have provided opportunities to be presented at prestigious film festivals and land distribution deals with major networks. Corporations and other organizations gain unique perspectives into consumer tastes, as well as rights to valuable assets. It’s a win-win! Visit us online at www.theaudienceawards.com
Greenleaf & Associates — 323.660.5800
Vicki Greenleaf — firstname.lastname@example.org Kelly Williams — email@example.com