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AnitaB.org is thrilled to announce the finalists for our inaugural PitcHER™ contest. This competition celebrates female entrepreneurs from all industries who are leading early stage technology startups, with the goal of empowering women and/or families and children. These top 10 entrants will be joining us at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC 18) on September 27 to compete for a total of $65,000 in prize money, split among the top three finalists and an Audience Favorite.
Learn more about our finalists as well as the judges who will assess the innovation and impact of these entrepreneurs’ startups.
Startup: DACA Time
Nathali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dreamer of DACA Time. This software startup supports immigrants by making the DACA application process easier and more affordable. As a DACA recipient herself, Nathali hopes to empower all Dreamers to live and prosper in the U.S.
Startup: Gender Fair Index
Amy is the Founder of the Gender Fair Index, which performs independent data analysis of industry-leading companies’ commitment to gender equality, allowing consumers to make educated purchase decisions.
Startup: Mom Relaunch
Reena is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who has successfully built multiple IT companies. She recently founded Mom Relaunch, an initiative that helps moms who have taken career breaks return to the workforce through a unique LaunchPad program.
Startup: Cirkled In
After spending 20 years in corporate America, Reetu founded Cirkled In to give students a portfolio platform to compile their entire K-12 life story. Reetu was named Valedictorian of her MBA class at Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. She also has master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in engineering from India’s National Institute of Technology (NIT) Kurukshetra.
Shakeia is the founder of GovLia, a cloud-based platform that simplifies state and local government procurement processes to help increase small business participation in order to foster economic opportunity and growth for diverse companies and communities.
Samantha J. Letscher
Sam is the Co-founder and CEO of Bossy, a platform that connects feminist consumers with women-owned businesses to drive revenue to women entrepreneurs. She launched Bossy in Chicago in the spring of 2017 while pursuing her bachelor’ degree in Integrated Engineering Studies at Northwestern University.
Startup: Pie for Providers
As COO of Pie for Providers, Hannah builds tools that aim to measurably and significantly strengthen small childcare businesses and empower the entrepreneurs that operate them.
Startup: The Mentor Method
Janice is the CEO and Founder of The Mentor Method, an enterprise SaaS company that uses mentorship to increase inclusion and retention of diverse talent. Working with companies like Deloitte and Fannie Mae, the startup offers diverse talent a mentoring framework that (and their companies) more successful.
Charu is the Founder & CEO of NextPlay.ai. Companies like Square, Lyft, Asurion, and Splunk use this mobile app to build sticky and measurable mentorship programs. After six months of using NextPlay’s app, mentees felt that their preparedness to achieve their goals at their companies had doubled, and mentors reported that they significantly developed their critical leadership and coaching skills.
Yadi is the Co-founder and CMO of Motiv, a social and financial technology enterprise that provides everyone — regardless of income, credit history, or citizenship status — with transparent and affordable financial services. Motiv aims to help its users save more of their hard-earned money, build credit, and improve their overall financial health.
Holly, winner of the 2018 Technology Entrepreneurship Abie Award, co-founded the mobile gaming company Kabam in 2006. She led the design for Kabam’s award-winning “Kingdoms of Camelot” franchise, which grossed over $250 million in less than four years. She was also the founding mobile designer for the extension “Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North,” which was the top grossing app on iOS in 2012.
Lesa is a Managing Director of Techstars where she invests in companies and helps these companies scale. Lesa’s career has included roles as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and consultant to multinational corporate leaders, expanding their companies’ innovation footprints.
Uriridiakoghene “Ulili” Onovakpuri
Ulili identifies, builds, and invests in companies that aim to gaps of access and opportunity in health care and people operations tech. She rejoined the Kapor Capital team in 2015 and was promoted to a partner in 2018. Previously, Ulili served as the Director of Global Programs at Village Capital, a global accelerator program and venture capital firm that supports healthcare, education, agriculture, energy, and financial technology companies.
Mandela SH Dixon
Mandela began her career in Silicon Valley in 2011 as a startup founder backed by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12 (acquired by Y Combinator). She later became the Global Director of Startup Weekend Education (acquired by Techstars), the largest educational technology entrepreneurship initiative in the world.