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LLShe, a platform focused on helping women-led businesses, is at it again, this time with a pitch competition. As I originally previewed back in January, LLShe was born out of a collaboration between Berlin Cameron and Refinery 29 to address the challenges that women-owned startups face, particularly around funding and brand exposure. Through nationwide pop-up markets, an online shopping platform hosted on Refinery29 and an education and connections platform to help female founders navigate and grow, this female focused platform is aiming to serve as a catalyst for a women-led economic revolution.
LLShe’s latest initiative, the LLShe Pitch Competition, taking place today at SXSW, is the next step in providing female founders with the tools they need for success. With female founders often lacking the resources needed to cut through the clutter and reach mass audiences, competitions like this one can truly empower female entrepreneurs.
Jennifer DaSilva, President of Berlin Cameron and Founder of Girl Brands Do It Better, shared, “Everyone is so focused on the funding part of the equation and instead, we want to give them the services that will help build their businesses, drive sales and create awareness. With that trifecta, the funding conversation with investors should be much easier,” she added.
Partnerships with IFundWomen, Ellevate Network, The Riveter and Davis and Gilbert helped bring the competition to life, resulting in 130 applications from female founders vying for the $100,000 prize.
So what should these (and other founders) think about as they prepare to pitch?
Melanie Goldey, CFO of Refinery 29, said, “We’re looking for pitches that reflect originality and demonstrate how their businesses are impacting culture. Our research tells us that women are transforming startup culture by emphasizing social good, so we’re very interested in how these companies are taking a stand on an issue, shifting mindsets, and bringing something differentiated to the table. It’s also important that they demonstrate how they are servicing their intended audience in a meaningful way.” Factors like originality, cultural impact and business viability are also critical, noted Goldey.
As I’ve written about before, especially in a pitch competition, founders have a limited time to make a stellar impression. And as volume of applicants makes clear, female founders are craving opportunities to showcase their business in a forum like LLShe.
March 7, 2019 at 08:02PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs