Lana Pozhidaeva, Founder @ WE Talks together with the judges: Pat Hedley, Fran Hauser, Christina Vuleta, Tikhon Bernstam, and the WE Pitch 2018 winner Tzvia Bader @ TrialJectory; Photo by Evgenia Sizanyuk

On November 27th, WE Talks and ZURI held its first WE Pitch, a fun, exciting evening for ambitious female entrepreneurs to showcase their startups in front of a supportive audience and a judging panel of preeminent investors (Fran Hauser, Anu Duggal, Pat HedleyHeather HartnettChristina Vuleta, and Tikhon Bernstam). Congratulations to its top three finalists which includes, Tzvia Bader @ TrialJectoryMandi Nyambi @ Le CultureClub, and Jess Riegel @ MotivoteAll finalists have connected with world class investors, received media exposure and customized feedback. WE Talks was founded by Lana Pozhidaeva with a mission of providing ambitious corporate and entrepreneurial women with a safe, supportive environment. The idea of the pitch contest came from the discovery that female founders not only don’t get enough venture capital (which has been consistently 2.2% over the last few years [1]), but also lack social capital and media exposure.

WE Talks was excited to announce that they got 300 + applications from early stage female startups in just two weeks (without investing in any PR). Word of mouth has been their strategy from the very start. The applicants came from a wide range of “female industries,” but also included some wonderful innovative tech enabled companies. Some of the tech applicants included: TrialjectoryLe Culture ClubDripkitSeedsprintMighty WellKomaeMicroEra PowerFive To Nine).

The WE Talks judges were also extremely impressed with the night’s competition. Fran Hauser said, “I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations. My vote for Trialjectory came down to the promise of accessibility to life-saving treatments, an inefficient use of financial resources by health care providers and founder/market fit. I loved seeing the camaraderie among the founders and how supportive they were of each other both during the presentations and after the winner was announced. The NYC tech scene at its best!”

It was evident these standout, female founded companies needed the support of the judges and investors. The WE Talks Pitch gave these women entrepreneurs the perfect platform to introduce new ideas and business models. Another judge, Pat Hedley stated, “Through this WE Pitch event, WE Talks and ZURI  showcased the many talented women starting innovative companies. These companies need our funding and support. The turnout was fantastic and the entrepreneurial energy in the room was exhilarating.”

 Be sure to stay on the lookout for more of WE Talks fabulous events for 2019! Rumor has it that there will be a female founded breakfast series launched early next year! WeTalks  (featured @ Forbes) is series of Women Empowerment events – panel discussions around topics like Fundraising, Branding, PR, and Digital Marketing. Each month they grew event attendance by 50% and have even partnered with awesome brands like Minibar, Peter Roth Skincare, Zeel, and TOPSHOP Personal Shopping.