Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures announced the winners of the HI – HERImpact DC Pitch Competition, held September 11th as part of DC Startup Week 2019. Three female social entrepreneurs were awarded $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind support to help them build and scale their enterprises.
For the pitch competition, ten finalists were selected out of more than 170 applicants to compete at DC Startup Week 2019. Judges included Alyssa Gill of NextGen Venture Partners, Aurelia Flores of Athena Digital Media Group, and Pamela Alexander of Ford Fund.
Stephanie Cummings of Please Assist Me (home assistance services) won first place — and was awarded $25,000 after her pitch. Second Place went to Lina Zdruli of Dafero (sugar-free sweets), along with a $20,000 award. And LaQuida Chancey of Smalltimore Homes (micro shelters and tiny homes) won Audience Choice and was awarded $5,000.
“We believe that when you invest in a woman, you are not only improving her life, but the lives of her family and the community around them,” said Yisel Cabrera, Community Relations Manager for Ford Motor Company Fund.
“It is an honor to be able to shine a spotlight on these amazing women entrepreneurs who prove that social good and capital investment are not fundamentally at odds,” said Melissa Bradley, managing partner of 1863 Ventures, “We’re proud to help contribute to a nurturing ecosystem here in DC for female entrepreneurs committed to making a difference.”
HI- HERImpact DC has awarded $100,000 so far in 2019, and the overall initiative has awarded $200,000 since its inception in 2018.
*Images credit My Bella Images LLC