Women Innovate Pitch Competition

Company: University of Hartford

Location: East Hartford

Describe your event

The Women Innovate Pitch Competitions (two held in 2020) provided an opportunity for CT women entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative products and services, practice their virtual presentation skills, and compete to win cash prizes. Building on the success of prior similar events, WBC focused the program to assist women-owned small businesses in the challenging pandemic environment. Finalists were selected for all online entries and presented their ideas/businesses to a panel of judges.

What are the coolest, most popular features of your event?

The pitch competitions (supported by Launch Hartford and NBT Bank) were an exciting opportunity for CT women business owners. Focusing on innovation, impact and business viability as selection criteria for finalists and winners, the entry process was simple and streamlined, equally accessible to diverse startups and existing businesses in different industries. The events included motivating guest speakers; the committed panel of judges (WBC clients and partners) provided encouraging feedback.

What impact did your event make is 2020?

The competitions awarded a total of over $3000 in prizes. 20 women competed (from close to 45 applications). The events engaged WBC partners. Besides the cash and promotional impact on the winners, all finalists were provided access to follow up support services, as well as an opportunity to be highlighted in upcoming WBC newsletters. Non-finalist entries received valuable feedback. Attendees (over 140 registered) were motivated and inspired by the competitors, judges and speaker presentations.

Nominator Justification

Two competitions held in June and December, 40+ pitches submitted, 20 presented. Over $3000 in prizes awarded, plus an opportunity for spotlight in WBC newsletters. Women entrepreneurs in different stages and types of businesses recognized for innovation and impact.

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