Like any new venture, The Pitch began with the spark of an idea coupled with a marketplace need. Mentoring and connecting is a fundamental value at SheKnows (our company mantra is “women inspiring women”), and we frequently meet with others ready to take their ideas a step further. My colleague, Samantha Skey, our Chief Revenue Officer, had offered to help the brilliant 25-year-old entrepreneur Amber Gordon fine-tune her fund-raising pitch for Femsplain, then we shot Amber’s 60-second pitch in our in-house studio, then, basically, we thought, why not do this with more women on a larger scale?
So we started fine-tuning our own Pitch. Next, we went in the studio with Tanya Van Court, a former Discovery and Nickelodeon executive who was in the process of launching Sow, a company dedicated to helping young people pursue their dreams in ways that are both financially responsible and socially responsive. Then JJ Ramberg (you might know her from MSNBC), who founded Goodshop with her brother. Then Janylle Radden, who started a bespoke planning service for bachelor and bachelorette parties. More kick-ass women followed (Gina Pell, Lizzy Klein, Sarika Doshi, Yasmina Jacobs), each with prep sessions to refine their Pitches and then a serious 60-second time limit to nail the pitches in our studio.
At a macro level, we created The Pitch to help close the gap between the number of businesses owned by women versus men and accelerate the growth of women-owned enterprises across the country. As Samantha puts it, “The Pitch gives women with great ideas the resources, mentorship and audience they need to gain a greater piece of the $14 trillion market women represent. It also provides Pitch participants valuable exposure, feedback and customer adoption, while allowing [our] audience to be part of the crucial feedback loop that entrepreneurs need to hone their product offerings and business.”
Image: SheKnows // Lea Ann Leming in the studio with Tanya Van Court
A few things I've learned as we've produced these Pitches:
1. The products are really cool (I’ve started using many of them already.)
2. The women are wildly inspirational.
3. A pitch may look easy, but it is hard as hell. That’s why we include the outtakes at the end of each Pitch.
4. These women are unstoppable, and I know their businesses will be as well.
Watch our first round of Pitches here and please comment, share, and show your support using our custom emojis. The Pitch is open to women with non-profit and for-profit ideas alike. Ultimately, our goal is to build a pipeline of new businesses and non-profit organizations from within our growing community of Experts Among Us. If you’d like participate in The Pitch, please give me and Samantha a shout at ThePitch@SheKnows.com.
The Pitch will be spotlighted next month at #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us, the world’s largest celebration of women content creators, social media influencers, entrepreneurs, brand executives and industry luminaries. Hosted by SheKnows Media, #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us will take place July 16-18 in New York City where you'll be able to watch a live Pitch session, featuring six inspirational entrepreneurs and a panel of women leaders giving feedback. You can also record your own Pitch in a custom Pitch booth at the conference.. Go to http://blogherconferences.com to register for the event.
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