We’re Giving One of These Female Entrepreneurs $50,000
Updated Aug. 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. EST: The votes were tallied and the winner has been announced: Congratulations to Denise Woodard of Partake Foods!
Original story, published Aug. 9, 2018: MSNBC host and business expert JJ Ramberg invited four innovators to the stage at the #BlogHer18 Creators Summit in New York on Thursday, Aug. 9, for The Pitch contest. The Pitch — which was introduced onstage by Jen Denton, Senior Vice President of Programming for SheKnows Media — spotlights up-and-coming female visionaries, giving them the chance to explain their business ideas to a panel of discerning judges. After a hardball Q&A session, the audience votes, and the winner takes home a prize of $50,000 in marketing investments from SheKnows media, and a dinner with business mentors.
One of this year's four strong contestants, Denise Woodard, took to the stage to pitch her company, Partake Foods, which she was inspired to launch after struggling to find healthy, convenient and safe foods for her daughter, who suffers from several food allergies. In July 2017, Partake Foods debuted three flavors of mini cookies (chocolate chip, carrot oat and sweet potato millet), all of which are free of the top eight food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, milk, soy, fish, shellfish). They're gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and available at Amazon and more than 100 brick-and-mortar stores.
Mini cookies (three-pack), $15.99 at Partake Foods
Sarah Neill pitch the app she developed called Hot Hot Cold, a location app that quickly indicates how close you are to a loved one by telling you if you're hot or cold. Think of how much easier finding your kids, partner or friends at a food festival, beach or concert will be if you can quickly pinpoint where you are instead of wandering through crowds, texting: "I'm near the yellow awning now — where are you?" Hot Hot Cold is currently available to download for free, and we know we'll be adding it to our phones ASAP.
Brittany Finkle also pitched her company, Happily Ever Borrowed. A Cornell graduate, Finkle spent the last 10 years as a merchandiser for top luxury companies including Ralph Lauren, Hermès and Chanel. Astounded by the cost of bridal accessories that are typically only worn once, Finkle launched Happily Ever Borrowed in 2012 to help women rent stylish bridal accessories and stay on budget.
Lia Winograd, the final contestant to take the stage, riveted the audience with her pitch for Pepper, a bra company she founded after years of frustration with the lack of options for small-chested women. Pepper offers a variety of bras that are "designed to cup, lift and flatter small chests without intolerable push-up padding." A proud Colombiana, Winograd leveraged her family’s manufacturing business to partner with a female-owned, socially responsible factory in Medellín, Colombia, where Pepper’s bras are produced.
With four brilliant women who presented such awesome ideas, the competition this year is fierce. The winner of The Pitch will be announced on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 9 at the #BlogHer18 Creators Summit in New York, but if you'd like to cast your vote for your favorite pitch contestant, you can do so by tweeting #PitchBrittany, #PitchLia, #PitchSarah or #PitchDenise along with the hashtag #BlogHer18.