“We have always been impressed with the caliber of the companies that apply and pitch each year,” said Jennifer Bonnett, founder of StartupChicks. “But we were surprised that the quality of the concepts and the caliber of the female leaders did not suffer despite the large number of submissions received,” she added.
Companies this year spanned the gamut from a website that lets women design custom shoes to a project management tool for elder caregivers to a personalized information dashboard for scientists. Each company’s founder or CEO took the stage to give their three-minute pitch which was evaluated by a panel of distinguished judges:
- Karen Robinson Cope, senior vice president of sales and marketing at NanoLumens, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and TiE Atlanta President-Elect
- Rachel Orston, vice president of services at Silverpop
- Liz Kronenberger, co-founder of two digital gaming companies and strategy consultant
- Erika Brookes, vice president of marketing at Vitrue Oracle
- Jennifer Bonnett, founder of StartupChicks and ATDC community catalyst
The six companies selected to participate in the accelerator program were:
· Excelegrade (http://www.excelegrade.com) is developing desktop and mobile digital assessment tools for schools to help them digitize the administration and taking of Common Core assessments
· GoLocal (http://www.golocalatlanta.com) provides travelers with unique and niche activities led by experts who are passionate about them
· Julie Bee’s (http://www.myjuliebees.com) manufactures and sells eco-friendly women’s shoes
· Limitless Group Inc (http://www.limitlessshot.com)
· Scizzle (http://www.myscizzle.com)
· Tagiture is a social search platform that leverages the authority of a user’s friends on specific topics to provide more accurate search results
Excelegrade took the top spot to win almost $10,000 in cash and services.
StartupChicks is a Georgia-based 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission of helping female entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses through education, coaching, mentoring and networking. Founded in February 2009, the organization has more than 1,000 members worldwide with chapters in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. Membership is open to women only. Each chapter offers monthly educational programming and quarterly social events which are open to both men and women. For more information about programming or about starting a chapter, visit www.startupchicks.org