10th Annual Women’s Venture Summit to Showcase Six Female Founders’ Pitches, Sept. 28-29, 2023

Women are making remarkable strides, and six visionary female founders, creators of innovative products spanning from hormone-optimizing energy bars to reusable period cups designed for tampon-like insertion, are gearing up to pitch for seed funding and support during the Women’s Fast Pitch finals. This competition is set to unfold on Day 2 of the 10th annual Women’s Venture Summit, an event dedicated to assisting female founders in securing access to capital. The two-day event is scheduled for September 28-29, 2023, at the Cooley LLP and Joya Conference Center, located at 10265 Science Center Dr. in San Diego. Tickets are available for purchase.

Sponsored by Cooley LLP, The Impact Seat Foundation, and Holland & Knight, the Women’s Fast Pitch competition journeyed through five U.S. regions this summer and will culminate in San Diego, where one founder will claim $10,000 in seed funding, approximately $30,000 worth of in-kind business services, and exposure to a new investor network.

“This year’s finalists will bring health and wellness innovation to the center stage at the Women’s Venture Summit. Their products are proof that the 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups going to women is not enough,” remarked Flossie Hall, CEO of Stella, the event organizer. Stella, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization, has empowered over 500 women in launching and scaling their businesses through courses, advisory support, and access-to-capital events. Hall added, “Women’s Fast Pitch competition and Women’s Venture Summit are our biggest efforts toward our mission of connecting women with more access to funding and have helped us facilitate more than $100 million in funding to date.”

Here are the 2023 Women’s Fast Pitch finalists by region:

Northeast: Elina Furman of Kahlmi, Stamford, CT
Kahlmi educates parents on the nurturing, neurological, and cognitive aspects of baby massage through the first interactive massage tool and an educational content platform.

Southeast: Debbie Dickinson of Thermaband, Miami, FL
Thermaband Zone is a smart wearable device providing a personal thermostat and cooling capabilities, supplemented with health data to understand your body.

Midwest: Corinne Vargas of SMARTCharts, Chicago, IL
SMARTCharts helps to automate documentation workflows for clinicians in speech, occupational, and physical therapies while providing personalized patient progress visualizations.

Northwest: Joelle Tudor of CathConnect, Seattle, WA
The CathConnect device is a patent-pending device to provide patients with a safer alternative to traditional indwelling urinary catheters.

Southwest: Julie Gordon White of MenoWell Menopause Energy + Protein Bars, Berkeley, CA
MenoWell Energy + Protein Bars are delicious nutrient-dense, plant-based bars formulated with the Meno Transition Trifecta of Organic Maca to optimize hormones.

Wildcard: Cindy Belardo of Sunny, Indianapolis, IN
The Sunny Cup + Applicator is a reusable period cup that inserts like a tampon using the reusable applicator.

By fostering connections between women founders and investors and offering them a platform for pitch competitions, empowering workshops, and informative panel discussions, Stella is working towards its goal of promoting wealth creation and equal opportunities for women. This year’s Women’s Venture Summit will feature keynote speakers Elizabeth Gore (Co-founder of Hello Alice), Mac Conwell (Founder of RareBreed Ventures), Nicola Corzine (Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center), and Dr. Silvia Mah (Founder of Stella), who will share insights on sustaining progress.

Sponsors of the Women’s Venture Summit include Ad Astra Ventures, San Diego & Imperial SDBC, DLA Piper, Cooley LLP, The Impact Seat Foundation, Knobbe Martens, NSP Studio, She Invests!, Teknos, TriNet, and UBS.

About Stella:

Founded in 2012, Stella connects women founders and investors to the right resources–at the right time–in their journeys. From ideation to funding to exit, women founders and investors look to Stella for its powerful constellation of support made up of an inclusive community, curriculum, access to capital events including the annual Women’s Venture Summit, advisory services and funding opportunities. Let’s connect the stars together.

For more information, please visit stella.co.




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Adrienn Sarkany
Adrienn Sarkanyhttps://vegnew.world/
Hello there! I'm a 21-year-old university student majoring in Finnish and Korean Language and Literature. I have a deep passion for art and a profound connection to the natural world. My journey through life has been a colorful one, driven by my love for creativity, music, and the wonders of the great outdoors. As a dedicated student, I've already earned a degree in Classic Cantos, a testament to my appreciation for the timeless beauty of classical music. Beyond the classroom, my artistic spirit thrives through my love for painting and drawing. These creative outlets allow me to express my thoughts and emotions, transforming blank canvases into vibrant stories. My interests go far beyond music and art. Singing, playing the piano, and exploring new melodies are integral parts of my life, providing me with both solace and exhilaration. When I'm not immersed in the world of art and music, I find solace in nature's embrace. My heart is drawn to animals and the serene beauty of the natural world, fueling my desire to protect and preserve our precious environment.