Pitch with Purpose is encouraging women entrepreneurs leading high-growth, scalable businesses that support the resolution of the world’s most pressing problems to apply for its pitch competition.
Circular Board, based in Houston, announced the competition Thursday in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Dell and Guggenheim Partners.
Companies with at least one female founder are encouraged to submit an application online and three finalists will be selected to present in front of judges, investors and media at Circular Summit, scheduled for April 14-15th in Houston. The deadline to apply is March 18th.
The winner of the competition will receive $10,000 from Guggenheim Partners. They will also receive Dell technology suite, admission to the Circular Board accelerator for women entrepreneurs, mentorship from Susan McPherson, founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, Elizabeth Gore, Dell entrepreneur in residence and emeritus chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council and Zaw Thet, managing partner of Signia Venture Partners. The winner will also receive a feature on MORE Magazine’s digital platform.
Five semi-finalists will also win entry into Circular Summit.
“Texas claims the worst record of supporting women seeking venture capital. Last year, 42 Texas startups got Series A rounds. Zero of them had female founders, and it’s not for a lack of women in business. In fact, several Texas cities, like San Antonio and Houston, are considered the fastest growing for female founder–driven economic clout,” Carolyn Rodz, CEO and founder of Circular Board and co-chair of Circular Summit, said in a news statement. “The goal of Circular Summit and Pitch with Purpose is to initiate action around the data surrounding the global impact of women-owned businesses, and we’re doing it in Texas because this is an area where the gender gap is widest.”
The number of women-led businesses in the United States increased by 74 percent between 2007 and 2015, a rate 1.5 times the national increase of other businesses, according to the OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
“When you consider that women reinvest 90% of their income back into their communities, children and health, you begin to see that if these entrepreneurs succeed, they will help solve the world’s problems,” Gore, co-chair of Circular Summit, said in a news statement. “48 percent of female founders cite a lack of available mentors or advisers as a barrier to growth, which is why we’ve incorporated top-tier mentor support and introductions into highly localized networks into Pitch with Purpose.”