The mission of many (if not most) startups is to deploy technology to solve human dilemmas. At the Female Founders Pitch Contest in Brooklyn this week, five entrepreneurs explained (briskly) how their startups would fix issues related to language barriers, apparel manufacturing, science education, the process of aging, and menstrual periods.
Brooklyn has been ranked as the town with the highest percentage of female founders and this event, part of a series presented by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, is meant to build on that foundation. At the contest, which took place at the Made in New York Media Center by IFP in Dumbo, each founder had three minutes to make her pitch to a panel of all-female judges, who then had three minutes to ask questions.
The founders were competing for a $5,000 cash prize, a free workspace for two people at one of NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s business incubators, and free legal advice. “I am so proud to be here with these strong women and I’m inspired,” said Debbie Cooper, a vice president of business banking at JPMorgan Chase, a sponsor of the event. Indeed, as the judges deliberated after the pitches, there was a strong sense of camaraderie flowing through the venue.
The winner: BUPeriod, a Brooklyn startup that’s developing a feminine hygiene product designed to help women who have issues managing their menstrual cycles. Excerpts from the five pitches: