If you attended BlogHer’s International Women’s Day event, you already know the funding landscape is diverse. There are so many different ways an entrepreneur can secure funding for their venture, though just a handful of methods usually make headlines. Pitch contests are one of them. Though the competition is beyond fierce and your chances of winning are, well, slim, they are free to enter and provide opportunities to meet decision-makers. Even if you don’t win the top prize, there may be an investor who wants to work with you anyway. Plus, the winnings are usually huge.
What makes Black Girl Ventures a standout in this space is the fact that they are catering to an underserved demographic. Their signature approach also merges the traditional pitch style with crowdfunding for a Shark Tank-style experience. In addition to engaging with an expert panel, there’s a (virtual) audience who can watch and vote with their dollars, which are part of the prize.
“At Equilibria, we firmly believe in supporting women,” said Coco Meers, co-founder and CEO of Equilibria. “We’re thrilled to be launching this partnership with Black Girl Ventures not only because of their mission to empower women, but also because we firmly believe in doing our part to support to close the racial wealth gap. Through this pitch competition and ongoing support we aim to create economic empowerment for women of color in their entrepreneurial endeavors.”
If you want to throw your hat into the ring, here’s the criteria:
- Demographics: At least 51% owned by someone who identifies as a woman and black/brown
- Sector: Within the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) + E-Commerce industries
- Growth: Early stage and generating revenue (no minimum required)
Should you win, here’s what you can look forward to:
- Cash prizes from sponsors
- Funding from the audience
- Salesforce for Startups package
- Access to Black Girl Ventures’ 6-week Accelerator Program
- A consultation with an accountant
- 90% off HubSpot + access to training discounts
- 1-year membership to the BGV Connect Incubator, includes the following:
- Peer Mentoring
- Business referrals
- Funding opportunities
- Weekly Virtual Co-working
- Weekly Virtual Pitch Practice
- Introductions to potential business partners
- Monthly Women in Business Support Groups
- Feedback sessions, coaching, and networking opportunities
- Access to webinars, courses, and workshops (including replays)
- Access to experts, introductions, and insider knowledge on leadership development, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial education.
Ready to apply? Shoot your shot here by April 4. Eight finalists will be selected before competing on May 13. If pitch competitions aren’t your thing, here are other ways to snag funding for your business.
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