The Women Startup Challenge announced the winners of its first regional startup competition for women-led startups, Women Startup Challenge NYC, at Microsoft in Times Square on November 9. In all, close to 200 of the best women-led startups in the Northeast entered the competition.
The top prize was taken by SoftSpot by Moonlab, a plug+play sensor system for clothing. As grand prize winner, SoftSpot received $25,000 in cash. Second place went to SIREN, protective jewelry and accessories with a hidden 110+ dB alarm to disorient/deter attackers and attract help.
Judges for the competition included investor Joanne Wilson; Susan Lyne, president of BBG Ventures; Kathryn Finney, founder and managing director of digitalundivided (DID); Victoria Song – VC – Flybridge; and Lisa Stone, cofounder of Blogher.
On November 10, finalists joined investors for the first-ever Women Startup Speed Dating at AOL’s BBG Ventures. The event is designed to give women founders one-on-one access to investors and experts to help them hone their startup pitches and ideas.
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, was a sponsor of the event as part of his craigconnects initiative, which supports women in technology and a host of philanthropic and public service causes. Other partners included Microsoft, BBG Ventures, NY Tech Meetup, Invisu, Maven Cocktails, and Silver Suites Offices.
The inaugural Women Startup Challenge pitch competition was held in June in Washington, D.C. The grand prize winner was On Second Thought, an app that enables the retrieval of text messages.
“This Northeast event was our first regional event, and, like our first national event in the spring, this was a runaway success,” said Allyson Kapin, founder and chief executive of Women Who Tech, which holds the Women Startup Challenge competitions. “It’s thrilling to see so many innovative ventures being led by women who are disrupting the technology, news, and financial industries. People are starting to get the message that women-led ventures deliver a higher return on investment than male-run startups.”
Image courtesy of threeASFOUR