RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Six women founders in the Triangle are set to pitch their startups on Wednesday at PitchFest, an event co-hosted by RIoT and TiE Carolinas.
RIoT is the regional Internet of Things users group TiE stands for the IndUS Entrepreneurs.
This is the first time the two organizations have partnered for an event. Over the past few months, RIoT and TiE Carolinas recruited startups, selected finalists and connected the founders to mentors who could help them craft a winning pitch.
The presenters are developing products ranging from IoT to biotech to mobile apps. Here’s the lineup:
- Akshita Iyer of Inirv, an IoT system that lets users control their kitchen stove remotely
- Emiley Joyce of X2 Health, a venture that’s developing a low-cost HPV test
- Jasmine Miller, presenting BatteryXchange
- Karen Tsang, presenting a pediatric medical device
- Karly Pavlinac of WAAM, an app where fitness trainers can post their workouts and connect with an audience
- Tea Blumer of iScribble, an interactive drawing platform for artists
Participants will present their ventures to a panel of both investors and entrepreneurs, including Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton Partner Chris Lynch, angel investor Jan Davis, Bull City Venture Partners General Partner Jason Caplain, United Drug Supply CEO Samantha Godfrey and Hummingbird Creative Group CEO Wendy Coulter.
They’ll be competing for a mix of prizes, including a six-month HQ Raleigh membership, a one-year Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership membership, mentoring sessions, 10 hours of consulting from CrowdfundNC, a spot on the RIoT Underground podcast, a 12-month subscription to 15Five‘s Performance Management Program, a three-month branding campaign from Adwerx.
The idea for PitchFest came after TiE Executive Board Member Tricia Lucas attended one of RIoT’s past pitch events. Lucas, who is also the founder of the Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership and co-founder of Cary recruiting firm Lucas Select, says she was impressed with the format and wanted to work with RIoT on an event to showcase women entrepreneurs.
“TiE and RioT both do so much to support entrepreneurs,” Lucas said. “TiE’s main objectives are to facilitate networking among members, foster and nurture entrepreneurship, and integrate our membership with the mainstream community. By combining our networks and resources, we felt we could really make a positive impact.”
RIoT Director of Growth and Communications Sarah Glova said that while this is RIoT’s first pitch event focused exclusively on women entrepreneurs, the organization has a history of supporting diversity in entrepreneurship and technology. Its last pitch event included an all-women panel of judges. Additionally, in the latest pool of applicants from RIoT Accelerator Program, two-thirds of the applications were from women founders or founders of color.
“With all our events, we try to demonstrate how an organization might approach diversity and inclusion, beyond just talking about diversity as a value,” Glova says. “Whether that’s actively partnering with community-based organizations and community colleges, creating events that are welcoming and open to the public, or amplifying underrepresented speakers and entrepreneurs, RIoT is committed to demonstrating an ongoing commitment to diversity in technology and entrepreneurship. Diversity isn’t just something we value; it’s something we recognize as critical to our future.”
The event will take place at RTP Headquarters on September 18 from 6-9 p.m.