HearstLab is holding its first-ever pitch competition to fund women-led startups in the Southern U.S. HearstLab is an investor in early-stage women-led startups. Their mission is to close the gap in venture capital funding for women by helping founders build healthy, sustainable, and highly scalable businesses.
The competition is open to female founders with majority equity in their startup based in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas.
The deadline to apply is March 8, you can submit your application here.
The San Antonio Express-News is partnering on this program to “elevate female-led technology within San Antonio and surrounding areas, as well as to assist in attracting a broader tech talent pool within the community,” said Lisa Gillespie, HearstLab scout, and director of consumer engagement at the San Antonio Express-News.
Finalists will pitch to a live audience in San Antonio on June 23. The winning founder will receive $100,000 (in a SAFE note) and three months of mentoring from HearstLab and the San Antonio Express-News. The SAFE note would be subject to a cap based the company’s traction, stage, and market, and with an opportunity for HearstLab to participate in the company’s future fundraising.
In addition to financial investment, the startups gain access to expertise within Hearst’s 360-plus businesses across the fintech, healthcare, transportation, consumer media, enterprise software, and data analytics sectors. Startups will be assisted with privacy, legal services, branding, marketing, advertising, and editorial support.
Founders will also benefit from the guidance and support of HearstLab Scouts, women leaders across Hearst’s global businesses, and Hearst-owned Fitch Group, a global leader in financial information services.
“In our semi-finalist round, we will engage community leaders as well as local investors and a team from HearstLab to help narrow down to our 10 finalists,” Gillespie said. “We’re in the process of finalizing our complete judging panel for the semi-finals and final round.”
The featured image is of a laptop next to a coffee mug that says, “the future is female.” Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash.