MISSOULA, Mont., June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Audience Awards (AudAwards), an innovative, online, video contest platform, is hosting a competition as part of the third annual Women Who Tech‘s Women Startup Challenge, one of the tech world’s largest initiatives to bring together and support promising, early-stage, women-led start-ups.
Ten finalists, selected from almost 400 hopefuls from coast to coast, competed June 14 in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition at LinkedIn’s San Francisco headquarters in front of a jury of distinguished investors and industry leaders, including Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects, who partnered with Women Who Tech to sponsor the competition. Other jurists were Nisha Dua, partner at BBG Ventures; Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital; Karan Mehandru, general partner at Trinity Ventures; and Lisa Stone, entrepreneur and co-founder of BlogHer.
ROUND #2 COMPETITION: All of the contenders will now have a chance to win one of three additional Audience Awards of $120,000 (each) in cloud services provided by IBM plus acceptance into the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, which provides go-to-market support; business mentorship and services; and access to technical expertise to help startups build, launch and scale their business.
Videos of the finalists’ pitches are now hosted on the AudAwards website for a people’s-choice vote, from now through June 20 (closing, 6 p.m. EDT), allowing audiences to come together to support outstanding talent and innovation.
The Jury Prize of $50,000 was awarded to SIRUM, a match.com for unused, unexpired medicine, redistributing it to people in need; a $10,000 investment grant went to bluDiagnostics, a revolutionary app enabling women to utilize saliva-based measurement technology for immediate, hormone-level data; and the Audience Choice Award of $120,000 in cloud services was awarded to Blendoor, an app for job recruiters, which conceals the candidate’s identity to circumvent unconscious bias and facilitate diversity.
OTHER FINALISTS: Babyation, revolutionizing the breast pump by making it quiet, comfortable, discreet and controllable by smartphone; Cake, the mint.com for end-of-life planning, experts help create a comprehensive strategy, stored securely in the Cloud; ClearVest Advisers, a financial-tech alternative investment platform, providing access to established and emerging managers with lower investment minimums; Design Flux Technologies, revolutionizing the energy storage industry by creating and selling the world’s first battery operating system, « Cognicell, » via clean energy applications; Embrace Family Health, a mobile-first, digital, health platform which empowers women with personalized information for maternity and baby care; Entry Point VR, which provides cross-platform distribution and analytics for virtual reality content; and Mohop, which utilizes robotics to digitally mass fabricate customizable footwear-on-demand.
According to studies by the Kauffman Foundation, tech companies led by women are more capital efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment and, when backed by venture capital, bring in 12 percent higher revenue.
Vicki Greenleaf — 323.660.5800
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SOURCE Audience Awards