By Nancy Dahlberg
I didn’t vote for a Fan Favorite at the WIN Lab Venture Showcase, though I must admit that, being jet-lagged from a long trip, sleep was on my mind and Half Asleep’s comfy sustainable nightwear had its appeal!
Turns out Patricia Siman’s Half Asleep was selected the “Fan Favorite” after some 18 women-led companies gave their elevator pitches – one minute to stand out from the rest -- at the WIN Lab Venture Showcase. Explaining your company in one minute is no easy feat, but as Michelle Abbs, director of WIN LAB Miami said, think of it as a teaser leading up to the networking.
She told the standing-room-only crowd of mostly women that there is a lot to celebrate, presenting a number of recent statistics showing women-founded companies perform better than their male counterparts, such as First Round Capital’s finding that teams with a female founder returned 63% more on every dollar invested than all-male teams. “It is about the fact that women build different businesses and we build businesses differently.”
The Venture Showcase, held at TheVentureCity was a chance to showcase the companies in WIN Lab Miami’s 4th cohort, just one month into their five-month accelerator experience, and mingle with the community of mentors, entrepreneurs in residence and supporters, maybe an investor or two. The WIN Lab accelerator program was created by Babson.
Here are just a few of the founders we met and what they are building:
Taylor Cohen of Mighty Lentil created a one-of-a kind lentil-based soy free, gluton-free protein.
D Marie Thompson heads up MyRA, an on-demand healthcare staffing platform that directly connects pre-credentialed healthcare professionals and hospitals.
Dolores Perez and Susan Thompson presented SaniGirl, which makes disposable sanitary “pee” funnels, a bathroom away from home.
Adrienne McWillians leads Travelspective, a video-first, search and experience marketplace to connect you to what’s happening now and near you called BRIDGE.
Areeya Lila is founder of ViewN, an AI-driven customer data platform for B2C marketers and agencies.
Woxer, creator of boxers for women, wins my vote for best display – not sure why it was there, but the skeleton was an attention grabber.
As a special guest speaker, County Commisioner and mayoral candidate Daniela Levine-Cava closed out the night by noting some Miami-Dade progress on equal pay, equality in contracting and sexual harassment policy but urged the audience members to "step up" even more as leaders, maybe even run for office.
Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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