9 Finalists Announced For The 2010 Women 2.0 Startup Competition, Compete for Top Prize on November 4 in San Francisco

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Women 2.0 announces the 9 finalists of the 2010 Women 2.0 Startup Competition, a global competition for early-stage startups in web, mobile and cleantech. Applying companies must have at least one female on the founding team. The mission of Women 2.0 is to increase the number of female founders of tech startups. The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of investors and startup executives from the Silicon Valley.

Women 2.0 announces the 9 finalists of the 2010 Women 2.0 Startup Competition, a global competition for early-stage startups in web, mobile and cleantech. Applying companies must have at least one female on the founding team. The mission of Women 2.0 is to increase the number of female founders of tech startups. The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of investors and startup executives from the Silicon Valley.

Women entrepreneurs are an untapped source of job creation and economic growth. Women-owned or led firms bring new business mdoels to the table and are the fastest growing sector of new venture creation in the U.S., growing at five times the rate of all new firms between 1997 and 2006 – now representing nearly 50% of all privately held businesses. In the past 10 years more than 125 companies with over 200 women co-founders or officers have achieved IPOs or >$50M M&A exits in the U.S. high-tech sector alone, according to research from Cindy Padnos at Illuminate Ventures.

"The Women 2.0 Startup Competition has received hundreds of applications detailing new business models and innovations," says Shaherose Charania, Co-Founder and CEO of Women 2.0 in San Francisco. "We've seen startups move businesses forward significantly when entrepreneurial women leaders gain access to the Women 2.0 network of mentors and investors, along with the knowledge resources they need to turn their a business idea into a high-growth venture."

"Pitch 2010 attracted more than 130 applications from all over the world. We were so excited to see so many innovative companies, ranging from empowering women with money management tools in Brazil to biometric face-matching device to provide emergency identification, from learning a new language on your iPhone to creating a secondary market for daily deals. The economy is down, but it's definitely not bringing down the entrepreneurial spirit with it!" said Aihui Ong, Pitch Competition Director for Women 2.0.

"The amazing number and high caliber of applicants to Women 2.0's annual PITCH event demonstrates the dramatic growth of well-qualified entrepreneurial women in high-tech," said Cindy Padnos, founding partner of Illuminate Ventures.

This year's 9 finalists are early-stage startups in a wide variety of industry sectors, including mobile expense reporting and micro-payments, tween online safety technology, web platforms for admissions and multi-channel social media marketing, functional fashion solutions, and innovations in green machining and eco-pragmatic manufacturing. The following are brief profiles of this year's finalists:

  • Vivian Rosenthal (Founder & CEO, GoldRun) will be presenting GoldRun, a mobile platform using augmented reality and GPS to deliver location based ads and virtual goods.
  • Jennifer Bonnett (Founder & CEO, Nexpense) will be presenting Nexpense, mobile expense reporting for small and medium businesses.
  • Jessica Bishop (Founding Member, Prepay Nation) will be presenting Prepay Nation, a processor of “micro-payments” across national and international boundaries utilizing “mobile” ecosystems within the “unbanked” communities.
  • Emily Chiu (Co-Founder & CEO, Apply in the Sky) and Chiara Piccinotti (Co-Founder, Apply in the Sky) will be presenting their streamlined business school application web platform.
  • Hilary Decesare (Co-Founder & CEO, Everloop) will be presenting Everloop, the first website for tweens 8-13 that draws a safe, private “social loop” around kids’ connections, and puts purpose into being online.
  • Amita Paul (Founder & CEO, ObjectiveMarketer) will be presenting ObjectiveMarketer, an integrated platform for businesses to create, execute and optimize powerful multi-channel social media marketing programs.
  • Sarah Jordan (Co-Founder & General Manager, Aesir Metals) will be presenting Aesir Metals, which uses the greenest metal fabrication process to add value for customers by eliminating their need for machining, welding, heat treating and more.
  • Kristin Kaune (CEO, BioLumber) will be presenting Biolumber, a proven, eco-pragmatic company that will manufacture the only patented structural strength recycled plastic lumber.
  • Judith Nelson (Founder & Designer, Chouette) will be presenting Chouette, a patented innovative all-in-one handbag that reverses and converts to become any bag any time you need it, without sacrificing style or quality.

The 3 winners of Women 2.0 Startup Competition will be determined by the end of PITCH Night in San Francisco on November 4, 2010. The panel of independent judges for the Women 2.0 Startup Competition includes:

  • Janice Roberts, Managing Partner, Mayfield Fund
  • Naval Ravikant, Partner, AngelList
  • Cynthia Ringo, Managing Partner, DBL Investors
  • David Weekly, Founder and Chairman, PBworks
  • Maria Kermath, Director of Business Development, AT&T Interactive
  • Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite
  • Gautum Gupta, Associate, General Catalyst
  • Rachel Pike, Analyst, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

About the Women 2.0 PITCH Night:

On November 4, 2010 in San Francisco, Women 2.0 will be holding their 4th Annual Women 2.0 conference and PITCH Night. Keynote speakers include Diane Greene (Founding CEO, VMware), Carol Realini (Founder & CEO, Obopay), Lynn Jurich (Co-Founder & President, SunRun), Shaherose Charania (Co-Founder & CEO, Women 2.0), Alexis Ringwald (Co-Founder, Valence Energy - recently acquired by Serious Materials), and Arielle Patrice Scott (Founder, GenJuice). The finalists of the 2010 Women 2.0 Startup Competition will be pitching live to the judging panel, and the winners will be announced by the end of PITCH Night. Winning teams receive meetings with iconic investors Esther Dyson (Founder & Principal, EDventure Holdings), Matt Murphy (Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), Mike Maples (Managing Partner, Floodgate), and Naval Ravikant (angel investor and partner of AngelList and VentureHacks).

About Women 2.0:

The mission of Women 2.0 is to increase the number of female founders of tech startups. A social venture based in San Francisco, Women 2.0 offers a 5-week pre-incubator program for entrepreneurs to validate their business idea and find startup co-founders. Women 2.0 hosts Founder Friday networking mixers globally in support of Startup Weekend. To find out about Women 2.0 events and programs are they are announced, join our email list at http://goo.gl/1ypd

For more information, please visit http://www.women2.org/

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