On November 19th, 2019, Bank of the West and Ulule, the world’s largest impact crowdfunding platform, hosted the second #ACTFORIMPACT event at The Vault, San Francisco’s full-stack innovation ecosystem.
This second Pitch Pitch competition is part of the ACTFORIMPACT series of 5 events across California.
The main goal: shine the light on women entrepreneurs and impact makers using crowdfunding, and enable them to launch or expand their business, organization or project.
🎉 Celebrating boss babes! 🎉
The event celebrated Women Entrepreneurship’s Day in partnership with three women’s organizations: mBolden, the largest community of women in digital, mobile and tech; Women’s Startup Lab, leading Silicon Valley-based startup and leadership accelerator for women entrepreneurs; and Women’s Empowerment Club, San Francisco-based community of female founders.
Photo: Cherelle Jackson, Founder of Platinum Rose, Vegan Cosmetics
An eager crowd of 118 attendees (I like precision 🙃) were present to encourage the 9 entrepreneurs who were selected out of the 17 entrepreneurs who have joined the program in San Francisco since September 2019.
Originally, 127 entrepreneurs had applied to be part of San Francisco’s ACTFORIMPACT program and event.
All entrepreneurs benefited from coaching provided by Ulule to prepare and their crowdfunding campaign.
Earlier in November, in preparation for this special night, Ulule’s crowdfunding experts and Bank of the West’s team coached the #ACTFORIMPACT cohort of entrepreneurs to rehearse their elevator pitch to impress the jury and the audience alike.
By demoing their products and mingling with the assembled community, each entrepreneur had the chance to present their project or their brand at individual booths all around the venue.
🏆 We have a winner! 🏆
Entrepreneurs then pitched and competed to win the #ACTFORIMPACT Award granted by Bank of the West.
The jury of impactful business leaders was comprised of Michelle Di Gangi (Executive Vice President, Head of Small & Medium Enterprise Banking at Bank of the West), Djamel Agaoua (CEO at Viber) and Saranya Sundararajan (Strategy & Operations Senior Manager at Twitter). They elected 3 finalists based on the entrepreneurs’ 2-minute elevator pitch and the subsidiary questions asked after each pitch.
Photo (from left to right): Saranya Sundararajan (Strategy & Operations Senior Manager at Twitter), Michelle Di Gangi (Executive Vice President, Head of Small & Medium Enterprise Banking at Bank of the West), Djamel Agaoua (CEO at Viber)
Three finalists included Wikicharities, a platform to support the end of human trafficking, Laloirelle, an ethically-made skincare brand, and Naretoi, a documentary to empower women in Kenya.
The audience voted for their favorite project among the 3 finalists through online live voting and the winner was… Naretoi, a film project by Kelsey Doyle, documentarian and filmmaker, running her own not-for-profit organization to raise awareness on challenges women face around the world.
Randi Salko, Vice-President of Women’s Startup Lab, awarded the Women’s Startup Lab Award to Quipu, a mobile platform to foster micro-businesses growth, founded by Mercedes Bidart.