PitcHER ™

A Special Collaboration with Backstage Capital

This year, AnitaB.org will partner with Backstage Capital, founded by Arlan Hamilton, to host the AnitaB.org PitcHER™ competition. Backstage Capital invests in companies led by underestimated founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders.

About the AnitaB.org PitcHER™ contest

The annual AnitaB.org PitcHER™ contest is a pitch competition bringing leading women and non-binary entrepreneurs to Grace Hopper Celebration – the world’s largest gathering of women and non-binary technologists – with the goal of supporting, encouraging, and providing new funding opportunities to these entrepreneurs.

This year, we are looking for entrepreneurs from all industries who are leading early-stage technology startups. The top 8 finalists will compete at the 2023 Grace Hopper Celebration and will receive GHC 23 registration, travel, and lodging accommodations.

The top 8 finalists will also compete for a total of $100,000 in funding provided by Backstage Capital – to be split among the top three finalists, including an Audience Favorite

Who Can Apply

  • Executive Team: You (the applicant and, if selected as a finalist, the pitch presenter) must identify as a woman or non-binary, be the founder of your business, and be part of the current executive team (e.g. the CEO or CTO).
  • Stage: Your startup is in its early stage of development (seed): You have a minimum viable product (MVP) and have gotten some user feedback. Revenue is not required.
  • Funding: Your startup has raised less than $2 million in total funding including self-funding, friends and family, angel investors, grants, etc.
  • Location: Your startup is based in the U.S. and serves the U.S. market (although it may also be international).
  • Return of Capital: (For-profit startups only) Your startup provides compelling evidence that it will be profitable enough to reward investors for risk.
  • Scale of Impact: (Nonprofit startups only) Your startup provides compelling evidence that it will have an impact that aligns with its mission.

Finalists will be selected based on a range of criteria, including:

  • Innovation: What is new or innovative about your tech product or service?
  • Impact: What positive impact does your business have on women and/or families and children?
  • Business Model: (For-profit startups only) Your startup is “venture-scalable;” there is potential to grow into a billion-dollar venture.
  • Theory of Change: (Nonprofit startups only) Your startup has a strong and clear theory of change; there is contextual knowledge of public policy, economics, and/or technology.

AnitaB.org PitcHER™ FAQ

  • What are the application eligibility criteria?

    The eligibility criteria to apply to be a part of the annual AnitaB.org PitcHER™ contest are outlined on this page for your Executive Team, Stage, Funding, Location, Return of Capital, and Scale of Impact. This competition is sector agnostic; we welcome all entrepreneurs who are leading early stage technology startups and who meet the listed criteria to apply.

  • What is the application process timeline?

    Application closes April 14, 2023 at 5pm PT.

    Semifinalist candidates will be announced on May 5, 2023, trained and mentored by Backstage Capital.

    The 6 finalists will be announced on July 14, 2023, and invited to pitch at GHC 23.

  • What are the pitch competition prizes?

    The top 6 finalists will compete at Grace Hopper Celebration 2023 (GHC 23) for a total of $100,000 in investment capital provided by Backstage Capital – to be split among the top three finalists, including an Audience Favorite. The top 6 finalists will also receive registration to attend GHC 23 in Orlando, FL.