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.