Winners of VCET Female Founders Pitch Event Take Home $25k to Boost Their Startups
Middlebury, VT (October 2, 2018) – The first ‘Female Founders StartHere Challenge’ pitch event, hosted by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) and Middlebury College, proudly awarded a total of $25k to two Vermont startups at the September 27 competition. The grand prize of $20k went to Elmore Mountain Therapeutics, which offers medical grade CBD products, and $5k went to Overeasy, a lifestyle brand and creator of unisex, functional, helmet-compatible “HoodEs”. Both entrepreneurs were among the 7 finalists, narrowed down from 44 applicants, that pitched a panel of successful female entrepreneurs for a cash prize to apply to growing their business.
Ashley Reynolds, president and co-founder of Elmore Mountain Therapeutics based in Morrisville, shared her journey to CBD as well as her secrets to success. Collaboration rather than competition and strong support of female leadership within the industry have been cornerstones to her business model.
“We aren’t trying to break the glass ceiling – we are breaking the ‘grass’ ceiling by creating a safe and accessible space for women in the industry,” says Reynolds.
Elmore Mountain Therapeutics plans to use the new influx of cash to invest in automated packaging equipment to help meet the booming demands of their product and capture market share.
“It was an honor pitching alongside so many smart and innovative female entrepreneurs based right here in Vermont,” states Eva Shaw, co-founder of Overeasy. “I loved listening to how everyone is trying to help bring employment opportunities to Vermonters. This is a great place to be an entrepreneur.”
Panel judge Hinda Miller shares, “Since my Jogbra days, I have always believed in the power of female entrepreneurs to create an ecosystem of good jobs, family-friendly communities and value-added products and services in Vermont. Every woman who participated will do just that. Bravo! Way to go VCET for creating a forum for such talented women to be heard, supported and recognized. Plus, it was fun!”
VCET and Middlebury College created the competition to highlight the impact of women-led companies, and to increase access to capital and supporting resources for local female-founded startups and ventures.
The event was made possible by the generous support of the Vermont Technology Council, The Sultanas Group, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Vermont Women’s Fund, Middlebury College’s Innovation Hub, and Hotel Vermont.