Zahra Aljabri, CEO and co-founder of Mode-sty.com, an online shopping destination for quality and modest clothing, took this year's grand prize of $50,000 from SheKnows Media's second annual The Pitch. The top prize breaks down as $10,000 in cash and $40,000 in marketing and media support.
The Pitch, held at the #BlogHer16 conference, focuses on women who are in leadership and entrepreneurial roles and women who are small business owners.
"There's a lot of inequality in how women are considered for funding, private equity and bank loans," said Samantha Skey, SheKnows Media president, referring to research that analyzes the difference in reaction in a room. "The same material pitched by a man may be considered significantly more valuable than the same material being pitched by a women. We look at helping women to own their pitch -- become more confident."
The second year's event sponsored by GoDaddy featured five women who presented their pitch to about 3,000 conference attendees, who voted in the winner, along with rankings from a panel of judges.
Skey said the judges and attendees evaluate the pitch and the presentation, rather than the company's business plan.
This year's judges included Lauren Antonoff, GoDaddy, SVP of presence and commerce; Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest; Courtney Nichols Gould, cofounder and co-CEO at SmartyPants; Lisa Skeete Tatum, CEO at Landit; Majora Carter, CEO at StartUp Box and last year’s winner of The Pitch at #BlogHer15; Shira Lazar, co-founder, CEO and host of What’s Trending; and Tai Beauchamp, style influencer and Entrepreneur.
This year's The Pitch participants include Barika Edwards, founder, OweYaa, a Web-based platform that engages military services members and spouses through an exchange with startups and nonprofits to help them develop skills and gain civilian work experience; Ritu Natayn, founder of Zum, an online marketplace that helps busy parents secure trustworthy scheduled and on-demand rides and care for their kids; Stacy Katz, founder of Not Parent Approved, a card game for families inspired by the Cards Against the Humanity appropriate for kids -- and Zahra Aljabri, co-founder of Mode-sty, an online shopping destination for quality, stylish and modest clothing, who was determined the winner.
More than 50 women business owners to date have been mentored by the program, which is celebrating the first anniversary of its official launch at last year’s conference.