Four Kansas City entrepreneurs will be celebrating global entrepreneurship week on the East Coast as they vie for part of a $120,000 pie.
Kansas City’s representatives — which are listed below — represent a diverse set of industries, including tech, health and agriculture. Kansas City was one of five participating cities in UberPITCH — a pitch competition that allowed female entrepreneurs to present their company to investors while riding in an Uber.
The top 25 firms that competed in UberPITCH will pitch again at the Stamford Innovation Center on Nov. 16 for a chance earn grant money, of which the top ten will receive a portion. UberPITCH attracted more than 275 woman-led businesses in Kansas City, Providence, New Haven, Stamford, and Washington D.C. as part of the competition, which was in part sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
“Our goal in hosting Fueling the Growth with UberPITCH was to get as many women entrepreneurs as possible in one on one meetings with investors to pitch their companies and get feedback,” Refinery co-founder Janis Collins said.
Erika Klotz, CEO of Kansas City-based PopBookings, said the pitching experience was much different than anything she’d experienced before.
“Instead of being able to rely on eye contact, we weren’t looking at the investor,” Klotz said. “The Uber driver being in the car with you also changed the dynamic and made it feel more like a conversation.”
Klotz said that this opportunity marks PopBooking’s first time pitching to investors outside of the Kansas City area. In addition to the excitement over potential exposure, Klotz lauded the decision to focus on women-led startups.
“I think it’s important for female entrepreneurs to learn from each other and share our experiences,” Klotz said. “I was grateful for the opportunity.”
Here are the firms representing Kansas City in the competition:
- ConsultUS Technologies — Founder Gretchen Henry developed CommodiTrade as a software-as-a-service solution for the animal feed industry.
- PopBookings — CEO Erika Klotz co-founded the event staffing tech firm, which is currently raising their series A funding round.
- Mobility Designed — CEO Liliana Younger tackles a century-old problem with M+D Crutch, an ergonomic crutch designed for comfort.
- Play-it Health — Founder and CEO Kim Gandy built a digital healthcare application to helps patients stay on track with their medical plan.