The SoGal Foundation, a platform for the empowerment and education of diverse entrepreneurs and investors, is bringing a round of its Global Pitch Competition to Dallas. Dubbed the “largest worldwide startup competition for women and diverse entrepreneurs,” the event will allow founders the chance to pitch to an all-star panel of investors.
25 cities across five continents will host regional rounds—including Singapore, Florida, Chicago, London, and more—with finalists moving up to the final global round.
SoGal’s Dallas round will take place Nov. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Capital Factory. It features a lineup of numerous locally based judges: Samantha Colletti, SVP of Silicon Valley Bank; Cindy Revol, principal at Perot Jain; Helena Krusec, based at Capital Factory in Dallas; and Inobat Karras, principal at Interlock Partners. You can register to attend here.
The last competition will be a 3-day immersive educational bootcamp in San Francisco, where finalists from each regional round will get face-time with top venture capitalists, a one-on-one mentorship, press exposure, and a chance to win seed funding.
SoGal Ventures, a first-of-its-kind female-led millennial VC firm, and Draper U have allocated over half a million investment dollars to the final competition, according to Rachel West, the SoGal Dallas Lead. It targets diverse founders to close the gap in capital investment.
“It’s an exciting time to champion people that bring cutting-edge ideas that can spark job growth and disruption across the Dallas landscape,” West says. “SoGal Dallas is grateful to be a part of this movement, and looks forward to propelling these women and diverse groups forward with capital, education, and global resources.”
Startups with at least one woman or diverse founder in pre-Series A were invited to apply to the compeition. SoGal expanded the scope of the startup competition this year to include not only women, but other minorities and underrepresented founders to further bridge the diversity gap.
This year’s competition will have a greater impact, with more than double the number of regional pitch rounds, West says. She expects $600,000-plus investment dollars to be allocated to the winning teams at the global level.
“SoGal was born out of the need to put millennial and generation Z women front and center in entrepreneurship and VC globally,” says Pocket Sun, founder and co-president of the SoGal Foundation. In 2018, women received just 2.2 percent of venture capital funding, and since 2009, less than .1 percent of funding has been allocated to black women.
The SoGal Foundation believes in prioritizing diversity when it comes to entrepreneurship, believing that it’s “far more than an issue of morality—it’s an essential business strategy that benefits everyone.”
“Women and other underrepresented founders are underestimated and undercapitalized, yet when provided with resources, network, and capital, female founders are statistically proven to outperform their male counterparts” Sun says. “There’s been enough data, research, and education but too few actions and capital allocation. We just need to allocate capital to women and the rest will sort itself out.”
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