10 Columbia startups set for first women founders pitch event

The field of 10 women-founded startups is set for the first Women Founders Pitch, a competitive pitch event hosted by Columbia’s Regional Economic, Inc., or REDI.

The 10 startups, which were chosen from a pool of 25 applicants and announced this week, will participate in the event Thursday evening at Central Bank of Boone County in Columbia.

Collin Bunch, REDI’s entrepreneurship program coordinator, said the purpose of the event is to give women business owners a platform to receive support.

“There’s been a few female founders in town that we’ve thought have had a rougher go than we expected at getting funded,” he said. “We want to draw people out and connect them to existing opportunities and funding.”

Bunch said that while it can be tough to start any new venture, he noticed deserving women founders having a more difficult time getting funding than their male counterparts. He created Women Founders Pitch to increase opportunities for those women.

“There have been a lot of successful women in this town who haven’t received as much support,” he said.

Bunch said it was difficult to narrow down the pool of applicants to 10 finalists.

These 10 women-owned companies will present at the event:

  • A. Andreassen, which creates high-end shoes and accessories
  • Dynamize Tools, which creates tools for the electric and utility industries
  • The New Territory, a literary magazine catering to the lower Midwest
  • Noviqu, A software platform for safety, maintenance and training in the manufacturing industry
  • Quetza, which provides online learning and tools for managing laboratory mice breeding
  • Raw Roots, which creates health food products with raw turmeric root
  • Savvy Strategies, a college admissions consulting business
  • Space Shark Studios, a video game-based learning platform
  • Sparkworth, a business management platform for speakers and authors
  • The Hatchery, a coworking space with on-site childcare

REDI is offering multiple prizes to competition winners, including cash prizes, services such as web design and marketing, business coaching and free memberships to the Hub, REDI’s coworking space.

“We know there’s really awesome people and companies in this town,” Bunch said. “This was just that last little push.”

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