The competition will be in person, held during their Grace Hopper Celebration 2023 (GHC 23) in Orlando, FL, on September 26-29, 2023. This year, AnitaB.org will partner with Backstage Capital, founded by Arlan Hamilton. Backstage Capital invests in companies led by underestimated founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders.
“I am beyond thrilled to witness the dynamic collaboration between AnitaB.org, Arlan Hamilton, and Backstage Capital come to life,” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org. “This powerhouse partnership holds incredible promise for women and other under-resourced groups in the world of venture capital. The way forward is clear: we need to continue to lift up those who have been left behind and ensure that they have the resources and support they need to succeed. For too long, women and other intentionally excluded people have been marginalized in the VC space, with limited access to funding and support. But with the combined force of PitcHER and Backstage Capital, we are poised to break down those barriers and create real opportunities so that everyone has an equal chance to thrive.”
According to TechCrunch, in 2022, all-women U.S. startups received 1.9% (or around $4.5 billion) out of around the $238.3 billion in venture capital funding allocated, which is a notable drop from the 2.4% all-women teams raised in 2021.
The annual AnitaB.org PitcHER contest is a pitch competition bringing leading women entrepreneurs to GHC – the world’s largest annual gathering of women and non-binary technologists – with the goal of supporting, encouraging, and providing new funding opportunities to these entrepreneurs. This year, AnitaB.org is looking for entrepreneurs from all industries who are leading early-stage technology startups. The top six finalists will compete for a total of $100,000 in investment capital from Backstage Capital – to be split among the top three finalists, including an Audience Favorite. Each candidate will receive complimentary registration to attend GHC.
“I’ve been honored to speak at two of the most recent in-person Grace Hopper Celebrations and have seen firsthand the level of enthusiasm, inspiration, and talent in the AnitaB.org ecosystem,” said Arlan Hamilton, Founder and CEO of Backstage Capital. “Having interviewed 2019’s PitchHER competition finalists on stage, there’s no doubt that this competition brings out the best of the best. Backstage Capital is proud to co-host the PitchHER competition and even more excited to provide investment capital to such staggering talent.”
PitcHER timeline of events
- Candidate application is open now! Application link here.
- Candidate application closes April 14, 2023, 5pm PT
- Semifinalist candidates are announced on May 5, 2023, trained and mentored by Backstage Capital.
- Finalists are announced on July 14, 2023, and invited to pitch at GHC 23.
- PitcHER competition and awards ceremony at GHC 23 on September 26-29, 2023.
Learn more about the 2023 AnitaB.org PitcHER competition by clicking here.