Rent the Runway and UBS name Project Entrepreneur 2017 competition winners
Rent the Runway and UBS this month announced the winners of the second annual Project Entrepreneur (PE) venture competition. The three winners -- Buzzies, Lace & Liberty and Loli Beauty -- were selected from 12 finalists, and will each receive a $10,000 grant, on-site training, and coaching and mentorship as part of PE’s five-week accelerator program.
Buzzies, the Scottsdale, AZ-based company founded by CEO Vicky Mayo, created a neuroscience wearable that alleviates stress by altering a body’s stress response in as little as 30 seconds; Danielle Wen’s Lace & Liberty merges luxury bespoke bridalwear with direct-to-consumer convenience; and Loli Beauty, the New York City-based Tina Hedges beauty brand from CEO Tina Hedges, is the first “blend it yourself” (BIY) beauty brand.
Nisa Amoils of Scout Ventures, Kesha Cash from Impact America Fund, Pier 88 Investment Partners’ Gwen Cheni, Sutian Dong of Female Founders Fund, and Nisha Dua of BBG Ventures comprised the panel of investor judges that selected this year’s winning companies. The companies were selected for representing innovation in a diverse range of industries, such as wearable technology, bridalwear, and beauty.
Repeat Roses, a sustainable floral waste removal business, and athleisure business Reboundwear will join the three companies in the PE Accelerator program.
"We are so excited to host the winning teams at the Rent the Runway HQ this summer. They'll work side by side with our team and be able to put into practice everything they've learned at the Project Entrepreneur Intensive as they begin to grow their businesses to the next level," said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.
Rent the Runway and UBS first introduced the Project Entrepreneur competition in 2015 to highlight female entrepreneurs and address women’s involvement at high growth firms. According to the two companies, women are starting more businesses than ever before, but only 4% generate $500,000 and women count for less than 10% of founders at high growth firms. The program addresses women’s increased participation in business. The first winners of the Project Entrepreneur competition were Full Harvest, Cake, Komae, and Claire.
"Our goal since launching Project Entrepreneur has been to create an ecosystem that supports talented women as they boldly pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions," said Lori Feinsilver, Head of Community Affairs for UBS Americas. "It's inspiring to see that vision come to life and to be a part of their journeys, and we are rooting for their continued success."
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