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Six Female Founders Selected to Pitch at 10th Annual Women’s Venture Summit, Sept. 28-29, 2023

From healthtech startups, to hormone-balancing snacks, companies from across the United States will compete for seed money at the annual San Diego event

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Women rock. Period. And six female founders who have created innovative products ranging from energy bars that help to optimize hormones to a reusable period cup that inserts like a tampon, will soon have their chance to pitch for seed money and support during the Women’s Fast Pitch finals. The competition will take place on Day 2 of the 10th annual Women’s Venture Summit, a conference aimed at helping female founders gain access to capital. The two-day event is happening on Sept. 28-29, 2023, at the Cooley LLP and Joya Conference Center at 10265 Science Center Dr. in San Diego. Tickets are available.

Sponsored by Cooley LLP, The Impact Seat Foundation and Holland & Knight, the Women’s Fast Pitch competition made its way across five U.S. regions this summer, and will conclude in San Diego where one founder will win $10,000 in seed money, approximately $30,000 worth of in-kind business services, and exposure to a new investor network.

“This year’s finalists will bring health and wellness innovation to the center stage at the Women’s Venture Summit. Their products are proof that the 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups going to women is not enough,” said Flossie Hall, CEO of Stella, the event organizer and a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that has helped more than 500 women launch and scale their businesses through courses, advisement and access-to-capital events. “Women’s Fast Pitch competition and Women’s Venture Summit are our biggest efforts toward our mission of connecting women with more access to funding and have helped us facilitate more than $100 million in funding to date.”

The 2023 Women’s Fast Pitch finalists are:

  • Northeast: Elina Furman of Kahlmi, Stamford, CT

Kahlmi educates parents on the nurturing, neurological, and cognitive aspects of baby massage through the first interactive massage tool and an educational content platform.

  • Southeast: Debbie Dickinson of Thermaband, Miami, FL

Thermaband Zone is a smart wearable device providing a personal thermostat and cooling capabilities, supplemented with health data to understand your body.

  • Midwest: Corinne Vargas of SMARTCharts, Chicago, IL

SMARTCharts helps to automate documentation workflows for clinicians in speech, occupational, and physical therapies while providing personalized patient progress visualizations.

  • Northwest: Joelle Tudor of CathConnect, Seattle, WA

The CathConnect device is a patent-pending device to provide patients with a safer alternative to traditional indwelling urinary catheters.

  • Southwest: Julie Gordon White of MenoWell Menopause Energy + Protein Bars, Berkeley, CA

MenoWell Energy + Protein Bars are delicious nutrient-dense, plant-based bars formulated with the Meno Transition Trifecta of Organic Maca to optimize hormones.

  • Wildcard: Cindy Belardo of Sunny, Indianapolis, IN

The Sunny Cup + Applicator is a reusable period cup that inserts like a tampon using the reusable applicator.

By bringing together women founders and investors and giving them access to a pitch competition, inspiring workshops and powerful panelists, Stella is moving toward its goal of wealth creation and equal opportunity for women. This year’s Women’s Venture Summit keynote speakers who will provide insight on how to keep the momentum going are Elizabeth Gore (Co-founder of Hello Alice), Mac Conwell (Founder of RareBreed Ventures), Nicola Corzine (Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center) and Dr. Silvia Mah (Founder of Stella).

Sponsors of Women’s Venture Summit include Ad Astra Ventures, San Diego & Imperial SDBC, DLA Piper, Cooley LLP, The Impact Seat Foundation, Knobbe Martens, NSP Studio, She Invests!, Teknos, TriNet and UBS.

To view the full 80-speaker lineup for the two-day event, please visit Now available, general admission tickets start at $299.00 and VIP tickets start at $599.00. Follow the conference at @wearewvs on social media.

About Stella:

Founded in 2012, Stella connects women founders and investors to the right resources–at the right time–in their journeys. From ideation to funding to exit, women founders and investors look to Stella for its powerful constellation of support made up of an inclusive community, curriculum, access to capital events including the annual Women’s Venture Summit, advisory services and funding opportunities. Let’s connect the stars together. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
April Enriquez
[email protected]


Originally published at
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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