Empowering Innovation: EOSERA's EmpowHERment Pitch Competition Highlights Female Entrepreneurs in Texas

EOSERA's second annual EmpowHERment Pitch Competition was held in November during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The competition focuses on female founders—or women who own the highest percentage of their business—whose companies are located in Texas. EOSERA’s CEO, Elyse Stoltz Dickerson, got her start by winning a pitch competition in the early days of jump-starting her business.

It was the competition's second year and is supported by sponsors Simmons Bank, Higginbotham, and partners Satori Capital, Tech Fort Worth, UNT Health Science Center, and Stagen Leadership Academy.

“Thanks to our sponsors, we’re excited to have bigger and better prizes this year for our amazing applicants,” EOSERA CEO Elyse Dickerson said in a statement. “My dream was to provide the same opportunities that jump-started my business to other female entrepreneurs, and it’s incredible seeing it become a reality. I want to wish each finalist the best of luck; there’s some tough competition, but that’s what makes it interesting.” Elyse also shared that women receive just 1.9% of VC funding.

Lori Baldock, Fort Worth Market President for Simmons Bank and presenting sponsor, said: “Simmons Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor and to support female entrepreneurship and EOSERA’s commitment to pay it forward. We are reminded that the capital we provide to a single entrepreneur like Elyse can have a ripple effect across the business community as it becomes the catalyst to empower other female entrepreneurs here in the great state of Texas.”

Judging the event were Mia Meachem, Meggie Lowy, and Kari Crowe. Meachem is currently the President of KINLO, a sun care brand founded by Naomi Osaka. Lowy is Senior VP of Hillwood, one of the top industrial, commercial, and residential real estate developers in the country. Crowe is CEO of MELT Ice Creams, a cherished ice cream shop in Texas with four locations and SKUs in Whole Foods.

After pitching for eight minutes with four minutes of Q&A, three qualified judges awarded the top prize of $15,000, sponsored by Simmons Bank, to Audiolo, founded by Sarah Morgan. Audiolo accelerates the entire production pipeline and saves production studios millions of dollars per show. Second place, with a $10,000 prize sponsored by Higginbotham, went to Hangio, founded by Ayo Aigbe, a company that revolutionized the hanger, which can be bent in more than six ways to store delicate tops like turtlenecks and knitwear. In third place was Bairitone Health, founded by Meagan Pitcher, who won three one-hour coaching sessions with Stagen Leadership Academy Coach Wes Rosacker. Bairitone Health unlocks a bottleneck in sleep apnea therapeutic delivery in a billion-dollar beachhead market.

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