The Charger Blog

Inaugural Pitch Competition Celebrates Women’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Pompea EntreprenHER program provided a platform for entrepreneurs to network, gain brand exposure, and develop their presentation skills while sharing their passion and creativity.

June 2, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Pompea program
The Pompea EntreprenHER program endeavored to empower entrepreneurs.

Alex Flores ’22 MPA recently attended a unique program during which five Connecticut entrepreneurs presented their businesses and shared their passion with the University community. The business founders – all women – discussed their inspiration, ideas, and goals as part of their pitches, which Flores called “admirable.”

Following the entrepreneurs’ pitches, Flores spoke as part of the event, titled Pompea EntreprenHER, inviting the entrepreneurs who presented to collaborate with the University and mentor students.

“It’s refreshing to see how inspiring these individuals are who shared their pitches,” said Flores, who serves as assistant treasurer of the University’s Women in Business Club, which organized the event. “We’re always looking for insights from small business owners, as well as stories of triumph and what can be learned from failure.”

Among those pitching their businesses were the founders of both Queen Bee, which creates and sells health shots and supports the protection of bees, and Big Hire, a construction industry recruitment and training company. Each founder discussed her company, its products and/or services, and its goals.

‘This was an amazing opportunity’

Endeavoring to empower women, the competition, which was open to entrepreneurs in all industries, provided a platform for the entrepreneurs to showcase their passion and creativity, as well as their business. Participants enhanced their professional skills while networking with mentors and investors and gaining brand exposure.

“We’re celebrating these ladies because of their accomplishments, tenacity, and entrepreneurial mindset,” said Candice Deal, Ph.D., assistant dean of the University’s Pompea College of Business. “Pompea EntreprenHER is not just a competition. It’s a platform to support women and assist them.”

EntreprenHER land maverick
Land Maverick captured first place in the competition.

Held virtually, entrepreneurs presented their pitches to the University community, as well as a panel of judges that included Debra Logan-Rabb ’92 MBA, a member of the University’s Women’s Leadership Council who now works for PepsiCo, and Susan D’Agostino ’85 MBA, a member of the Women’s Leadership Council and the Pompea College of Business advisory board.

Several students also participated in the program. Gabriella Garcia-Perez ’24, a business management major, discussed the Community Integration Mentoring Program, the nonprofit organization she founded, and Hannah Providence ’22 helped present one of the awards.

“This was an amazing opportunity,” said Providence, an economics major. “We appreciate the entrepreneurs who pitched their businesses.”

‘Their businesses are inspiring and purpose-driven’

To take part in the competition, entrepreneurs had to have businesses that were at least in the startup phase or very close to launch. Businesses must have been led by a female CEO or have at least half of its founders be female or self-identifying as female. Entrepreneurs competed for monetary awards as well as mentorship opportunities.

Sharing the Barre, which creates and sells inclusive and sustainably produced dancewear, captured third place in the competition, and SheIsArt, a media company that shares the stories of young Black women, finished in second place. Land Maverick, a smart robot for golf course maintenance, captured first place.

EntreprenHER barre
Sharing the Barre creates and sells inclusive dancewear.

Josephine Moran ’01 M.S., ’19 EMBA, co-founder of the University’s Women’s Leadership Council and chair of the University’s Pompea College of Business Advisory Board, announced the results of the competition.

“This was a fabulous event,” said Moran, an executive vice president and chief corporate services & consumer lending officer at Provident Bank who also serves as a member of the University’s Board of Governors. “I was so inspired I didn’t want it to end. Everyone did a great job, and their presentations were amazing. Their businesses are inspiring and purpose-driven. They are all winners.”