NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS today announced the second year of Project Entrepreneur, a venture competition and educational program designed to provide women entrepreneurs nationwide with the tools to build high-growth, high-impact businesses. Online submissions for Project Entrepreneur open today at projectentrepreneur.org and close November 21, 2016.
"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with UBS to give women with big dreams the tools they need to create high-growth companies," said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-founder of Rent the Runway. "We were so inspired by last year's Project Entrepreneur participants and the incredible momentum the three winning companies have experienced since completing the accelerator program. We can't wait to give more incredible women-founded companies the resources they need to scale and achieve high impact."
Project Entrepreneur's venture competition is open to women entrepreneurs who intend to build high-growth businesses that are in the prototype or beta stages, or that may have their first paying customers. The top 200 applicants in the competition will be invited to attend the two-day PE Weekend Intensive in New York City on April 7th and 8th, where they will receive targeted support for their companies. The weekend will culminate in a live pitch competition where 12 finalists present to a judging panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors. Three winning teams will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each and a spot in a five-week accelerator program hosted at Rent the Runway's New York office.
"Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind job creation and economic growth in this country," said Lori Feinsilver, Head of Community Affairs, UBS Americas. "And yet women remain underrepresented in the founder landscape. Our goal this year is to continue leveling the playing field for all innovators so that everyone has the opportunity to realize the impact of their work."
Last year's winners were: Boston-based Cake, an app to discover, share and store end-of-life preferences; San Francisco-based Full Harvest Technologies, a B2B platform that helps growers bring their excess produce to market; and Akron-based Komae, an app that allows parents to exchange free babysitting with friends.
"Everyone involved with the accelerator provided me with thoughtful, actionable advice, and I truly appreciated the camaraderie among the founders," said Christine Moseley, Founder and CEO of Full Harvest. "The connections that were made were particularly helpful as I raised my initial funding."
For women across the country, Project Entrepreneur offers robust digital resources on projectentrepreneur.org including #TheTools podcast and education modules focused on topics such as building and testing a minimum viable product and creating a growth strategy. The digital hub includes feature articles, blog posts and inspirational stories from entrepreneurs.
In select markets, Project Entrepreneur will also offer free educational summits at which attendees will be able to workshop their business ideas with successful, entrepreneurial women and hear from Rent the Runway co-founders, Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked by Melissa, Rachel Sklar of TheLi.st, and Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola, among many other leaders and experts. Registration for these summits will be available at projectentrepreneur.org. Summits will take place as follows:
- Friday, October 21, 2016: New York City
- Wednesday, November 9, 2016: Los Angeles
Project Entrepreneur is a collaboration of Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs, the firm's flagship philanthropic initiative committed to driving toward a more inclusive landscape for entrepreneurs everywhere. Mashable is the Official Media Partner for Project Entrepreneur. Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and its philanthropic arm The CAA Foundation, also worked closely with Rent the Runway and UBS to help bring Project Entrepreneur to life.
Project Entrepreneur is informed by its Community Advisors: Black Founders; HBCU Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Initiative; Latino Startup Alliance; and Venture for America. Advisory Council members can be found at: http://projectentrepreneur.org/about.
ABOUT PROJECT ENTREPRENEUR:
Launched by Rent the Runway Foundation in partnership with UBS, Project Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women with access to the tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies. The multi-faceted national initiative includes a venture competition, 5-week accelerator program, robust digital hub, and multi-city events. For more information, visit http://projectentrepreneur.org/.
ABOUT RENT THE RUNWAY:
Rent the Runway is revolutionizing fashion by allowing millions of women to rent designer apparel and accessories. The company focuses on convenience and a top-notch customer experience on all of its platforms, including online, mobile and retail locations in Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. With styles from hundreds of top designers, RTR serves as a powerful marketing channel for the fashion industry, introducing a new generation of women to brands that they had limited access to before. Co-founded in 2009 by Harvard Business School graduates, Rent the Runway has raised over $126 million in venture capital and has more than 5 million members across the U.S.
UBS is committed to providing private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland, with superior financial advice and solutions while generating attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders. Its strategy centers on its Wealth Management and Wealth Management Americas businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and its Investment Bank. These businesses share three key characteristics: they benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital-efficient, and offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates. Capital strength is the foundation of its success.
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SOURCE Rent the Runway