Booz Allen Hamilton, SEED SPOT, AWIS, The Vinetta Project, and BEACON DC Hosted Women-in-Tech Pitch Night

Dec 13, 2018 4:40 PM ET
Press Release

December 13, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Booz Allen Hamilton, SEED SPOT, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), the Vinetta Project, and BEACON DC co-hosted an action-packed Pitch Night on Friday, December 7th. The event showcased the innovative ventures of women entrepreneurs who are creating tech-enabled solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

The rate of entrepreneurship remains near an all-time low nationally and barriers for women and entrepreneurs of color remain high, especially within the STEM community. Booz Allen, SEED SPOT, AWIS, and Vinetta partnered to offer a 2-Day Launch Camp as the starting place for women entrepreneurs. This 48-hour program provided women entrepreneurs at the idea stage with a launching pad for their ventures and will be followed by in-depth mentorship from the collective network.

Free to the public, the Pitch Night was held at Beyond20 from 5:30pm-8:00pm. It was the culminating event of SEED SPOT’s 2-Day Launch Camp, a 48-hour immersive social entrepreneurship program that guides impact-driven founders through customer discovery, market analysis, prototyping, and pitching.  Four awards were given out at the Pitch Night with prizes including six months of co-working space at Hera Hub DC, legal services from Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, technical development assistance from Think Nimble, and AWS cloud computing credits. Awards went to:

  • Growth Award: Winona Francis, Gabby Levet, and Xinzi Quan, co-founders of District Connect, won a six-month membership to the co-working space at Hera Hub for tackling food deserts through a mobile grocery store.
  • Most Viable Business Award: Dr. Carol Hirschmugl and Constance Tommerdahl, co-founders of Safeli, won pro bono legal services from Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP Legal Services for designing, developing, licensing, and manufacturing high-tech electrode materials used for electric and hybrid vehicles, power tools, and consumer electronics.
  • Impact Award: Kimberly Lipinski, founder of Elder Nourish, LLC, won a four-hour prototyping and development session with Think Nimble for creating a service that creates and cooks customized meals for elderly people with specific dietary needs.
  • Social Innovation Award: Michele Heyward, founder of PositiveHire, won up to $7,500 in Amazon Web Services credits for her tech company that is helping employers recruit experienced women-of-color STEM professionals for management roles.

“SEED SPOT has been honored to partner with AWIS and the Vinetta Project to run programming for women in tech”, says Courtney Klein, SEED SPOT co-founder and CEO. “Their expertise in elevating the voices of women entrepreneurs has enabled us to diversify the solutions and ventures being launched. We look forward to continued collaboration and further building the pipeline of talented women problem-solvers in DC and beyond.”

Wayne Chen, chief technologist and partnership lead for SEED SPOT and The Vinetta Project at Booz Allen shared, “We are thrilled about our innovation partners coming together to empower women in tech and women founders with new tools and resources to help them succeed. Their innovative ideas and ventures will help bring forward social innovation solutions to help today’s most pressing problems, while creating a resilient innovation ecosystem for communities, industry, and government.”  

“Through this partnership, we combined the best parts of our STEM to Market (S2M) curriculum with SEED SPOT’s 2-Day Launch Camp model and the Vinetta Project’s investment in high-growth women founders to support early-stage STEM women entrepreneurs and develop them as advocates for inclusive entrepreneurship,” said AWIS Interim CEO Karene Richards.

“At Vinetta, we work mostly with seed stage founders, so we were beyond thrilled to have an opportunity to provide guidance to women who are just getting their companies off the ground,” said Vinetta Project’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Kelly O’Malley. “The teams at SEED SPOT and AWIS have such a unique perspective and with our diverse, yet complementary, areas of expertise, the program was designed to make an immense impact on these female founders.”

Now that the entrepreneurs have completed the in-person program, they will be supported with an after-program content campaign to reinforce the learnings during the camp, lifetime access to SEED SPOT’s National Mentor Network, and weekly alumni support newsletter with ongoing content and resources. In addition, AWIS and Vinetta will be providing ongoing mentorship and support to all the participants.

In Spring of 2019, SEED SPOT will be offering an 8-Week Impact Accelerator for impact-driven entrepreneurs eager to growth their operations and impact fast. To learn more and apply, visit:

To read more about how Booz Allen is empowering women working in technology, see here.