The Venture Challenge
Washington DC

At Vinetta we are on a mission to spur startup growth and investment in female founders across North America.  This year, all of our Showcase events will run as a Venture Challenge.  Three pitch events will take place throughout the year and they will culminate in a final founders’ Showcase. Finalists who make it on to the final Showcase will compete for $20,000 in cash.   

Why Apply ?

1) Visibility in Front of Curated Crowd

At each event, we hand-select an audience of over one hundred people, representing the full spectrum of what the the DC tech ecosystem has to offer. Historically, our audience has been 40% founders, 30% funders, and 30% influencers (connectors, media, and market leaders).

2) Access to Top Investors

When you apply for the Vinetta Venture Challenge, your application will be reviewed by representatives from a dozen DC-based venture funds and angel groups, giving your company unprecedented visibility to potential investors.

3) Mentorship from Industry Leaders

Each presenter will hear advice from top investors and founders on our panel. To add to the excitement, our top founder will be connected to some of the most influential members of our network for a one-on-one meeting.

4) Access to the Vinetta Community

Applying to the Venture Challenge lets us know you're interested in being a part of Vinetta.  You'll be invited to programming that feels relevant to you and your business, including:

  • Mentor/mentee relationships
  • Founders and Founders dinners
  • Workshops
  • Office hours
  • Bootcamps with Vinetta and our partners
  • Personalized introductions to investors

The application is not just a portal to the competition, but to the community. 

5) $$ Cash and Services to Accelerate Growth

Our winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize, one-on-one meetings with panel experts, and major bragging rights. 


Selection Process

Ready, Set, Pitch.  These are the steps you need to take to compete for the Grand Prize:

  1. Online Application: Apply online to present at a Pitch & Panel Showcase.  Select “DC” as your city in order to be eligible for this competition. 
  2. Semifinalist Showcases:  If you are chosen to present at one of the first 2 showcases (March & June), you will deliver a two-minute pitch to our panel of investors and successful founders and then field questions from the panel.  Showcase events typically occur on weeknights and last for 2.5 hours. The panel of experts will select two semifinalists who will advance to the Finalist Showcase on September 19th 2018.  
  3. Finalist Showcase: If you win your semifinalist showcase, you will prepare a short deck (10 pages or less), which will be reviewed in advance by the judging panel.  Finalists will then deliver an updated three-minute pitch to an all-star panel of industry experts and investors at the September 19th 2018 showcase. The winner will be announced after a short deliberation by the judges.  

Application Deadlines

You may apply to pitch at either of the first 2 showcases.  If you are not accepted into a showcase, we will reconsider your application for the second Showcase.  Individual deadlines are as follows:

Round 1

  • Application Deadline - February 21st, 2018 
  • Semi-Finalists Notified - Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
  • PITCH DAY - Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Round 2

  • Application Deadline - May 20th, 2018
  • Semi-Finalists Notified - May 11th, 2018
  • PITCH DAY - Wednesday, June 20th, 2018


  • 2 finalists from Round 1 and 2 finalists from Round 2 advance to the final round
  • PITCH DAY - Wednesday, September 26th

The Prize Package

One grand prize winner will receive a full-service startup package including cash, services, and mentorship from renowned Washington, DC-based companies and experts

  • $20,000 cash prize
  • 1-on-1 mentoring meetings with panel experts 
  • Major bragging rights