Girls in Tech & Orange are teaming up to host the 4th edition of ‘Lady Pitch Night’, a competition which puts the spotlight on Europe’s female tech entrepreneurs. All tech start-ups that have at least one woman in the founding team, are fewer than three years-old, and have their headquarters in Europe can apply for the competition by July 15th. From there, 5 startups will be selected to pitch on September 23rd at Simplon’s offices in front of an all-star jury and an audience of 200+. Ultimately, one winner (Laureate) will be chosen.
Lady Pitch Night has evolved quite a bit since its inaugural edition in 2011. Having started-off as an event for France’s female-led startups, it opened up to candidates from across Europe in 2012. That year saw 60 startups from across 11 countries apply. They continue to build upon those results and are, obviously, expecting an even more successful edition this year.
i recently caught up with Roxanne Varza who, in additional to her many other activities as an advocate for Europe’s tech community, also cofounded Girls in Tech’s French and UK chapters. Varza offered additional background on the competition as well as insight on Girls in Tech’s European expansion and their highly successful coding classes.
What’s the objective of Lady Pitch Night?
We want to bring more exposure to female entrepreneurs from across Europe. The general objective if Girls in Tech is to provide more visibility to women in tech entrepreneurship.
What do the Laureates receive following their big win?
So exposure is the biggest thing, which can lead to Customer development, investment and more. In previous years, LeWeb and Dublin Web Summit have provided free tickets to our winners. Many conferences are often criticized for not having enough female participants or speakers, and therefore it’s a win-win since our finalists are usually top startups from across Europe.
Partners like Founder Institute and Seedcamp have also offered mentoring and access to their programs for winners.
This year, we’re naturally looking at taking it further in terms of visibility. We’re in discussion to offer additional conference passes for top European conferences and potentially opportunities for finalists or the winner to be integrated into conference content.
What are some of the other big initiatives for Girls in Tech at the moment?
So this is the biggest pan-European event we do and its the 4th edition.
Last year, the French chapter launched intro classes for programming with Microsoft and our classes were sold out online within 2 hours and we got an 80% female turn out (classes are also open to men as all our events are).
Otherwise Girls in Tech is expanding rapidly in Europe. Netherlands launched its chapter last week and Luxembourg earlier this year. Other active chapters in Europe include the UK, Italy and Romania.
Each country works on building events and initiatives that work for the local audience. But we are looking to roll-out the coding classes into other countries and also launch more Europe-wide projects.
As a reminder, if you’d like to apply for Lady Pitch Night, make sure you do so by July 15th!