Pitch Competition

The JWiT Pitch Competition gives current MBA students the opportunity to learn how to effectively formulate and communicate the value of innovative ideas and turn them into real opportunities. Our goal is to encourage and inspire business-savvy women to lead the way in empowering more women to pursue careers in technology-related fields. 

Given this year’s JWiT Theme of “My Path To Tech”, we would like you to think about your path to creating impact, in partnership with an existing non-profit organization. As you put together your pitch, please identify a non-profit organization or foundation with whom you can collaborate to create the greatest immediate impact on the state of women in technology. This organization could be a stand-alone organization such as Girls Who Code or the social impact arm of a corporation such as the Intel Foundation. A comprehensive list of eligible US-based non profits can be found at GuideStar.  

The pitch for your chosen non-profit can be as general as increasing the awareness of the influence the organization has on women, or as specific as a proposed solution to a problem the organization currently facing. In any case, be sure to highlight the specific impact that the organization can create with any additional donation funds they might receive. 

The advantages for students in JWiT’s Pitch Competition are:

  • Access to an audience of industry experts, educational professionals, and fellow MBAs, all of whom support women in technology-related fields

  • Opportunity to receive quality,  and unbiased feedback from a panel of experienced judges

  • Network with like-minded peers and members of organizations that share similar goals 

The competition is open to MBA students at business schools within the United States. To support the mission of JWiT’s Pitch Competition, each team is required to have at least 50% women members.  


Prizes for 2018 include:

  • $4,000 Cash for the winning team

  • $6,000 donation to your partner non-profit organization

  • Office Hours with Techstars NYC

  • Office Hours with 1843 Capital

  • Office Hours with Red Bear Angels

  • Up to $10,000 of legal services (excluding litigation) with Foley Hoag LLP

All finalists get free admission to the JWiT Conference.


Round One

  • All teams must register using the registration form on this website

  • Registration  for the Pitch Competition is now closed

  • Presentation of the pitch deck must be no longer than 5 minutes

  • Criteria: Each first round submission will be reviewed and judged according to -

    • Problem addressed

    • Idea feasibility

    • Business model viability

    • Market opportunity

    • Understanding of selected organization

    • Social Impact 

Round Two

  • Video Interview: Second round finalists will be invited to interview via Skype
  • Advancement into Final Round: Three teams will be notified on Saturday, February 17th to be invited to present at the JWiT Conference on Friday, March 2, 2018

Final Round

  • Pitch presentation must be led by a female member of the team.
  • Format: Pitch presentation (10 min) and Q&A (5 min)
  • Criteria: Teams will be reviewed and judged according to factors in aforementioned mentioned criteria as well as quality of pitch delivery
  • Winner: 1 winning team will be announced at the conclusion of JWiT Conference


1.      Does the Non-Profit Organization we choose need to directly relate to Women in Tech?

Ideally, yes! While we welcome Pitches that feature ideas for creating positive impact with any non-profit organization, Pitches that are tailored towards non-profits related to Women in Tech will score more points for relevance to the theme!

Whichever non-profit you ultimately choose, please make sure it is featured at GuideStar. We will be unable to disburse the $6000 donation prize to organizations not officially recognized at this site.


2.      Do we pitch the non-profit organization itself or an idea?

The most interesting Pitches will feature a specific idea which the partner organization can implement (perhaps using the $6000 donation prize!), that will help increase its impact. This idea can be uniquely tailored to this organization, or it can be a pro-bono partnership between your business and this organization. Your ultimate goal should be to create the greatest impact possible on the overall state of women, preferably in the field of technology.


3.      Will JWiT sponsor travel and accommodation to NYC for competition finalists?

JWiT will only provide free conference tickets for all finalist teams.

The Pitch Competition finals will be held on March 2nd during the JWiT conference in New York City. All team members of finalist teams must be present for the entire duration of the conference in order to be eligible for the prize. Teams are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.




Tracy Killoren Chadwell- Founding Partner,1843 Capital

With over 16 years’ experience in venture capital and private equity, Tracy is the Founding Partner of 1843 Capital, a venture capital fund focused on early stage technology companies. She is a leader and a sought after speaker within the community of women founders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Formerly, she was a partner of a growth capital venture capital fund - Baker Capital.  She is a current Board Member of Marstone, and Sachs Insights. Passionate about service, she proudly serves on the Advisory Boards of both the New York Institute of Technology and the MIT Enterprise Forum, is an Executive Advisor for the Echoing Green Foundation and a Mentor for Monarq and Techstars KC.

Jillian Canning- Program Manager, Techstars NYC


Jillian is the Program Manager for Techstars NYC. She sources & recruits early-stage companies for the NYC accelerator program that runs 2x/year, manages mentor & investor relations, oversees all activities in the accelerator program, and engages with founders to drive them towards success. She loves working with founders on business development, operations, and creating strategic investor pipelines for their seed round. She has run 5 Techstars programs to date, helping 65+ portfolio companies. Previously, Jillian was Head of CX and Sales at a wellness startup in San Francisco.

Erik Huestis- Patent Attorney, Foley Hoag LLP


Erik Huestis (Cornell Computer Science ’03) is a patent attorney at Foley Hoag, where he focuses on the high-tech and medical device industries. His recent work includes developments in cryptography, machine learning, and neuromorphic computing. He counsels startup clients as well as large R&D organizations on intellectual property matters from invention gathering through patent portfolio management. Prior to becoming an attorney, Erik was involved in a series of software startups both as a founder and as an early technical team member.

Meghan Cross- Managing Partner, Red Bear Angels


As Managing Partner, Meghan leads the investment team and operations at Red Bear Angels. She joined RBA with a decade of growing media & software companies in NY & SF. As an early Director at StyleCaster Inc., Meghan led the digital media conglomerate’s marketing team through the business’ exit to She Knows Media.She draws venture experience from working with Bowery Capital, Foundation Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, and StarVest Partners. Prior, she founded Cross Venture Services LLC, a launch advisor to commerce platforms in NYC. Meghan started her career in public relations, helping to build Skype and Foursquare into household names. Meghan has been interviewed on various programs such as CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer, and NBC’s “The Today Show.” Meghan received her B.S. in Fiber & Textile Science from Cornell University and M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where she was Steve Blank’s teaching assistant. She resides in New York City and serves on the junior boards of Lincoln Center and the Facing History Organization.


2018 JWiT Pitch Competition Sponsors & Supporters: