Early-Stage Company Investor Pitch Event at the Women Empower Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Applications must be received by September 20th. (DEADLINE EXTENDED DUE TO HURRICANE)

All participants selected to pitch will receive a comprehensive written assessment of business models from our expert panel of judges. Additionally, the winning company will receive a prize package that includes:


Featured Article in Lifestyle Magazine

Winner will also receive a featured press article in Lifestyle Magazine!
Ten companies will be selected to pitch live in our WEX Pitch Event at WEX FTL on October 7th.
The Women Empower Expo takes place in select cities across North America gathering thousands of female entrepreneurs, business leaders, creatives, and professionals who are passionate about making a positive difference in their career, life and community.

Our one-day events feature educational tracks and unique experiences for entrepreneurs at the different stages of the business lifecycle with a focus on the following:
At each of our events we focus on collaborating with local entrepreneurs, leaders, businesses and organizations to help create a thriving ecosystem to support female entrepreneurs year round.
  •  OPPORTUNITY TO PITCH: If selected you will have the opportunity to pitch LIVE in front of our panel of judges.
  •  EXPERT COACHING: Coaching and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and investors.
  •  BRAND AWARENESS: Exposure to thousands of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professionals.
  • - $1000 cash prize
  • - Four complimentary passes to the Women Empower Expo 2018
  • - Introduction to Investors: Opportunity to pitch to accredited investors in Florida Angel Nexus statewide network 
  • - Introduction to HSN: Opportunity to get your product on TV on HSN
  • - Executive Coaching: Business coaching/mentoring package that includes executive, legal, accounting services, and growth planning services
  • - Media Exposure: Feature Article in Lifestyle Magazine!
  • - Free exhibition stand at unbound Miami (worth $1000) on Nov 1&2, 2017
  •  September 20 - Applications due
  •  September 22 - Selections made
  •  October 7 - Women Empower Expo and Early-Stage Company Investor Pitch Event
* We extended our deadline for the pitch event due to the power outages after Hurricane Irma. All completed applications now due Wed., Sept. 20th!
  • Early-Stage Startup - Your company must have raised less than $10mil
  •  Female Owned - Your company must be at least 51% female-owned
  •  Demo-Ready - Your product or service must be demonstrable with a completed MVP or pilot
  •  Pitch Live-  All selected participants must be available to pitch their company live on Sat., Oct. 7th at WEX
Founder, President and CEO of Startup Nation Ventures
Dr. Rabenou is the Founder, President and CEO of StartUp Nation Ventures. Inspired by her first-hand experience taking Israeli startups to the U.S. market, Dr. Rabenou created StartUp Nation Ventures with a goal to facilitate and fast-track the entire process of propelling entrepreneurial dreams into revenue-generating realities.

With more than 20 years experience in the Israeli high-tech and health-tech industries, Dr. Rabenou also has a passion for furthering Florida’s role as a gateway to the U.S. startup market. She has a proven record of identifying and developing opportunities for growth and expansion, taking companies through the entire life cycle, from inception to sustainability, profitability, and ultimately, an IPO.

Propelled by her success founding Rad Biosciences and winning the prestigious Israeli government tender to establish and run the biomed incubator, Dr. Rabenou was selected to serve as a director on Isreal’s bio-tech and high-tech Incubators Investment Committees. In this role, Dr. Rabenou vetted hundreds of startups seeking government funding and identified a variety of successful companies in their early stages.
CPA, MS, Tax Partner at WithumSmith+Brown
Zsia has over 20 years of professional experience specializing in taxation including private and publicly held Corporations. She also is the Team Leader of Women in Technology for Withum's Technology Group. She has diverse experience within the technology sector and consults on a wide variety of related tax issues.

Zsia graduated from the State University of New York, Albany, with a BS degree in accounting and earned her MS degree in taxation from the same institution. In 2010 Zsia was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants of New Jersey. 
Vice President, HSN New Merchandise Business Development
Professionally Dara Trujillo is an Executive with 25+ years of experience: 10 years at traditional Brick and Morter-overseeing 28 department stores, directing fashion, Private Label development, Public Relations and Personal Shopping; 15 years with the Walt Disney Company’s theme park division overseeing new merchandise synergy and concepts, brand strategy development, and signature events. Concepts included team member master planning the new Disney Springs, development of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Goofy’s Candy Company, Once Upon a Toy, The Pirates League and she lead the charge with the company’s Pin Trading and Vinylmation initiatives. In her current role with HSN, as Vice President of Merchandise New Business Development, Dara oversees company initiatives, new business opportunities and manages the American Dream’s Program which highlights Entrepreneurs, their stories and products and gives Entrepreneurs live TV experience selling their products. Dara is always on the look out for an amazing product and a passionate Entrepreneur behind the product. She travels the country in search of the next million dollar product opportunity to introduce to HSN’s 90 million Households. In addition, Dara is currently a regular judge on the TV series Hatched. Having a successful business at HSN means understanding it all starts with People, a Purpose and the Product. We are looking for great stories and storytellers and when combined with great products- that’s the winning combination. 

Personally: Dara has been married for 26 years to Joe and has 2 children, son Baylin is 25, married and is a school teacher and football coach and daughter Gene’ is 23 –lives in California and is a TV and film production assistant. 
Senior Executive in Local Government
Linda South is a senior executive experienced in many diverse settings. She is most
frequently found at the heart of complex problem solving, integrating operations with
strategic goals. She has taken her entrepreneur spirit, and experience as a business
creator, to bring solutions as CEO of a non-profit, and to public service as Agency Head
under two Governors. She currently serves as a senior executive in local government.
Executive Director, Florida Angel Nexus
Blaire Martin is mobilizing the movement of accredited investors engaging Florida’s high growth ventures with capital, expertise, and resources while streamlining the funding process for our state’s entrepreneurs.
As the Director of the Florida Angel Nexus (NEXUS), Blaire Martin and her team are growing Florida’s statewide community of accredited investors, funds, and family offices. NEXUS currently supports chapters in Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Palm Beach and Ocala along with a virtual chapter for dispersed investors. In partnership with local active investors and community leaders, new chapters are forming statewide. Since 2013, NEXUS members have invested in 59 companies a total of $16.1M; over $25M with co-investment partners.

Since partnering with Michael O’Donnell in 2010, Blaire has worked with over 400 early-stage companies to increase their credibility and probability of raising venture funding.
Ms. Martin is also a cofounder of the FAN Fund. FAN has made thirteen investments since commencing operations in November 2015. The FAN Fund and its LPs have deployed over $5,000,000.
Previously as a Business Development Consultant in the UCF Venture Accelerator, Ms. Martin assisted early stage technology companies with the many aspects required to launch and grow a successful company, including: market research, competitive analysis, lead generation, investor pitch preparation, and strategies for commercialization, revenue models, and sales.

Recognition: UCF Alumni 30 under 30 and the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award. She graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida with a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree focusing on finance, entrepreneurship, and leadership. 
Selection to participate in the pitch competition is determined by the following. 
A total of ten companies will be selected  to pitch live at WEX.
  • Potential impact on market
  •  Differentiation of product/service
  •  Experience of founders/team
  •  Potential for growth
  •  Quality of business model
  •  Quality of revenue model

The Women Empower Expo takes place in select cities with the mission to empower, educate and equip female entrepreneurs with the knowledge and community to grow successful businesses.

Florida Angela Nexus
The Florida Angel Nexus powers angel investment groups statewide. We solve challenges common for these groups: organizing deal flow, coordinating due diligence, streamlining portfolio management, and providing a broader context. We enable investors to invest in small groups of their own choosing and meet highly specialized goals while enjoying the efficiency of a large investment entity.

Merging Traffic
Merging Traffic is a Global Capital Formation Engine catalyzing growth, investment and access to capital in emerging technologies.

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