Each year, thousands of tech workers, founders and investors travel to Austin, Texas for the SXSW conference and festival to discover how the world of music and media is evolving. The conference is filled with networking opportunities, demos and pitch competitions from the country’s most innovative creators.
This year, Roshawnna Novellus and her team at EnrichHer are part of that group. They’ll competing during the annual SXSW Pitch — a competition that hosts more than 50 companies across 10 divisions. The categories include artificial intelligence, social and culture, sports and performance data, and transportation and delivery.
EnrichHer is one of the few women-led companies participating in the pitch contest and is competing in the Social and Culture category for its work in helping women founders secure funding through its platform. Founders and investors can create profiles on the platform and investors can directly give funding to whichever companies they choose.
Since 2017, the founders on EnrichHer have received more than $10 million in funding.
EnrichHer has had luck at SXSW before. Last year, the company won Audience Favorite during the Backstage Capital Pitch Black event.
“People think helping women is a charitable cause— they don’t think there’s a business there,” Novellus told AfroTech. “The exposure from the competition is usually a signal for investors.”
Over the past 11 years, 70 percent of all 403 finalists received over $4.63 billion in funding, and 16 percent were acquired by Fortune 500 companies. Novellus said that she hopes that investors will see her pitch and not only begin funding EnrichHer, but the women founders on the platform.
“We think a lot more businesses and organizations will want to partner with us,” Novellus said. “We plan to leverage this to help us get out into the market.”