South Bend, Ind. SoGal Foundation, a non-profit on a mission to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and Startup South Bend – Elkhart, a committee of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership will host the Indiana Regional Round of the largest global startup competition for women and diverse entrepreneurs on Thursday October 17, 2019. The international competition consists of 25+ regional rounds in SoGal chapters in cities across five continents, including New York, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Nairobi, Johannesburg and others. The finalists from each regional round will travel to San Francisco to attend SoGal’s 3-day immersive educational bootcamp for guaranteed facetime in front of top-tier Silicon Valley investors, as well as participate in curated educational programming, unparalleled 1:1 mentorship, press exposure, and compete on the global level to win investment capital.
SoGal Foundation supports diverse founders and funders from underrepresented backgrounds by providing educational resources and connects to SoGal’s global community in 40+ international chapters. SoGal’s Indiana chapter has VC’s from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Selected startups will pitch to a panel of seven judges which will include, Ting Gootee, Chief Investment Officer at Elevate Ventures; John Garry, Associate at High Alpha; Candice Matthews Brackeen, Founder & CEO at Lighthouse; Kate Hernandez, Principal at Detroit Venture Partners; Susan Howard Ford, Director at Graham Allen Partners; Maggie King, Angel Investor and Chelsea Linder, Director at gBETA Indy. SoGal’s global startup competition will defy geographic boundaries, creating a “bridge” between chapters in order to connect women, minority, LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented founders and investors who care about diversity and inclusion within their portfolios.
SoGal’s previous final round of the global startup competition had a packed lineup of venture capitalist judges with several investments made on the spot in San Francisco. The second annual competition and summit will have an even greater impact, with more than double the number of regional pitch rounds as well as $600k+ investment dollars allocated to winning teams at the global level. Furthermore, SoGal has expanded the scope of the startup competition to include not only women, but other minority and underrepresented founders in an effort to bridge the diversity gap.
“SoGal was born out of the need to put millennial and generation Z women front and center in entrepreneurship and VC globally,” said Pocket Sun, Found and Co-President of SoGal Foundation. “Women and other underrepresented founds are underestimated and undercapitalized, yet when provided with resources, network, and capital, female founders are statistically proven to outperform their male counterparts. There’s been enough data, research and education but too few actions and capital allocation. We just need to allocate capital to women and the rest will soft itself out.”
Women received just 2.2% of venture capital funding in 2018 and less than .1% of funding has been allocated to black women since 2009. Additionally, only about 1% of venture-backed companies have a black founder or Latinx founder (male or female). This gender and diversity inequality hinders significant economic growth, since 85% of consumer purchases are made by women, and startups with higher ethnic diversity tend to produce financial returns above their industry norm.
“Startup South Bend – Elkhart is honored to host the SoGal competition in the South Bend – Elkhart Region,” said Catlin Bulger, Startup Ecosystem Manager at the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. “As a region, we are focused on building a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem that is diverse and inclusive, a goal that directly aligns with the mission of SoGal.”
SoGal Foundation is built on the data-backed belief that prioritizing diversity in entrepreneurship is far more than an issue of morality – it’s an essential business strategy that benefits everyone. SoGal Foundation’s global startup competition represents the first and largest opportunity for women and diverse entrepreneurs and investors to connect worldwide. SoGal Indiana exists as a result of women founders across the state not getting access to scale and grow their ventures.
About SoGal Foundation:
SoGal Foundation is the largest global platform for diverse entrepreneurs and investors with 40 chapters and 100,000+ members across 5 continents around the world. SoGal’s 501(c)(3) non-profit mission is to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and investing.
Contact: Nicola Brown, SoGal Foundation; email@example.com