Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company, and 1863 Ventures have announced the winners of the Oct. 15 HI-HERImpact Miami Pitch Competition.
Five women social entrepreneurs from South Florida competed in the Shark Tank-style virtual event before a live panel of judges for $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind support.
Since 2018, Ford Fund has awarded more than $300,000 in total funding to help women-led social enterprises scale and grow in Detroit; Washington, DC, and Miami.
The newest HI-HERImpact Miami winners are:
First Place: Anastasia Mikhalochkina, Lean Orb – Awarded $25,000
Second Place: Adrienne C. Williams, Bridge – Awarded $20,000 (Growth stage), and
Third Place: Ania Rodriguez , Key Lime Interactive – Awarded $5,000 (Early stage).
The five finalists have businesses focused on clean food packaging, an app to remotely connect small business to local communities, a platform to help companies combat bias, and more, and they were chosen based on the following criteria: the social enterprise must exist to solve a real community problem, have a business model that will ultimately be sustainable, and focus on a product or service for which people will pay. Judges included Ford Motor Company Fund’s Yisel Cabrera, angel investor Kimberly N. Marshall, and Miami Dade College Idea Center executive director Romi Bhatia.
“Small, women-owned enterprises make up much of the backbone of our communities across the country,” said Melissa Bradley, managing partner for 1863 Ventures. “Since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, we’ve been proud to hold two virtual pitch competitions to help these businesses sustain and grow despite current challenges.”
Founded by Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures, the HI-HERImpact initiative seeks to provide women entrepreneurs with resources like educational opportunities, technical assistance, mentoring, coaching, and financial resources. The overarching mission is to help women entrepreneurs to create small businesses or startups that will also make communities better places to live.
For more information, visit https://herimpact.net/.