Black Girl Ventures, a nonprofit organization that elevates women founders of color, has launched a technology-focused pitch competition, proudly co-sponsored by Pillsbury. This interactive “Shark Tank”-style competition features seven founders pitching their tech innovations to three Pitch Champions, including Pillsbury Corporate partner Nicole Islinger.

In addition to giving founders a unique opportunity to be coached and championed by emerging growth and technology leaders, the Black Girl Ventures competition democratizes fundraising for founders of color in a venture capital landscape where they have historically been deeply underrepresented by conducting a live crowdfunding voting process.

To participate in the competition, viewers put their money where their vote is by making a minimum $5 investment to vote for their favorite pitch. To watch the pitch videos and to vote, please click here: Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. on March 31.

The three founders who receive the most votes will each receive prize money—$10,000 for first place, $6,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place. Importantly, funds contributed by viewers in connection with their votes will go directly to the founder receiving those votes, whether she ultimately wins the competition or not. 

“We are excited to sponsor and participate in a supportive and fun experience that increases access for female founders of color and builds community through a unique crowdfunding experience,” said Stacie Yee, Pillsbury’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. “As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we hope viewers enjoy hearing these founders’ stories and will consider voting and sharing their pitches.” 

Pillsbury’s partnership with Black Girl Ventures is another initiative in the firm’s mission to support startup founders from underrepresented categories as a part of the firm’s commitment to equal justice, including the Pillsbury BOSS Lab.