Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS Announce Finalists for Year Two of Project Entrepreneur

200 Female-Founded Startups Selected to Participate in the PE
Intensive in NYC

12 Startups to Take Part in Pitch Competition

the Runway Foundation
and UBS
today announced the 200 female-founded startups that have been selected
to participate in the second annual Project Entrepreneur Intensive in
New York City on April 7-8, 2017. Among this group are 12 companies that
will pitch their businesses to a panel of investor judges for the chance
to receive a $10,000 grant and participate in a five-week accelerator
program hosted at Rent the Runway.

The PE Intensive will provide participating founders with the
opportunity to work with entrepreneurs, investors and experts as they
transform their early stage ventures into high-growth companies. Among
the highlights of this year’s program will be a keynote conversation
between Spanx CEO and Founder Sara Blakely and CNN’s Poppy Harlow, as
well as sessions led by Carley Roney, Co-Founder of The Knot/XO Group;
Marla Beck, CEO and Co-Founder of Bluemercury Inc.; and Hayley Barna,
Venture Partner at First Round Capital and Co-Founder of Birchbox, among
many others.

“We’re excited to have some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the
country gathering together for our second year of the PE Intensive to
give participants the resources they need to elevate and grow their
businesses,” said Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway. “The
connections they will make and insights gained from these two days will
be invaluable as they begin to scale their companies.”

“Today women account for less than 10 percent of founders at high-growth
firms. In 2017 this is completely unacceptable and we’re committed to
breaking down the barriers standing in the way of women building
economically impactful and disruptive companies,” said Jennifer Hyman,
CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

Finalists for the Project Entrepreneur pitch competition were chosen
from nearly 650 applicants across 75 cities. The selected companies and
founders who will present at the live pitch competition on Saturday,
April 8 include:

  • CottageClass
    – Manisha Soyer, Founder (Brooklyn, NY): DIY Marketplace for
  • Curative
    – Samantha Simmons, Founder & CEO (New York, NY):
    Comfortable orthopaedic garments clinically proven to help chronic
    pain sufferers sleep
  • Lace
    & Liberty
    – Danielle Wen, CEO & Co-Founder (San Francisco,
    CA): Merging direct-to-consumer convenience with luxury bespoke
  • LOLI
    – Tina Hedges, Founder & CEO (New York, NY):
    Pure, Potent, Personalized…LOLI is the first BIY (Blend It Yourself)
    clean + green beauty brand
  • Parihug
    – Xyla Foxlin, Founder (Cleveland, OH): Internet-connected plush
    toys that let you hug loved ones from anywhere in the world
  • Parking
    Vision Information Technologies (ParkIt)
    – Jennifer Ding, CEO
    & Co-Founder (Dallas, TX): Smart camera technology using machine
    learning to collect real-time parking data to improve urban mobility
  • Reboundwear
    – Bimla Picot, Founder (New York, NY): Athleisure wear with a purpose
  • Repeat
    – Jennifer Grove, Founder & CEO (New York, NY):
    Sustainable floral waste removal business that gives back to people
    and planet
  • The
    Mentor Method
    – Janice Omadeke, Founder (Washington D.C.):
    Career development platform empowering minorities in tech to learn to
    lead with confidence by connecting future leaders to career mentors
    from companies that want to increase their diverse hiring pipeline
  • The
    Touchpoint Solution –“Buzzies”
    – Vicki Mayo, CEO &
    Co-Founder (Scottsdale AZ): Neuroscience wearable that alleviates
    stress by altering the body’s stress response in as little as 30

Two additional companies will be chosen to pitch during the PE Intensive.

“These female founders are among the most promising and innovative
entrepreneurs in the country, representing a wide breadth of
industries,” said Lori Feinsilver, UBS Head of Community Affairs &
Corporate Responsibility, Americas. “While they come to Project
Entrepreneur with incredibly diverse professional and personal
backgrounds, they all share a dream to drive their own success. They can
take great inspiration from the experiences of last year’s winners — Full
, Cake,
and Claire
— who have gone on to raise their first rounds of seed funding and have
graduated to other selective accelerators. We’re proud to support this
year’s founders on their journeys.”

Project Entrepreneur is a collaboration of Rent the Runway Foundation
and UBS Elevating Entrepreneurs, the firm’s flagship philanthropic
initiative committed to driving toward a more inclusive landscape for
entrepreneurs everywhere. Mashable is the Official Media Partner for
Project Entrepreneur. Cooley is the pro bono legal partner of Project
Entrepreneur. Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and its philanthropic arm
The CAA Foundation, also worked closely with Rent the Runway and UBS to
help bring Project Entrepreneur to life.

Project Entrepreneur is informed by its Community Advisors: Black
Founders; HBCU Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship
Initiative; Latino Startup Alliance; and Venture for America. Advisory
Council members can be found at:

For the full agenda and roster of speakers participating in the PE
Intensive, click here.
The full Project Entrepreneur Class of 2017 can be viewed here.

Follow Project Entrepreneur on Facebook,
and Twitter,
and with the hashtag #PEIntensive17.

About Project Entrepreneur:

Launched by Rent the Runway Foundation in partnership with UBS, Project
Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women with access to the
tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically
impactful companies. The multi-faceted national initiative includes a
venture competition, 5-week accelerator program, robust digital hub, and
multi-city events. For more information, visit

About Rent the Runway:

Rent the Runway is revolutionizing fashion by allowing millions of women
to rent designer apparel and accessories, both on-demand and through its
subscription service Unlimited. The company focuses on convenience and a
top-notch customer experience on all of its platforms, including mobile,
online, and retail locations in Chicago, New York City, Washington,
D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. With styles from
hundreds of top designers, RTR serves as a powerful marketing channel
for the fashion industry, introducing a new generation of women to
brands that they had limited access to before. Co-Founded in 2009 by
Harvard Business School graduates, Rent the Runway has raised over $190
million in venture capital and has 6 million members across the U.S.

About UBS:

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional
and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in
Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our
Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth
Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and
the Investment Bank. UBS’s strategy builds on the strengths of all of
its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels,
while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the
businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate
attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its
businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive
position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices
in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the
Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East
and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately
60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss
Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Note to editors

Wealth Management Americas
recently announced that it contributed to
raising the industry’s largest impact investing fund with a gender lens
overlay. Rethink Impact is a venture capital fund that invests in
female-led, tech enabled companies creating transformational social and
environmental change.

Follow us on Twitter: @UBS


Rent the Runway
Meaghan Gibbons, +1-212-524-6860
ext 114
+1-401-248-8997 (mobile)
Wealth Management Americas
Maya Dillon, +1-212-713-3130