For many women 2017 was a year of reckoning and realization about the pervasiveness of sexism, we women have had enough. This year is an extra-special year at SXSW, because it’s the first time I’ve dedicated my annual contest slash makeshift social experiment exclusively for the ladies.
To counterbalance and begin to change the gender dynamics that have formed we have to reach across our traditional boundaries to help and empower those out of our immediate social spheres. Growth often means a little discomfort. With some help from my friends and my awesome team I was able to reach all of these incredible women and learn their stories, one by one.
With the contest this year I have assembled a super squad of my fellow female entrepreneurs along with a few mentors to help me support the entrepreneurs during the festival. It is my experience that approaching SXSW with a well-coordinated team proves more effective than going it alone. We’re stronger as a group. Each winner will receive a goodie bag, access to professional coaching, networking opportunities and events. PLUS…. all the social media and press attention I can secure for the ladies and their companies.
I am honored and extremely proud to be hosting such inspiring ladies, who are coming from different parts of the country with unique areas of expertise. We don’t know how SXSW is going to turn out this year, but what I am very certain of is that when women work together, we’re more than unstoppable. In no particular order, meet the winners!
Each year, more children die from pneumonia than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined. Temiloluwa’s goal is to change this fact, by combining engineering and health care in non-traditional ways through her company Nopneu. By leveraging her background of more than 10 years, in biomedical research, through programs funded by prominent organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, biomedical engineering, and medical device development, she aims to change this fact. Nopneu is developing a rapid, diagnostic test for pneumonia that provides color-coded results that allow users without specialized backgrounds to receive an easy diagnosis, in location independent settings. She dreams of a world, where no child does pre-maturely from pneumonia.
Adia Dightman is a dedicated to the startup ecosystem. As the former Director of Business Development for Zuvaa, a marketplace focused on African design and aesthetics, Adia was able to carve a niche within an oversaturated fashion industry which increased the startup revenue by $2million. Her wealth of experience in business, technology, curation, and the community has impacted the role female entrepreneurs make in developing these diverse sectors in Africa and it’s diaspora.
Sherrie “Shero” Robertson
Shero has been in 360/VR/Mixed Reality the last four years and is the founder of Blaze VR/AR. She has recently won several awards for her Virtual Reality storytelling/producing work including “Best in Show” at the SFVR hackathon and Google’s Project Tango hackathon. She also has a #metoo movement dramatic feature titled, “Juke Box Hero” in post-production and an interactive VR experience titled, “My Name is Te”, in final stages.
Sonja Dewing is CEO and Creativity Instigator for Plot Duckies, a support system and subscription box for creative writers. She’s also a One Million Cups organizer in Albuquerque, a startup mentor through Catalyst Week, and a rostered player for Albuquerque Roller Derby. In addition, she’s an award-winning creative writer, published freelance writer including Aviation History Magazine and New Mexico Entertainment Magazine, and her first novel, Toy of the Gods, is now on Amazon.
Tresa Chambers is a writer, editor and coach who helps creative entrepreneurs and artists find and connect with their audiences. She brings a unique combination of skills and knowledge to her clients resulting from her 20-year background in marketing strategy, publishing and technology. A former business and political journalist at Time Magazine and Publishing Director at Reader’s Digest, she has launched nationally and internationally distributed magazines and newsletters, and has contributed her editing, research and marketing communications skills to diverse book projects.
Last year was such a hard one for so many reasons. I am determined to make this year at SXSW a stronger one than ever before. Slowly but surely all of their dreams have become my dreams, too. Together we’ll find our power and take SXSW by storm!
About the Contest
2017 was kind of… rough for many of us, but 2018 is going to be #YearOfWomen! This year’s 4th Annual Pitch My House contest at SXSW is dedicated to the ladies!
Madeleine Albright once said, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help one another in business.” Her words stuck with us. We firmly believe that women have to rise up and help each other and what better place to do that than SXSW?! Therefore, we’re giving 6 women the chance to stay for free at my house in Austin during SXSW. There’s just one catch – you have to ask for something and give something to your fellow housemates in return (i.e. advice, introductions, tweets, etc). Together, we’re going to help one another promote our businesses and expand our networks.
Maximum of 2 women per room (there are 3 rooms to spare), totaling 6 winners. You can enter to win either individually or as a group. There will also be some prizes / gifts for those who are most helpful to their fellow housemates.
While we’re definitely going to have some fun, we’re also going to be focused, so if you’re attending SXSW to party hard- this isn’t the right place for you. Standard be cool rules apply: non-transferable, no additional overnight guests, no drugs, etc.
This contest has a bit of a (fun) history.