Meet The Winners of Project Entrepreneur 2017

Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS have announced the winners of the second annual Project Entrepreneur (PE) venture competition. The three companies were among 200 female founders who participated in the two-day PE Intensive, and were selected from 12 finalists that pitched their businesses to a panel of investor judges. The winners will each receive a $10,000 grant and on-site training, introductions to investors, coaching and mentorship as part of Project Entrepreneur’s five-week accelerator program hosted at Rent the Runway’s New York headquarters.

The winners are:

  • 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 seconds
  • Lace & Liberty – Danielle Wen, CEO & Co-Founder (San Francisco, CA): Merging direct-to-consumer convenience with luxury bespoke bridalwear
  • LOLI Beauty – Tina Hedges, Founder & CEO (New York, NY): Pure, Potent, Personalized…LOLI is the first BIY (Blend It Yourself) clean + green beauty brand

Each of the winners will also receive $5,000 worth of legal services from Cooley LLP.

“We are so excited to host the winning teams at the Rent the Runway HQ this summer. They’ll work side by side with our team and be able to put into practice everything they’ve learned at the Project Entrepreneur Intensive as they begin to grow their businesses to the next level,” said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

Additionally, Founder & Designer Rebecca Minkoff has invited Bimla Picot, Founder & CEO of Reboundwear (athleisure wear with a purpose), to be Entrepreneur-in-Residence at her firm’s NYC office. The Knot/XO Group Co-Founder Carley Roney has also selected Jennifer Grove, Founder & CEO of Repeat Roses (sustainable floral waste removal business that gives back to people and planet), to be incubated at her company’s headquarters. Reboundwear and Repeat Roses will also participate in PE Accelerator programming.

“Our goal since launching Project Entrepreneur has been to create an ecosystem that supports talented women as they boldly pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions,” said Lori Feinsilver, Head of Community Affairs for UBS Americas. ” It’s inspiring to see that vision come to life and to be a part of their journeys, and we are rooting for their continued success!”  

“This year’s finalists represented innovation in the most diverse range of industries yet. The incredible talent showcased that each has the potential to completely disrupt their fields,” said Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

The winning companies were chosen by a panel of experts which included:

  • Nisa Amoils, Scout Ventures
  • Kesha Cash, Impact America Fund
  • Gwen Cheni, Pier 88 Investment Partners
  • Sutian Dong, Female Founders Fund
  • Nisha Dua, BBG Ventures

The pitch competition was the culmination of the Project Entrepreneur Intensive. The program hosted 200 women founders for sessions exploring the many aspects of refining and scaling a business. The weekend included participation by a full lineup of successful business owners and leaders, including Sara Blakely (Spanx), Carley Roney (The Knot/XO Group), Hayley Barna (First Round Capital/Birchbox), Marla Beck (Bluemercury Inc.), Soraya Darabi (ZADY/Foodspotting), Dara Trujillo (HSN), Merrill Stubbs (Food52), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen), Angela Lee (37 Angels), and Donna Levin (Care.com).

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