Our 2018 PE Intensive Is Happening April 13 & 14. Here’s What To Expect And How To Learn More!

#PEIntensive18, PEIntensive

We have some amazing news to share with you.

Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS today announced the PE Class Of 2018—200 female founders who will participate in the third annual Project Entrepreneur Intensive in New York City on April 13-14, 2018. The female founders joining us for this year’s Intensive were chosen from over 700 applicants to our PE Venture Competition last fall.

“The two-day intensive will bring together the most innovative rising entrepreneurs in the country with some of the most influential and inspiring VC’s, Founders and CEOs,” said Jenny Fleiss, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway and Co-Founder and CEO of Code Eight. “We’re excited to continue to have such a wide range of industries represented through our participants and to help propel their businesses and expand their networks.”

Learn more about the 200 members of the PE Class of 2018 on our PE Intensive website. Among the 200 are 10 finalists who have been given the additional opportunity to participate in the pitch competition on Saturday, April 14 for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant and a spot in a five-week accelerator program hosted at Rent the Runway’s headquarters (two additional wildcard companies to be chosen during the Intensive will also present at the live pitch competition). Judging the pitch competition this year are female investors from First Round Capital, BBG Ventures, 1000 Angels, Greycroft, Advance Venture Partners and Female Founders Fund.


PE Intensive 2018 Finalists

(Top, l to r): Alicia Chong of Bloomer Health Tech; Tracy Bitterolf of Bundl; Eva Sadej of Floss Bar; Stephanie Conduff of Leche Lounge; Aline Sara of Natakallam (Bottom, l to r): Muhga Eltigani of NaturAll Club; Katherine Clayton of OmniVis; Christine Schindler of PathSpot Technologies; Ariel McNichol of SmartSpark; Morgan Spenla of The Crafter’s Box


The 2018 Finalists include:

  • Bloomer Health Tech – Alicia Chong, Founder & CEO (Cambridge, MA): MIT startup transforming women’s health with advanced fabrics technology
  • Bundl – Tracy Bitterolf, Co-Founder & CEO (Los Angeles, CA): A long-term rental service for premium baby items
  • Floss Bar – Eva Sadej, Co-Founder & CEO (New York, NY): Oral health reimagined through a convenient, affordable and fun way to get basic dental services in major cities
  • Leche Lounge – Stephanie Conduff, Founder & CEO (Tulsa, OK): Portable lactation suites empowering women in the workplace by solving a legal mandate
  • Natakallam – Aline Sara, Co-Founder & CEO (New York, NY): Provides refugees/displaced people with an income by connecting them to remote language teaching and translation opportunities
  • NaturAll Club – Muhga Eltigani, Co-Founder & CEO (Philadelphia, PA): Subscription service for food grade hair products using food preservation technology
  • OmniVis – Katherine Clayton, Co-Founder & CEO (West Lafayette, IN): A biotechnology company that has developed an integrated portable pathogen detection platform
  • PathSpot Technologies – Christine Schindler, Co-Founder & CEO (New York, NY): A system that protects restaurants and their customers from the threat of food-borne illness
  • SmartSpark – Ariel McNichol, Co-Founder & CEO (Los Angeles, CA): Chronic disease & addiction recovery support via AI-driven, personalized video platform
  • The Crafter’s Box – Morgan Spenla, Founder & CEO (San Diego, CA): A monthly crafting subscription pairing thoughtfully sourced materials and tools with detailed, digital, artist-led workshops

The annual PE Intensive provides founders with the opportunity to work with leading entrepreneurs, investors and experts as they transform their early stage ventures into high-growth companies. This year’s PE Intensive promises to be full of opportunities for hands-on learning.

Here are just a few highlights of what to expect this year (see the full agenda and speakers list on the PE Intensive website):

  • Keynote conversation between Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway Co-Founder and CEO, and Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post Co-Founder and Thrive Global CEO
  • Keynote conversation with Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank, Co-Founders of GILT Groupe and other ventures, moderated by Jenny Fleiss, Co-Founder of Rent the Runway and Code Eight
  • Sessions led by Fran Hauser (angel investor), Alli McCartney and Rina Kupfersmidt-Rojas (UBS), Jacqui Canney (Walmart), Carley Roney (XO Group/The Knot), and Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller (Mented)

And there’s more good news: UBS has committed $2 million to the continued expansion of Project Entrepreneur through a two-year grant. The additional funding will help Project Entrepreneur build on our success over the past three years! The new grant brings the firm’s total commitment to $5 million, along with the ongoing programmatic and strategic support provided with the objective of leveling the playing field for female founders:

“Project Entrepreneur illustrates that companies who share a common commitment to changing the narrative for women can be a catalyst for sustainable change,” said Jamie Sears, UBS Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas. “We’ve seen firsthand what our UBS Investor Watch research finds – that female founders are the disruptors of our time, more often tapping into a new customer base and looking to make a social impact; we need to ensure they have the resources they need to continue innovating and improving the world around them.”

Read our press release announcing our PE Class of 2018 and the continued expansion of Project Entrepreneur.

Visit the 2018 PE Intensive website to more about our PE Class of 2018 and the events happening during two-day program: http://www.peintensive2018.org/

The PE Intensive is closed to the 200 female founders selected to attend, but we are streaming both of the Keynote conversations live for our entire PE community! To watch, be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theprojectentrepreneur/

Sign up for our mailing list to get a reminder before the Keynote conversations with Arianna Huffington, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank: http://rtrf.wpengine.com/stay-in-touch/

Many thanks to UBS for their continued partnership. We can’t wait to meet our #PEClassOf2018 in two weeks!