Women Startup Challenge 2015 – Washington DC

DC 2015 | Finalists | JudgesMentors

On June 30, 2015, Women Who Tech held the first-ever Women Startup Challenge Pitch Competition at General Assembly/1776 in Washington, D.C. Twelve finalists from the Women Startup Challenge crowdfunding campaign presented their innovative and disruptive ventures to a panel of investors, who selected three winners. The crowdfunding campaign on Crowdrise raised over $315,000 for women ventures. An additional $50,000 was awarded to first place winner On Second Thought, co-founded by Maci Peterson!

First Place:

On Second Thought

Maci Peterson of On Second Thought Won the Women Startup Challenge Pitch Competition

Pitching Founder: Maci Peterson


On Second Thought is the flagship Digital Reputation Protection Platform (DRPP) and ecosystem that protects the reputations of individuals via mobile application technology. It does so by allowing users to take back text messages, chat messages, emails and social media posts before they get to the recipient. On Second Thought won 1st Place in the UpGlobal and Kauffman Foundation’s #StartupOasis pitch competition at South by Southwest in 2014, and it was recently named “The Texting Savior” by AT&T. It is currently available in the Google Play Store and Amazon AppStore.

Second Place:


Fam-ess Founder Michelle Salsberry at the Women Startup Challenge Pitch Competition

Pitching Founder: Michelle Salesberry


Fam-ess is all about “Making the Unknown, Known.” It teaches kids what they don’t know about money and how to make better buying decisions, while bringing to light insights that help inform the planning of new products and services for kids. The mission of Fam-ess is to teach kids financial discipline long before they go off to college or get their first job, while helping inform the making of new products that are worth working for.

Third Place:


Holly Ojalvo and Lisa Vehrenkamp of Kicker Pitch at the Women Startup Challenge

Pitching Founder: Holly Epstein Ojalvo with Lisa Vehrenkamp


Kicker is news for people who don’t like news. It is designed to solve the key problems that keep curious, thoughtful people from getting in the know. They explain what matters, why, and what you can do about it. By making current events accessible, understandable, and actionable, Kicker engages and empowers millennials with a fresh voice on current events and relevant social action.

Event Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended the sold out Women Startup Challenge Pitch Competition! See photos on Flickr.