What’s the best female-founder-oriented fellowship program around? Likely it’s the one the Tory Burch Foundation just inaugurated.
The winners were sourced online in a democratic melee of voting by any interested person. It started with over 500 candidates who applied last winter, pared down to 30 by Burch’s judges before being posted for voting at the fellowship site.
Some 40K clicks later, 10 female-fronted enterprises each get networking, education, and mentorship opportunities, as well as $10,000 cash for business education. All will travel this summer to New York and work for three days with the foundation at Tory Burch’s offices there. They’ll listen to keynotes, get assigned a mentor, and meet Burch herself. They’ll receive support from the foundation for a whole year after being selected.
But the competition doesn’t stop at there. It’s a pitch-off to a single winner: one of these founders will bag $100,000, a grant she can use to invest in her own business. All 1o will pitch to Burch herself and other fashion leaders, including Marie Claire’s editor, Anne Fulenwider and when the dust clears, one of these women will take home the prize.
Burch herself says that the foundation’s goal is “to give women the tools and platform they need to grow their businesses. We are thrilled to celebrate and welcome these 10 extraordinary women to our Fellows program as they serve as ambassadors to women entrepreneurs across the country.” The fellowship is a continuing project for Burch. You can keep up with subsequent deadlines by signing up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page.
This year’s winners run the gamut from skincare to STEM support to salt, covering the US from San Francisco to New Orleans to Rockland, Maine. Here are the final ten. Which do you think will win?
- Nicole Baldwin, Biao Skincare
- Allison DeVane, Teapressa
- Alexa Fleischman, Savvy Society
- Kate Glantz, Heartful.ly
- Ericka Lassair, Diva Dawg
- Kate McAleer, Bixby & Co.
- Emellie O’Brien, Earth Angel
- Kimarie Santiago, Saltopia
- Amy Swift, Building Hugger
- Caren Ulrich Stacy, Diversity Lab