Woman entrepreneur helps other business women with money and recognition

Dallas, Texas – At a recent event, women who run their own businesses received money and recognition through a competition set up by a woman entrepreneur.

Over 70 owners of startups applied to take part in the second EmpowHERment Pitch Competition. After two rounds of selection, three of them competed for a total of $25,000 in startup funds:

  • Audiolo accelerates the production pipeline and saves production studios millions of dollars per show.
  • Bairitone Health builds solutions for the millions of people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Hangio is a Dallas company that makes bendable hangers to keep clothes from stretching.

Elsye Dickerson, who founded this event, noticed that all the finalists had ideas that could turn into big businesses worth a lot of money, not just small, local shops. They were all unique, bringing something new to the market that hadn’t been seen before.

Dickerson, who leads a company focused on ear care named EOSERA, knows firsthand the challenges women face when starting and funding a business. She started her company in 2016 with $50,000 she won from a similar competition and highlights that women still receive a tiny fraction of all venture capital money, which is why she’s keen on supporting women entrepreneurs.

The judges, after hearing an eight-minute pitch and a four-minute Q&A session from each finalist, decided to give the biggest prize of $15,000 from Simmons Bank to Audiolo.

Hangio’s founder, Ayo Aigbe, took second place and $10,000 from Higginbotham. Aigbe, an engineering student at Texas Tech, invented a hanger in 2017 that doesn’t leave marks on clothes.

The person behind Bairitone Health received three one-hour sessions with a leadership coach as a prize.

“I think all three of them are actually going to make it. I think we’re going to be watching them a year from now and they’re all going to have incredible traction,” Dickerson said. “It’s a full circle moment for me because I remember what it felt like for the first check to come into my hands and, and believe that other people believed in me.”

Dickerson is a passionate entrepreneur and advocate of women in business and she can’t wait to see who’ll pitch next year.

“I think the big takeaway is try it. The worst that can happen is you fail but if you don’t try, you never know,” she said. “There are other women and other individuals, not just women, out there to support you. There are networks you can join. There are incubators and other business owners that are always willing to answer questions and help.”

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