Darya Allen-Attar started Broads Circle six years ago as a series of networking events for women in the L.A. business community.
Now she’s set up another business platform designed to help women get their companies greater recognition.
The new one is an entrepreneurship competition called Chick Launcher and it’s already borne fruit: One of the contestants in the first competition, which took place last year, scored a major funding deal last month. Here’s how that happened:
Five early stage and seed-funded businesses were picked as finalists to pitch their businesses in front of executives and investors in October. Among the members of the audience was Andrew Siegel, head of strategy and corporate development at Conde Nast parent Advance Publications.
Siegel took particular interest in DigiTour Media, an L.A. company that stages live concerts featuring teen bands with popular videos on YouTube.
That led to a $3 million funding round for DigiTour from Advance Publications and TV personality Ryan Seacrest. The funding round was announced last month.
Allen-Attar, a financial services professional, said the deal validated the work she has put into Chick Launcher. She’s now planning this year’s competition and is trying to get more sponsors so she can increase the prize money.
She’s also trying to get more startups in the event than last year’s field of 55. Last year’s winner, Lola Getts Active, a company with operations in West Los Angeles that specializes in plus-size workout apparel, took the top prize of $50,000 in cash and services.
Allen-Attar was especially happy when DigiTour Chief Executive Meridith Valiando Rojas sent her an email expressing her gratitude.
“That made my year,” Allen-Attar said. “I’m passionate about money and power for women.”
– Jonathan Polakoff
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