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Tech Community Comes out for "High Fives" at Fifth WiSTEM Showcase

The auditorium was filled October 9 for what has become one of of 1871’s signature events -- the WiSTEM Showcase. Thirteen women-led companies took the stage to pitch their businesses and showcase their success after 12 weeks of intense workshops, mentorship and programming.

There was so much energy in the 1871 Auditorium, it was practically one big high-five to women entrepreneurs.

That level of support has come to be expected for 1871’s WiSTEM showcase events, which serve as a celebration of the hard work and progress for the women-led businesses that participate in each of 1871’s WiSTEM cohorts.

CEOs, corporate partners, friends and family and even a group of students from the all female Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) were in attendance as the 13 companies in WiSTEM C5 pitched their businesses and made asks of the huge crowd of supporters.

The night kicked off with networking between attendees and the 13 businesses -- who showcased their ideas at tables dotted around the room while enjoying food and drinks from women-owned vendors, including Gayle’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese, Highflier Provisions and Carol’s Event Staffing.

But the energy kicked into high-gear when each of the 13 companies took the stage to pitch their businesses, which ranged from a high-tech asthma inhaler to a disruptive charter flight platform to a subscription lingerie service that aims to be inclusive.

If you weren't able to make it, check out our Facebook Live coverage below: 

Companies that pitched include:

Advocatia provides hospitals and healthcare providers with the tools to assist their most vulnerable community while improving the hospital bottom line. Advocatia streamlines the screening and enrollment process to ensure patients and their families are assisted with all available healthcare programs. Through the platform, workflow efficiency is gained, more coverage is found and revenue is increased. Advocatia helps the uninsured and underinsured population gain coverage and increases access to care.

AirProxima is using technology to build a new way to travel. The company’s search engine product opens the world of private aviation to everyone by allowing consumers to buy single, one-way trips on private charter aircraft. No membership is required, and the platform is accessible to all. By removing repositioning trips from itineraries, the company is creating a world of private flights at lower price points than traditional charter.

Burgundy Fox is an e-commerce subscription company on a mission to celebrate all bodies and minds. The company launched in 2017 with a focus on updating a $30 billion niche market in need of change: women’s lingerie and sleepwear. Burgundy Fox is not only modernizing the buying experience, but reshaping traditional fashion advertising and empowering women to cultivate strong mind and body confidence.

CharacTour’s new social network aims to help users find their next favorite movie, TV show, book or video game amidst a flood of options on the internet. Instead of organizing choices around titles as other sites do, CharacTour is a platform focused on the characters at the heart of the stories. Through a patent-pending matching algorithm, personality quizzes and other features, CharacTour empowers its users to discover for themselves which characters they want to watch and read about, and allows them to connect with the real-life “characters” who share their personality and entertainment interests.

Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) celebrates play and innovation through consumer events and fairs, toy inspired fashion shows, inventor and innovation conferences, innovation awards, young inventor challenges and get-togethers around the world. These events and activations build community through play by providing opportunities for people of all ages to connect with one another. The group envisions a friendly, more creative and more tolerant world with people discovering they have more in common than not through the power of play.

Evolved Educator empowers teachers, democratizes lesson planning and cuts planning time from hours to minutes. The web-based SmartPlanner technology brings teachers an innovative way to create, collaborate and cultivate learning experiences students will remember.

Gorgeous Within is dedicated to inspiring women from all walks of life to become the best version of themselves. Gorgeous Within inspires them to work on their mind, spirit and body leveraging workshops and technology. The company challenges and empowers them to grow and pursue their dreams.

LivingPath is an online platform helping people discover amazing senior living communities. Fifty million Americans will need long-term care over the next two decades, and LivingPath is the catalyst connecting them with high-quality providers.

Packed with Purpose is a specialty gifting company with a social mission. The company curates high-quality gifts that also do good by sourcing products from social enterprises and purpose-driven companies. The business and personal gifts “wow” recipients and positively impact the people and communities around us.

Project Decibel believes hearing is what connects people to the music they love. Project Decibel is a hearing wellness initiative that equips the music community with the tools they need to protect their hearing. The company has reimagined how a musician interacts with their hearing by designing "PdB;" a comprehensive, user-friendly concierge hearing wellness app. “PdB" ensures all musicians have access to high-quality audiological services whether they are on tour or in a practice room.

Respirare is a smart healthcare system that empowers asthmatics to take control of their lives. A tracking device paired with an intelligent application allows users to track usage, dosage and triggers with ease. With the power of Respirare's data, patients, caretakers, doctors and researchers can work together to create a better quality of life for all asthma sufferers.

The Difference Engine is a non-profit corporation with programs in Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. The goal of this organization is to transform people’s lives by empowering those who do not have the typical background for entering tech to launch new careers in that field via a web development apprenticeship program. It also provides professional technical solutions to nonprofit organizations and social enterprises pro bono to help carry out their purpose.

Wedmony is digitally transforming Millennial weddings by making the wedding planning process less stressful, more organized and more fun. Wedmony is creating a social network of like-minded couples connected with vetted vendors and supported by a powerful suite of dynamic, customizable planning tools. Wedmony fosters collaboration between couples, wedding parties and vendors to create the perfect platform for sharing their most special moments.

With the fifth cohort of the program now complete, applications are now open the next set of talented and inspiring women to join the sixth cohort in November. Wondering what C5 members had to say about their experience? Hear it in their own words here:


Topics: Events, Community

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