Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS Announce Winners of Project Entrepreneur 2017 Venture Competition

Buzzies, Lace & Liberty and LOLI Beauty Awarded Places in PE
Accelerator Program and $10,000 Grants

Rebecca Minkoff Invites Reboundwear to be
Entrepreneur-in-Residence; The Knot/XO Group Selects Repeat Roses to be

the Runway Foundation
and UBS
have announced the winners of the second annual Project Entrepreneur
(PE) venture competition. The three companies were among 200 female
founders who participated in the two-day PE Intensive, and were selected
from 12 finalists that pitched their businesses to a panel of investor
judges. The winners will each receive a $10,000 grant and on-site
training, introductions to investors, coaching and mentorship as part of
Project Entrepreneur’s five-week accelerator program hosted at Rent the
Runway’s New York headquarters.

The winners are:

  • Buzzies – Vicki Mayo, CEO & Co-Founder (Scottsdale, AZ):
    Neuroscience wearable that alleviates stress by altering the body’s
    stress response in as little as 30 seconds
  • Lace & Liberty – Danielle Wen, CEO & Co-Founder (San
    Francisco, CA): Merging direct-to-consumer convenience with luxury
    bespoke bridalwear
  • LOLI Beauty – Tina Hedges, Founder & CEO (New York, NY): Pure,
    Potent, Personalized…LOLI is the first BIY (Blend It Yourself) clean +
    green beauty brand

Each of the winners will also receive $5,000 worth of legal services
from Cooley LLP.

“We are so excited to host the winning teams at the Rent the Runway HQ
this summer. They’ll work side by side with our team and be able to put
into practice everything they’ve learned at the Project Entrepreneur
Intensive as they begin to grow their businesses to the next level,”
said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

Additionally, Founder & Designer Rebecca Minkoff has invited Bimla
Picot, Founder & CEO of Reboundwear (athleisure wear with a
purpose), to be Entrepreneur-in-Residence at her firm’s NYC office. The
Knot/XO Group Co-Founder Carley Roney has also selected Jennifer Grove,
Founder & CEO of Repeat Roses (sustainable floral waste
removal business that gives back to people and planet), to be incubated
at her company’s headquarters. Reboundwear and Repeat Roses will also
participate in PE Accelerator programming.

“Our goal since launching Project Entrepreneur has been to create an
ecosystem that supports talented women as they boldly pursue their
entrepreneurial ambitions,” said Lori Feinsilver, Head of Community
Affairs for UBS Americas. “It’s inspiring to see that vision come to
life and to be a part of their journeys, and we are rooting for their
continued success!”

“This year’s finalists represented innovation in the most diverse range
of industries yet. The incredible talent showcased that each has the
potential to completely disrupt their fields,” said Jennifer Fleiss,
Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.

The winning companies were chosen by a panel of experts which included:

  • Nisa Amoils, Scout Ventures
  • Kesha Cash, Impact America Fund
  • Gwen Cheni, Pier 88 Investment Partners
  • Sutian Dong, Female Founders Fund
  • Nisha Dua, BBG Ventures

The pitch competition was the culmination of the Project Entrepreneur
Intensive. The program hosted 200 women founders for sessions exploring
the many aspects of refining and scaling a business. The weekend
included participation by a full lineup of successful business owners
and leaders, including Sara Blakely (Spanx), Carley Roney (The Knot/XO
Group), Hayley Barna (First Round Capital/Birchbox), Marla Beck
(Bluemercury), Soraya Darabi (ZADY/Foodspotting), Dara Trujillo (HSN),
Merrill Stubbs (Food52), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen), Angela Lee (37
Angels), and Donna Levin (

For the full agenda and roster of speakers that participated in the PE
Intensive, click here.
The full Project Entrepreneur Class of 2017 can be viewed here.

About Project Entrepreneur:

Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS joined forces in September of 2015 to
launch Project Entrepreneur, a program the two organizations designed to
address the fact that while women are starting more businesses than ever
before, only a small fraction — four percent — generate $500K or more in
annual revenue1; women also count for less than 10% of
founders at high-growth firms2. In addition to the venture
competition, accelerator program and weekend intensive, the Project
Entrepreneur initiative also includes multi-city events and a digital
resource hub that includes content developed by leading business school
faculty and industry professionals. Mashable is the Official Media
Partner for Project Entrepreneur. Cooley is the pro bono legal partner
of Project Entrepreneur. Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and its
philanthropic arm The CAA Foundation, also worked closely with Rent the
Runway and UBS to help bring Project Entrepreneur to life.

Project Entrepreneur is informed by its Community Advisors: Black
Founders; HBCU Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship
Initiative; Latino Startup Alliance; and Venture for America. Advisory
Council members can be found at:

Follow Project Entrepreneur on Facebook,
and Twitter,
and with the hashtag #PEIntensive17.

About Rent the Runway:

Rent the Runway is revolutionizing fashion by allowing millions of women
to rent designer apparel and accessories, both on-demand and through its
subscription service Unlimited. The company focuses on convenience and a
top-notch customer experience on all of its platforms, including mobile,
online, and retail locations in Chicago, New York City, Washington,
D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. With styles from
hundreds of top designers, RTR serves as a powerful marketing channel
for the fashion industry, introducing a new generation of women to
brands that they had limited access to before. Co-Founded in 2009 by
Harvard Business School graduates, Rent the Runway has raised over $190
million in venture capital and has 6 million members across the U.S.

About UBS:

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional
and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in
Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our
Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth
Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and
the Investment Bank. UBS’s strategy builds on the strengths of all of
its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels,
while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the
businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate
attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its
businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive
position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices
in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the
Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East
and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately
60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss
Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Note to editors

Wealth Management Americas
recently announced that it contributed to
raising the industry’s largest impact investing fund with a gender lens
overlay. Rethink Impact is a venture capital fund that invests in
female-led, tech enabled companies creating transformational social and
environmental change.

Follow us on Twitter: @UBS


1 According to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report

2 According to November 2014 Kauffman Foundation Report,
Sources of Economic Hope: Women Entrepreneurship


Rent the Runway & Project Entrepreneur
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