When we came up with the idea for our company over a glass of wine in Nancy's apartment four months ago, we never would have believed you if you told us our brand new company would be one of the female-founded startups selected to participate in Rent the Runway Foundation's Project Entrepreneur. If you also would have told us we'd be selected as one of just 10 startups out of the nearly 150 participating companies to present during the Live Pitch Competition, we would have thought you were completely insane -- but it's all amazingly true! We are in the running for the Rent the Runway Accelerator!
Interviewing over Skype with Rent the Runway Foundation's Project Entrepreneur
As two female Harvard Business School students, we have revered Jennifer Fleiss
and Jennifer Hyman
since the day they founded Rent the Runway in 2009. They are unprecedented outliers: venture-backed women founders who not only made their entrepreneurial dreams come true, but were able to do it in one of the least-invested industries in venture capital at the time: fashion. According to data from CB Insights
, only 8% of funded founders are women and 1% are black. That's why Project Entrepreneur and it's mission to "provide women access to the tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies" is so important in an effort to make entrepreneurship more inclusive; and it's why we are so humbled and excited to be part of it's inaugural class of women founders! As a Mexican American and a Sudanese American, we look at the statistics of women and minority founders and sometimes wonder, "Can we do this? The numbers say our dreams are near impossible because of what we look like." But we lean on each other for mutual support and stay grounded in the mission that drives our company: redefining the color nude in fashion to match the diversity of women's skin. We're passionate about building a world where diversity is inclusive of all skin tones, where every woman can meet the standard of beauty, and where gender is no barrier to success. Here's to taking a giant step closer to that goal with the amazing support of Project Entrepreneur. Thank you!
Atima is a proud Black feminist. Thinker and tinkerer. Best friends with Nancy Madrid, as well as the CEO & Co-Founder of Nudest.