Startup competitions with largest cash prizes for women and minority founders

Steven Loeb · December 14, 2017 · Short URL:

They include Women Startup Challenge, The Latino Perfect Pitch Competition and PUSHTech2020

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that have the largest cash prize for women and minority founders:


Description: "Women Who Tech is on a mission to fund women-led startups. Through our Women Startup Challenges, which have been held in Washington, D.C. at 1776, New York at Microsoft and Google, and San Francisco at LinkedIn, we have brought together the best early-stage, women-led startups using tech to rapidly scale and innovate. What’s next?"

Prize: Top prize is $50,000, and $15,000 in legal services from Paul Hastings. Second place winners hget $10,000 in legal services and three hours in consulting from 1843 Capital. Third place gets $10,000 in legal services.

Previous winners: Didimo, Spirit AI, Addicaid


Description: "To overcome the challenges women face, Shiffon has launched a startup competition where 5 entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to kickstart initiatives in their respective countries.

The competition is open to budding entrepreneurs passionate about launching enterprises that are driven to empower women and provide employment opportunities."

Prize: Shiffon is offering five $5,000 prizes and mentorship from leading fashion and tech companies and consultancies to successful applicants. They understand that mentorship in addition to capital is crucial for the success of young businesses.

Previous winners: none yet


Description: "Women Founders Network (WFN) is a virtual accelerator that connects women building high-growth businesses with the tools and resources they need to achieve business success."


  • $30,000 in cash prizes will be awarded
  • Junior Judges' award $5,000 cash to their winner
  • Top 10 companies receive $100K+ in professional services

Top 10 finalists receive one-on-one coaching to prepare for the fast pitch; are ssigned a CEO Mentor for three hours of consultation; meet & greet with WFN judges, board members, sponsors

Previous winners: DigiTour Media, Double Helix, Enrou, Vow to be Chic


Description: "The Johnson Women in Technology Conference (JWiT) is organized by the students of the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Designed to attract students and professionals alike, the event features engrossing panel discussions, valuable networking events, a pre-revenue pitch competition and more."


  • $120,000 in cloud services from Microsoft
  • $5,000 Cash 
  • Office hours with a Red Bear Angels Investor 
  • Office hours with Techstars NYC 
  • Coaching Session with Female Founders Fund partners & strategic press and investor introductions

Previous winners: Blik


Description: "PUSHTech2020 Think Tank is a fast-paced business pitch competition. Six entrepreneurs will pitch an original business idea to a panel of business experts and an audience of entrepreneurs, small business owners, potential investors, students, business and community leaders"

Prize: $5,000

Previous winners: UrbanGeekz


Description: "Atlanta Startup Battle is the freshest and most unique pitch competition in Atlanta. With 100+ ideas and 2 days of competition, the top participants develop their ideas with seasoned mentors and present to investor judges, real VCs from Atlanta and Silicon Valley, all in an effort to help Atlanta build, scale, and fund the next generation of outstanding tech companies."


  • $100,000 investment
  • 1-year Incubation space at TechSquare Labs
  • Access to TechSquare Mentors
  • Access to VC investors for next stage of funding

Previous winners: FraudScope, Hypepotamus, Cinchapi



Description: “The Latino Perfect Pitch” is a small business competition for entrepreneurs, digital influencers and bloggers seeking an opportunity to take their business to the next level. The competition was open to entrepreneurs who have been in business no more than five years and three finalists were selected to pitch their business to a panel of expert judges for a grand prize at Hispanicize 2017.

Prize: $5,000

Previous winners: Mundo Lanugo



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