The SoGal Foundation, a nonprofit working to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship, is today hosting the first of 25 regional startup competitions with an event in South Bend. The SoGal Global Pitch Competition is co-hosted by Startup South Bend-Elkhart.

Finalists from each regional round competition will travel to Silicon Valley to participate in SoGal’s three day immersive educational bootcamp.

The bootcamp includes networking events with investors,educational programming, press opportunities and a chance to win a portion of $600,000 in investment capital allocated for on-the-spot investment. 

All participating startups must have raised less than $3M, with at least one woman or self-identified underrepresented founder. Indiana is one of 25 regional rounds hosted in SoGal chapters across five continents. Other regional rounds will be hosted in New York, San Francisco, Lagos, Chicago, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, and Nairobi.

The competing startups vary in industry, including those from healthcare, tech, financial services, consumer goods, B2B, and more.

Startups pitching in Indiana include SNAPSHYFT, We Sparkle, Halo Lending Company (DBA "The Halo App"), Zietchick Research Institute, LLC, Smart Bridge Medical, Inc, LiveBeat Technology, Level Up, Pinpoint Pharma, Selfless.ly, The TackHack, AuthentiCx LLC, The Mad Optimist, Inspectus and Fourtifeye.

“SoGal was born out of the need to put millennial and generation Z women front and center in entrepreneurship and VC globally,” said Pocket Sun, founder and co-president of SoGal Foundation. “Women and other underrepresented founders are underestimated and undercapitalized, yet when provided with resources, network, and capital, women founders are statistically proven to outperform their male counterparts. There's been enough data, research, and education but too few actions and capital allocation. We just need to allocate capital to women and the rest will sort itself out.”