Prepping for Paris, The Backstory

Hi there! My name is Julia, I’m glad you found the first post for my new blog – Pitching in Paris. Pitching in Paris is a blog about, well, pitching in Paris!! Norma, our team at Denver Startup Weekend Women’s Edition, won about two weeks ago and the prize is the chance to win it big at an international pitch competition happening in Paris March 6-9. This blog will document our crazy, whirlwind experience!

If you only have a minute and want to help us win our pitch competition, please fill out our ten question survey. It only takes a few minutes!

Tali Koziol suggested that Amelia and I participate Denver Startup Weekend Women’s edition. Our entry fees were sponsored by Project X-ite, specifically with the help of Dr. Rosanna Garcia, fellow entrepreneur and an outstanding leader. We were under the impression we could pitch our company Boobi Butter, so despite having midterms on Monday, decided to embark on the 54 hour sprint over the weekend to further our company.

Then came the rather unpleasant surprise to find out that, in fact, we could not pitch or work on Boobi Butter, as it was a pre-existing company and would be grounds for disqualification. Instead of being bad sports, packing our bags and heading home, we got our heads in the game and tried to find another way to benefit from the weekend. The conversation went something like this…

Julia: Well, what else can we do. Vegan lube? We’ve been thinking about that for a minute now?
Amelia: …yeeeeah maybe not 😂
Julia: Ok, fair enough. What else then? Should we just join another team?
Amelia: I mean we could, but that’s not really our style and we both have midterms on Monday.
Julia: What about the app?
Amelia: BINGO!!

And so it went. Amelia pitched the idea and our team formed almost instantly. It was the perfect combination of skills a team at startup weekend could hope for. Lauryn is a UX designer and incredibly organized with her business skills, Rachael is a powerful graphic designer with a knack for comprehensive wire-framing, and Sienna is a kickass engineering student who studied breast health as an undergraduate. We even had an unexpected addition arrive from Silicon Valley who was attending a conference and heard about the event. This 18 year old savant codes iOS apps like it’s nobody’s business, and thus the perfect team was born!

——————————————————————

So you are probably wondering…

What is Norma?

It’s a simple concept really but the implications are huge. The idea is to create an IoT connected app designed to help women monitor their breast health, encouraging early detection of breast cancer.

Norma’s mission to revolutionize breast health is near to my heart as my mom battled breast cancer last summer. Don’t worry, she came out on top – shoutout mom for being incredibly strong and a great role model! I am thankful for the powers of early detection and want to advocate its importance to the world.

After a grueling weekend, Amelia and Lauryn executed the perfect final pitch Sunday to secure the victory!! Then the whirlwind began as reality set in. The prize is a trip to Paris for the person who pitched the original idea – so Amelia was a shoe in. That left the rest of the team eager to find ways to come along and support the team, showing investors at the followup competition how serious our team is about pursuing our idea. Lauryn, Miriam, Sienna and myself found ways to attend, and Rachael has been working diligently to create the wireframe and will be missed like crazy at the event, but she will be supporting us from home!

I have to give a huge thank you to Dr. Haag, one of the most supportive professors of undergraduate startups I have ever encountered. He helps me and my fellow student entrepreneurs with effectively everything, has been an advisor of Boobi Butter since Amelia began the company over a year ago, and his support with no strings attached has been key to our successes.

I am extremely thankful for Dr. Haag and the Office of Entrepreneurship at Daniels, DU’s College of Business for sponsoring my plane ticket to Paris. They were especially generous with allotting funds for Amelia and I to buy some DU apparel that we can wear as we venture off to Paris!

Our team will continue documenting the competition from our perspective, so be sure to stay tuned for the next post! ☺️

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