Kudos Founder Amrita Saigal First Place Winner in TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition; Other Winners Are Founders of Moxie Apparel, Unruly Studios, and Project Prana

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Amrita Saigal (Photo credit: Vijaysai/Facebook)
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BOSTON–TiE Boston announced winners of the highly anticipated TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition 2021. Kudos founder Amrita Saigal won the first prize. Other winners are: Second Place: Alicia Tulsee, Founder and CEO of Moxie Apparel; Third Place: Bryanne Leeming, Founder and CEO of Unruly Studios; and Social Entrepreneurship Prize: Shriya Srinivasan, Founder Project Prana.

During an exciting evening, TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition gave the floor to seven female founders/co-founders to pitch for a chance to compete for $100K equity free money. For the winner, Ms. Saigal, TiE Boston’s competition will prove as just one stop in the road map to compete in the TiE Women Global Pitch Competition at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.

The event opened with remarks from Keynote Speaker Desh Deshpande, Life Member – MIT Corporation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Deshpande encouraged the Founders to stay optimistic, dig into the capabilities that will serve you the rest of your life.

Each Founder/Co-Founder took the floor to deliver a concise pitch, attempting to appeal to Judges Nilanjana Bhowmik, Co-Founder and General Partner Converge, Darshana Zaveri, Managing Partner, Catalyst Health Ventures, and Rama Ramakrishnan, Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan School of Management and serial entrepreneur.

The semi- finalists fielded tough questions to paint a full picture of their startups. From dollar opportunity to exit strategies the Founders/Co-Founders were put in the hot seat for Q&A after every pitch to ensure the judges were capable of making a calculated and informed decision in selecting the winner.

This year’s winner, Ms. Saigal touts the first disposable, plant based baby diapers with 100% cotton liners to hit the market and has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, and Red Tricycle.

“I am honored to be selected for this award and I am deeply grateful to TIE for their support of women entrepreneurs. Every presentation was exceptional and I look forward to following the entrepreneurial journeys of other founders as well. The Kudos team promises to put this prize money to good use as we expand our vision to bring genuine advances in sustainability to baby diapers,” said Ms. Saigal.

Second place winner was Ms. Tulsee, founder and CEO, Moxie Apparel, a company that is disrupting the $12B medical apparel market as the first D2C brand for nurses.

“The comradery felt in the TiE community is a strong one. Amrita, Bryanne and I connected on Linkedin with each other during the event having never met. We made plans right then and there to get together, before the winners were announced! What a delight it was to learn that the three of us were the First, Second, and Third Place winners,” said Ms. Tulsee. “As fellow women founders and disruptors, the respect and appreciation we felt for each other was recognized immediately. Being part of a community like Tie Boston that makes these kinds of connections and relationships possible makes all the difference in our journey!”

Third place winner, Ms. Leeming, founder and CEO of Unruly Studios, empowers students to learn critical STEM skills through active, social recess-style play.

“We’re honored to place in this competition and excited for how it will support our mission to break down barriers in K-12 computer science education,” said Ms. Leeming. “This competition has also been such a valuable experience for meeting other women entrepreneurs on similar journeys in Boston who I now count as friends.”

A special prize, for social entrepreneurship, was given to Ms. Srinivasan, for her ground-breaking work at Project Prana, a nonprofit dedicated to deploying accessible healthcare, beginning with the iSAVE, a tool to double ventilation capacity.

“Starting and scaling a venture in the heat of a crisis has certainly been a challenging task. Having the support and recognition of an organization like TiE is a great source of encouragement,” said Ms. Srinivasan.

The resounding message from seasoned speakers like Geeta Aiyer and Mr. Deshpande was: we need to change and women are the ones who are going to get us there. Be part of the change, be the visionary who leads positive change. Change can happen fast. Things that look terrible today, might look better tomorrow. Stay optimistic.

In closing, a special thank you from TiE Boston President, Anu Chitrapu was given to the TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition sponsors: Subu Kota, Anil Shah, Satish Jha, and Ms. Aiyer.

“Women play a pivotal role in the TiE Boston ecosystem. They comprise 50% of our Board and represent every aspect of the entrepreneurial ecosystem including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, executives and service providers,” said Ms. Chitrapu.

Closing remarks were given by TiE Boston Charter Members Ms. Aiyer, Mr. Shah, and Mr. Jha, who emphasized the importance of women in power in the workplace, perfecting the pitch and trailblazing uncharted paths.

The following female founders competed in the TiE Boston Women Pitch Competition:

  • Dr. Marcie R. Black, Co-Founder and CEO of Advanced Silicon Group
  • Bryanne Leeming, Founder and CEO of Unruly Studios
  • Amrita Saigal, Founder and CEO of Kudos
  • Alicia Tulsee, Founder and CEO of Moxie Apparel
  • Dr. Theresa Dankovich, Co-Founder and CTO of Folia Materials
  • Avani Sarkar, Founder and CEO of Modi Toys
  • Dr. Shriya Srinivasan, Founder of Project Prana,

TiE Boston connects tomorrow’s founders with today’s entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists. Founded in 1997 by entrepreneurs who immigrated from the Indus region, TiE Boston champions inclusion in innovation by blending the fundamentals of entrepreneurship with traditional Indian values that place importance on community, mentorship, and long-term relationships.

TiE Boston is one of the region’s largest and oldest organizations supporting the Massachusetts entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused on supporting entrepreneurs throughout their lifecycle — from ideation to creation, through growth, wealth creation and ultimately, support of future founders.

The TiE Boston community encompasses students, founders, experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists. Its programs foster trusted, long-term relationships between its participants — span education, mentoring, networking, and funding.

For more information about TiE Boston, visit https://www.tieboston.org/.

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