Three Female Founders Win Investments Onstage During San Antonio Startup Week

(EZ Newswire)

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- Three startups were named winners at Pitch HearstLab Texas, HearstLab’s pitch event for early stage, women-led startups. Out of hundreds of applications from across the country, six companies were selected as finalists to present in-person at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday of San Antonio Startup Week.

The finalists represented industry verticals ranging from clinical trial logistics to fleet transportation safety, and featured two winners from HearstLab’s previous pitch event for university women. Each founder pitched to a live audience and a panel of expert judges, including Hearst EVP & HearstLab Chairwoman Eve Burton and San Antonio Express-News Publisher & CEO Mark Medici.

The event’s winners were as follows: EZ Newswire, a platform that makes it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to create and publish their news; Meili Technologies, an AI-based driver incapacitation detection system for fleet and passenger vehicles; and Scope Zero, creator of the Carbon Savings Account™ for home technology and personal transportation upgrades that fosters employee financial wellness and enables corporate ESG strategy.

In addition to a $100,000 investment from HearstLab, each winning company will also receive hands-on support from HearstLab. Previous Pitch HearstLab winners include Clutch, Ema, Givers Health, Junum and Narratize.

"Fundraising is incredibly hard. Today's recognition combined with the relationship I am building with HearstLab is really unique," said Caitlin Kelly, Founder & Co-CEO of EZ Newswire. "The fundraising process can become a one-and-done, in-and-out, very transaction-based experience. This has been completely different."

"I'm super excited to have the opportunity to work with HearstLab for their breadth of industry knowledge and the Hearst business transportation opportunities," said Samantha Lee, Co-Founder & CEO of Meili Technologies.

"We're thrilled to be one of the finalists ... well, one of the winners now!" said Lizzy Kolar, Founder & CEO of Scope Zero. "Partnering with HearstLab can help us continue to build momentum by growing our brand awareness and developing partnerships with corporations across the US and the world."

Pitch HearstLab is the biggest competition for women-led startups in the world. The event series is aimed at finding and funding the best high-growth B2B(2C) women-led startups in the US and select international markets. Texas is the sixth event in the series, and the second iteration in San Antonio. 

With prior competitions in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Madrid, and multiple winners at each event, HearstLab has invested over $1 million in early-stage women-led startups through the pitch series alone. To date, HearstLab has invested in over 60 women-led startups, currently valued at over $2 billion collectively. Its mission is to help closing the funding gap in venture capital funding for women. Current data shows that women-led businesses still receive just 2% of all venture funding, despite the growing number of female entrepreneurs.

"How many of you are familiar with Shark Tank?" asked MC CJ Kettler, who also serves as President of King Features. "Well, this is not like Shark Tank," she continued. "We're here to highlight the heart and soul of entrepreneurial spirit, and hopefully fund sustainable businesses that are solving real world problems."

"The women we met today who pitched introduced to the world many next generation products," said Eve Burton, "and with the right support, they will make large profitable companies that have tremendous impact. I am proud of the six founders that were selected out of over 400 that applied to pitch here today. They are all going to achieve exceptional things."

"It's really a joy and a dream to be here in my home city of San Antonio again. This is where Pitch HearstLab all started," said HearstLab VP Lisa Burton. "So much of the venture ecosystem is focused around the east and west coast, but as we all know, there are brilliant ideas and people to be found everywhere. Being able to work with the Express-News and have their support in highlighting all that San Antonio has to offer is critical in helping these businesses grow."

Pitch HearstLab Texas was produced in partnership with the San Antonio Express-News as a part of San Antonio Startup Week. Ulta Beauty was the premier national sponsor and shared a special message of mission-alignment with Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. Additional local sponsors & partners included Bridgethead IT, CodeUp, Microsoft, Geekdom, as well as in kind sponsors Supergoop!, heywell, and TÖST Beverages

Pitch HearstLab will head next to New York City in Spring 2024, with additional US-based and international competitions on the horizon. Beyond pitch events, female founders can apply for HearstLab investment anytime (up to $1 million) throughout the year. 

For more information, visit the HearstLab website and follow HearstLab on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About EZ Newswire

EZ Newswire is a platform that makes it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to create and publish their news. Our technology produces professional announcements in minutes with no writing or public relations experience required, while our publisher network guarantees placement to ensure the news reaches the right audience. From Main Street to Wall Street, find out why thousands of organizations trust us to power their headlines at

About Meili Technologies

Using existing car sensors, like a driver-facing camera, Meili detects health emergencies like heart attacks, seizures, and diabetic emergencies. Meili then communicates with existing ADAS features for the car to proactively prevent crashes and contacts first responders to reduce time to life saving care. While many are building drowsy and distracted driving detection, we're the first to take this more critical angle and the first to collect the necessary data en masse. This data is very difficult to collect and our focus is what allows us to beat the market to building health emergency detection and enhance other driver monitoring systems.

About Scope Zero

Scope Zero created the Carbon Savings Account™ for home technology and personal transportation upgrades that fosters employee financial wellness and enables corporate ESG strategy. For employees, the CSA increases the affordability and accessibility of upgrades that reduce their utility bills, fuel spend, and carbon footprint. The CSA lowers the upfront costs of upgrades with employer matches and referral discounts from CSA marketplace vendors. For employers, the CSA measures, reports, and reduces scope 3 work-from-home and commute emissions. The CSA addresses the annual 2.3B tons of carbon emissions from U.S. residential energy consumption and personal vehicle use.

About HearstLab

HearstLab provides cash investments and services to early-stage, women-led startups innovating across fintech, data analytics, health, transportation, enterprise technology and media. Its mission is to close the gap in VC funding for women by helping founders build sustainable and highly scalable businesses. With access to Hearst resources across 360+ businesses, HearstLab’s breadth of services includes assistance with privacy and security, software development, legal services, financial analysis, and marketing and design support. To learn more about HearstLab, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn.


SOURCE: HearstLab

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