On Monday, the Tory Burch Foundation announced the 10 female fellows who will participate in its first-ever yearlong Fellowship program, which was announced last year when the Foundation began accepting applications. Through March and April, it held a public online vote listing 30 female-run businesses that were chosen from more than 500 candidates. After nearly 40,000 votes, these remaining female entrepreneurs will receive a $10,000 grant, as well as access to opportunities to network and receive mentorships and business education.
Said Burch in a statement: "Our goal is to give women the tools and platform they need to grow their businesses. We are thrilled to celebrate and welcome these 10 extraordinary women to our Fellows program as they serve as ambassadors to women entrepreneurs across the country."
The fellows will also receive a paid trip to New York City where they will spend three days at Tory Burch's headquarters meeting with mentors and Tory Burch, the person. The group will then participate in a pitch competition where they will present their businesses to a panel of judges, including Burch, Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider and supermodel Liya Kebede. One top fellow will then be chosen for a $100,000 grant to invest into her business.
Get to know the lucky women below, whose businesses run the gamut from a hotdog food truck and skin care to infused sea salt and tea inspired by coffee.
- Nicole Baldwin, Biao Skincare (Houston, TX)
- Allison DeVane, Teapressa (Phoenix, AZ)
- Alexa Fleischman, Savvy Society (San Francisco, CA)
- Kate Glantz, Heartful.ly (Washington, D.C.)
- Ericka Lassair, Diva Dawg (New Orleans, LA)
- Kate McAleer, Bixby & Co. (Rockland, ME)
- Emellie O’Brien, Earth Angel (Brooklyn, NY)
- Kimarie Santiago, Saltopia (Hackettstown, NJ)
- Amy Swift, Building Hugger (Detroit, MI)
- Caren Ulrich Stacy, Diversity Lab (Boulder, CO)
UPDATE, 6/13/2016: The Tory Burch Foundation has named Kate McAleer as its top fellow who will receive a $100,000 grant investment for her business Bixby & Co. Based in Rockland, Maine, McAleer creates candy snack bars that are organic and vegan-friendly. "Through this program I now have access to new doors to new networks and experiences that will impact growth. This is truly life-changing," said McAleer in a statement. She will use her grant money towards expanding Bixby & Co.'s product line. Congrats!