Femly Box also received a matching check from former NBA player-turned-investor Baron Davis who was a speaker at the festival. This amounts to a total investment of $50,000.
Launched by New Yorker Arion Long, Femly conveniently provides a monthly subscription service that delivers natural cotton pads, tampons, body care freebies, and organic snacks, right to your front door. In addition to the B2C model, the brand is also exploring B2B opportunities to expand its reach.
Long’s journey to create Femly is deeply personal. After suffering from a cervical tumor linked to chemicals found in conventional care, Long was inspired to create something better for women. “I started Femly because I had my own reproductive illness and I just wanted to be the solution to what women like me needed.”
Long said the prep ahead of the competition was “absolutely amazing.” Not only did she access resources, accredited investors, and top-notch mentors, she also engaged with other dynamic companies and their products. “It was good to be in great company,” she said. The $50K investment will go towards launching new services and pursuing business partnerships, where Femly will sell its products onsite.
Four other promising startups presented their businesses onstage to a panel of judges alongside Femly. The other finalists were: Legal Equalizer, a mobile app that aids users in law enforcement encounters; Blue Studios, a live-stream platform broadcasting STEM classes for kids; A Boring Life, a natural foods company selling CBD infused snacks; and Musicbuk, a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to connect students with local music instructors. The startups were handpicked from over 1,200 applicants nationwide.
All five finalists were given four minutes to present. After each pitch, a Q&A followed from a judging panel of seasoned investors and startup advisors: Kat Cole of Focus Brand, Lisa Calhoun of Valor Ventures, and Angela Matheny of Colonial Consulting. WSB-TV anchor Jovita Moore served as the host.In choosing the winner, Matheny said she liked Femly’s unique value proposition as well as its varied product offerings, which also include a menstrual cup. “I know what her competitors look like and I knew what her edge was, compared to other pitches that I’ve seen with similar products,” she said. “I’m always looking for the edge. What differentiates you from your competitors. And when you hear about the traction that she’s making, she’s ahead of the curve.”
The Ambition Fund is a brand-new investment firm spearheaded by tech entrepreneur and TV personality Tanya Sam. The fund is focused on increasing capital access and funding potential for women and underestimated founders. To kick off the fund, Sam hosted The Business Battle Pitch Competition at A3C.
“My passion and focus on supporting minority and female founders is something that I’ve worked on for several years in the Atlanta technology and startup ecosystem,” said Sam, who serves as the co-lead of Ascend Atlanta and Director of Partnerships at TechSquare Labs. “But one thing that I’ve realized as I’ve been delving into this technology scene is that there are many underrepresented founders that are building amazing businesses across many different industries.”
The Toronto native, who now resides in Atlanta, said she believes there’s a huge problem when it comes to access to capital for these founders. She went on to describe how talented and diverse entrepreneurs are not gaining access to the wealth creation engines of business and entrepreneurship, while investors are missing out on markets they might not have been inherently paying attention to. So she wants to turn her attention to this and provide a solution.
“I’m really excited to provide a platform that can help fix this funding disparity, while at the same time making profitable investments and generating returns,” she said. “At the same time, we want to help to create multi-generational wealth which has the ability to change the future for underrepresented families, founders, and overlooked communities.”
Sam went on to say seeing the jam-packed room with key players in the Atlanta startup ecosystem, as well as the five companies “who pitched their hearts and dreams” out on the stage, was incredible.
“With Femly Box, I not only loved the brand’s beautiful packaging, but I loved Arion’s business model; she’s fulfilling a need in the market for biodegradable & non-toxic products,” added Sam. “We were also impressed by how she’s been able to use Femly’s B2B model to drive their B2C subscription model, and I’m so excited to work with her on this next phase of her business.”
The A3C conference, which entrepreneur Paul Judge and The Gathering Spot cofounder Ryan Wilson acquired a controlling stake in earlier this year, was the perfect backdrop. Right before the pitch competition, Sam’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta peers joined her for a discussion on leveraging celebrity to create profitable business ventures. Judge meanwhile also moderated keynotes on growing million-dollar companies and venture capital during the A3C event.
The Ambition Fund wants to continue to give entrepreneurs the chance at developing capital, mentorship, and resources. The Business Battle Pitch Competition will take this same momentum in representation, inspiration, and support around the country.
Main Image: Tanya Sam and pitch competition winner Arion Long [photo credit: The Ambition Fund]