Credit: Pooya Nabei

Skipper Otto's Community Supported Fishery co-founder Sonia Strobel was selected as one of three finalists for Pitch for the Purse. 

Three female entrepreneurs will now battle it out for the $25,000 cash prize

On Thursday, for the third year in a row, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) hosted the semi-finals of its Pitch for the Purse competition, pitting 12 female business owners against each other in a bid to obtain funding for their ideas.

The semi-finals consisted of a five-minute pitch and a Q&A with the three judges (Ali Pejman, partner at Fort Capital, Brian Paes-Braga of Lithium X Energy Corp. and Sophia Maizel of HarbourVest), in which contestants answered questions about the viability of their companies.

When the dust settled at the Vancouver Club, the judges each chose a nominee to mentor before February’s final pitch.

Pejman, the only returning judge from last year (when he picked Ava Technologies CEO Valerie Song) went with Sonia Strobel, co-founder of Vancouver’s Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery, which creates a direct connection between local fishermen and consumers. The company pledges to improve the local food system while protecting ocean resources.

CreamSatya Organics on Twitter

Paes-Braga chose Port Coquitlam-based Satya Organics and its founder, Patrice Mousseau, who founded the business after her daughter was diagnosed with eczema and prescribed a streroid cream. Mousseau thought there was a better solution, so she came up with a steroid-free anti-inflammatory cream that can be used on the face or body to treat eczema and other skin conditions.

Rounding out the list is Maizel’s choice, Jessica Oblak, founder of Toronto-based Copper Medical. Targeting health-care professionals, Copper Medical makes apparel that decreases the spread of hospital-acquired infections by killing 98 to 99 percent of bacteria in contact with the scrubs.

The Pitch for the Purse finale is on February 21, 2019, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, with the winner taking home a $25,000 cash prize. The previous two champions were  Nicole Smith of Flytographer and Tara Bosch of Smart Sweets.