The Circle Pressroom

Press Release
May 12, 2022

Circle and SeedInvest Kick-Off Community Pitch Competition for Underrepresented Founders

Top 3 winning startups to receive cash awards and access to investment and startup education, mentorship, networking and growth opportunities

Boston — April 26, 2022 — In celebration of the ten year anniversary of the JOBS Act this month, Circle and SeedInvest today announced the launch of the Community Pitch Competition designed to provide access to capital, networking and business building tools to historically underrepresented founders interested in growing their businesses. SeedInvest, a leading startup fundraising platform and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Circle Internet Financial, LLC, was instrumental in the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012. The historical legislation enabled startups to raise funds online from retail investors and has helped promote financial inclusion and access to previously untapped markets. 

The competition is free to enter, and all applicants are subject to the eligibility requirements outlined at Once founders make it through the competition, 6 finalists take the virtual stage to compete on June 1, 2022. A lineup of powerhouse judges will have the job of culling the startups to the top 3 winners. The winners will receive equity-free cash prizes of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for first, second, and third place, respectively, along with the option to raise on SeedInvest with $10,000 in fees waived. The winners may also be eligible to receive bonus prizes from Ramp, Braze, and EY to help grow their business, provided that the winners also meet the additional outlined prize partner qualifications.

“SeedInvest looks forward to memorializing the JOBS Act 10-year milestone by providing a platform to showcase the very best underrepresented founders and help fuel their growth,” said Ryan Feit, CEO and Co-Founder of SeedInvest. “Over the past decade, our industry has proven that online platforms fund a much greater percentage of women and minority founders than traditional fundraising.”

"Underrepresented founders still do not have the same access to capital and economic opportunity, especially at the critical early stages of a startup," said Rod McLeod, VP of Social Impact at Braze. "Braze helps businesses at any stage grow, and we're looking forward to shaping a more equitable future through SeedInvest's Community Pitch Competition."

Judges include Jesse Draper, General Partner at Halogen Ventures, Tasha Youngblood Brown, Managing Director at EY, Ryan Feit, CEO and Co-Founder at SeedInvest, and Sherice Torres, Chief Marketing Officer at Circle. 

"I’m thrilled to partner with SeedInvest for the Community Pitch Competition, elevating and celebrating diverse founders. Creating a more inclusive VC ecosystem isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s smart investing and paramount for growth," said Jesse Draper, General Partner at Halogen Ventures. 

Those interested and eligible to participate in the Community Pitch Competition can apply online now through May 20, 2022. For more information on the competition, including the Terms and Conditions and Official Rules, eligibility requirements, prizes, and how to apply, please visit the competition website