Junior Judge Program
The Junior Judge program is Women Founders Foundation’s flagship program, which takes place during summer and fall each year. It aligns with the Women Founders Network Fast Pitch, a yearly competition in Los Angeles for women entrepreneurs. Since 2014, the Junior Judge program has educated more than 100 girls in grades 6-12 about entrepreneurship through fun and educational events to meet women CEOs and startup founders, workshops teaching the fundamentals of business, and their participation in the annual WFN Fast Pitch Event as “venture capitalists for a day” to vote for their favorite company and present a sponsored cash award to their winner.
The Junior Judges walk away from the experience feeling confident, inspired, and motivated, knowing there is a strong community of women available to support them in achieving their goals.
To learn more about the Women Founders Network and the annual
Fast Pitch competition, please visit https://www.womenfoundersnetwork.com/.
2020 Junior Judge Program
Applications for 2020 are now closed. Accepted participants will be notified in early July.
Who can apply?
We welcome any girl who is in 6th grade (currently, as of the 2019-2020 school year) through 12th grade to apply to the program between May 15 and July 1. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of our programs.
Though it is expected that all of our programming will take place online in 2020, should in-person meetings for small groups become viable, we will explore that option in the late summer and fall. We accept applications from across the United States, but note that if we have the opportunity to hold in-person events they will take place in the greater Los Angeles, California, region (including the required Fast Pitch on October 27).
Participation Fee & Waivers
There is a $50 fee to participate if girls are accepted into the program, which covers all expenses including one ticket to the fast pitch in October (normally a $75 value). If the cost is a barrier to participation, we can offer fee waivers on a case-by-case basis.
Equipment & Materials
Participants will need a reliable internet connection and device to participate in the program this year. We strongly encourage participating in virtual meetings with a web camera so we can create as authentic an experience as possible!
Once accepted into the program, Junior Judges will be sent a welcome packet via email.
About the Program
Given the coronavirus pandemic, the Junior Judge program will move online in 2020. We will host virtual programming for the selected Junior Judges between July and October 2020. On October 27, the Women Founders Network plans to host a virtual Fast Pitch event, and the Junior Judges will still participate as judges during that virtual event.
The virtual program will center around an online curriculum of Mindset & Milestones, a recently released workbook for young women interested in entrepreneurship. The book is written by Diondraya Taylor, an incoming UCLA PhD student, who is dedicated to creating and inspiring opportunities for women to succeed in business and in life. Junior Judges will participate in virtual lessons and conversations with Diondraya on a fixed schedule (see below).
In addition to the Mindset & Milestones curriculum, Junior Judges will have the opportunity to “meet” women CEOs and entrepreneurs through virtual meetings on Zoom to learn their experiences starting companies across a range of fields.
Important Dates in 2020
May 15-July 1: Junior Judge applications accepted
Early July: Junior Judges notified of status
October 27: Women Founders Network Virtual Fast Pitch Event (required online attendance for Junior Judges)*
*Should in-person events become viable for fall 2020 and our venue allows it, we will reevaluate an in-person pitch event.
2020 Program Schedule
Junior Judges are encouraged to participate in as many virtual events as possible. Note that dates for additional programming will be added in the weeks and months ahead.
Meet the 2019 Junior Judges:
Adult educational events are hosted through Women Founders Network and may be viewed here.
Past (2019) events for Junior Judges included: