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Past Event

Virtual Dolphin Tank: Kansas City Women in Tech

August 16, 2023 | 12:00 pm

This will be a virtual pitch event.

Springboard’s Dolphin Tank is a pitch event that brings the power of our collective community to women entrepreneurs innovating in technology. Our Dolphin Tank events showcase exciting women-led companies and provide them with the opportunity for connections, capital, and insight from our audience of investors, advisors, and industry leaders.

Join Springboard Enterprises and Dolphin Tank partners Wells Fargo, the Kauffman Foundation, and OneKC for Women, for an exciting pitch event featuring women founders and entrepreneurs, expert panelists, and interactive audience participation!

When and Where

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023
12:00 PM-2:00 PM CT

Please note: This will be a virtual event.

We’re Showcasing Women in Tech!

Does your company have at least one woman founder, entrepreneur, or executive in a key leadership position? Do you advise one? Pitch your company at Dolphin Tank!

Don’t wait! Applications are due soon.

Criteria for presenting companies:

  • Applications are open to women entrepreneurs in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.
  • The company must have at least one woman founder or in a key leadership position.
  • Areas of focus that include, but are not limited to enterprise-focused tech solutions.
  • Demonstrated innovation in your industry and traction in your market.
  • Seed stage to growth stage.
  • Must be able to present virtually on August 16, 2023.

Apply today.

About Dolphin Tank

Dolphin Tank participants will have access to learning opportunities, mentorship, and access to capital via: Funding Your Small Business, Pitching to Investors, and Equity Prep classes offered by the KCWBC. Funding Your Small Business is a one-hour workshop providing an understanding of debt and equity funding. Equity seekers are encouraged to take the next step with pitching to investors an orientation workshop. Debt funding candidates may be interested in a microloan or banker referral or one-on-one counseling with KCWBC’s Client Services Manager for potential financial preparation. Pitching to Investors is a two-hour orientation that introduces the business owner pursuing equity funding with terminology and the process that is necessary to attract investors. Equity Prep takes a deeper dive into raising equity funding. The program helps entrepreneurs get ready for several pathways, including Digital Sandbox, Dolphin Tank, Angel Investors, and Demo Days. 

Springboard Enterprises values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as essential to our mission and more broadly to a thriving, equitable, and just global community. We encourage women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to apply.

How Dolphin Tank Works

While the venues and audiences may vary, every Dolphin Tank shares these core elements:

  • Entrepreneurs and their companies are selected via an application process.
  • Presenters deliver a three-minute pitch addressing a challenge or unique opportunity.
  • Solutions, connections, strategies, and opportunities for investment are crowdsourced from the audience.

Meet Our Experts and Advisors

Pam Berneking, Board Member, MRIGlobal

Pam has been extensively involved in civic and philanthropic activities. She has held leadership roles on the boards of the American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate, the Economic Club of Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, and Park University. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. She is a Kansas City Business Journal ‘Women Who Mean Business’ honoree. She is an angel investor and part of the Women’s Capital Connection, where she focuses on early stage companies led by women.

Joanne Esfahani, Market Leader, Wells Fargo Advisors

Joanne began her career at Merrill Lynch and has since dedicated her 25-year career to serving, developing and leading financial advisors. She leverages her background and experiences to advise and guide high-performing, success-oriented professionals to bring their unique vision for their own businesses into focus. She is results-driven and committed to helping advisors expand their comfort zones, set bigger goals and strive to achieve what’s most important to them.

Rosa Hathaway, Principal, Atento Capital

Rosa is an aerospace engineer with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Oral Roberts University and a master’s in aerospace engineering from University of Southern California. She started her aerospace career at NASA. This was followed by ten years at SpaceX. Rosa leverages her past experience with the incredible team at Atento Capital, driving innovation and accelerating economic development in Tulsa.

Mark Calhoun, Business Development Consultant, Missouri Small Business Development Center at UMKC

Mark has been a founder, co-founder, partner or investor in a wide variety of startups primarily focused on financial technology, retail or retail technology. In addition he has worked as a technologist or consultant in a variety of industries including banking, insurance, reinsurance, healthcare and transportation. Mark was recently an entrepreneur in residence at nbkc bank where he worked to develop consumer banking solutions and served as an informal advisor at Fountain City Fintech accelerator.

Debra Walton, Advisor, Investor & Coach, Springboard Board of Directors

Debra is a recently retired corporate executive who now spends her time doing advisory and board work. She has been a lifelong champion of women, and much of her focus continues to be the advancement of women. Debra is a tireless advocate of gender equality and speaks globally on diversity and leadership and the importance of ESG more broadly. She is a recipient of many industry awards, including the New York Women’s Agenda Galaxy Award and the Women’s Venture Fund Highest Leaf Award.

Event Partners

If you are interested in sponsoring, please email:

Rachel Rong, Director of Operations for Springboard Enterprises at [email protected].