Mary Kay Creates “Pink Tank” Pitch Event for Women Founders With DEC

Dallas—Women in Texas interested in founding a business now have a female entrepreneurial icon offering them support: Mary Kay.

The company is partnering with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center to host a one-day “Women’s Entrepreneurs Summit” on Jan. 27 to offer guidance to female entrepreneurs interested in fashion, tech, consumer-packaged goods, and business services. In particular, the conference will feature a “Pink Tank” where five pre-selected startups will be able to pitch their business ideas for $5,000 in seed funding from The DEC.

The eponymous Dallas cosmetics company founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963 has long been associated with supporting women in the workplace. A majority of the global cosmetics company’s consultants are women, and the company is known for its well-attended annual conventions and made-to-order pink Cadillacs are given to top saleswomen.

Judges for the pitch contest will include Mary Kay chief marketing officer Sheryl Adkins-Green; Abe Minkara, director of business development for Mark Cuban Companies; and, fashion designer Abi Ferrin. “We hope to bring some of [those] success-proven mindsets, processes, and practices to the women that attend,” said Trey Bowles, the DEC’s CEO and co-founder, in a press release.

While the event is open to women entrepreneurs beyond those in technology, Mary Kay spokesman Crayton Webb said in an interview that the company does recognize the importance of technology for the next generation of its consultants.

“It’s changed; some of them do skin care classes and go to people’s homes,” he said. “There are others who run their business almost completely online.”

In recent years, Mary Kay has developed apps to help market their products such as one that allows customers to do a virtual makeover. When asked if the company might consider the “Pink Tank” as a research and development arm of sorts to find additional technologies the company could use, Webb called the idea “fascinating.”

“We can’t wait to see what some of the business pitches look like,” he said. “It would be fantastic to have a business proposition that is something that Mary Kay could utilize as a vendor and helps our consultants.”

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