Meet the Female Funders Top 40 Change Makers of 2015! Women helping to change the ratio and bring more women into the fields of investment, entrepreneurship and technology.
Know a woman that deserves to be recognized? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Shaherose is the CEO and Co-Founder of Women 2.0. She began her career working at various startups in Silicon Valley as the lead for Product Management, Design and Marketing at: Ribbit (British Telecom), Talenthouse and JAJAH (sold to Telefonica/O2). She is an active advisor to early stage technology startups through her idea lab, Founder Labs which she founded in 2010 and sits on the Board of Directors for Good World Solutions and Hacker Dojo. Her life purpose lies in driving positive change through innovation. Shaherose holds a B.A. in Business Admin from The University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.
Photo credit: Change the Ratio
Rachel Sklar is a writer, entrepreneur and feminist based in New York. She is the co-founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and TheLi.st, a network & media platform for awesome women. A former lawyer who writes about media, politics, culture & technology, Rachel was a founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post.
Rachel has written widely for publications including New York Times, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Politico, Mashable, Medium, Mother Jones, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire and co-created and hosted the first Daily Beast video interview show. She is the author of A Stroke of Luck: Life, Crisis and Rebirth of a Stroke Survivor (1998) and has contributed to several anthologies, including TheLi.st's The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women (2014), My Parents Were Awesome (2011), This Is Why You’re Fat (2009) and Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies (2007). She co-edits TheLi.st @ Medium, a collection of current writing by and about superstar women.
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Stephanie Newby (formerly Hanbury-Brown) is the CEO of Crimson Hexagon, a big data social media analytics firm based in Boston. She is also the founder of Golden Seeds. Previously, Stephanie was an operating executive in financial services. She has worked in all three times zones – in Sydney, London and New York. The majority of her career was with J.P. Morgan where she headed several global businesses (including Head of eCommerce), growing and managing revenue and expense budgets up to $500m. Stephanie retains a board position with public company Foster Wheeler AG. Her ten prior board positions include Riskmetrics, UK Securities & Futures Authority, and Archipelago Holdings. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.
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Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Natalia holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale. She has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Mashable, Newsweek, Reuters Money, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Fast Company’s Co.Exist Change Generation series. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter,” as well as Latina.com’s “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech.” Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012 and Fortune highlighted her as one of the “55 most influential women on Twitter.”
Photo credit: #Angels
Jana Messerschmidt (@janamal) Jana joined Twitter in 2010 and is the Vice President of Global Business Development and Platform. She is responsible for a variety of teams including Business Development, Data Licensing Sales (Firehose & Gnip), Developer & Platform Relations, Partner Engineering & Platform Marketing worldwide.
Jessica Verrilli (@jess) joined Twitter in 2009 and is Director of Corporate Development and Strategy. In this role she has worked on 25+ acquisitions and driven major product and business initiatives including the acquisitions to establish a mobile platform (through Crashlytics and MoPub) as well as a multi-app portfolio (Vine).
Katie Jacobs Stanton (@katies) joined Twitter in 2010 and is the Vice President of Global Media. She is responsible for building media partnerships around the world and across strategic verticals including news, television, sports, fashion and music.
Vijaya Gadde (@vijaya) joined Twitter in 2011 and is currently the General Counsel and Secretary. She is responsible for the company’s global legal affairs and was one of the leaders of the company’s IPO process and multiple rounds of financings. At Twitter, Vijaya is also responsible for the platform’s innovative content policies, including policies around user safety, advertising policies and other policies related to copyright and trademark issues.
April Underwood (@aunder) joined Twitter in 2010 and led Product, Marketing, and Business Development teams at Twitter, most recently as Director of Product. Over her time at Twitter her teams built and managed Twitter’s syndication (e.g., Tweet Button), advertising (e.g., Ads API & ads.twitter.com), and data (e.g., Firehose) product suites — products used by millions of websites, developers, and advertisers.
Chloe Sladden (@chloes) joined Twitter in 2009, when the company was pre-revenue and 40 employees, and built the company’s deep media and entertainment partnerships and strategy from the ground up. She was most recently Vice President, North American Media, responsible for content across news, music, TV, sports and government.
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Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and best-selling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead., which has sold more than a million copies and has been optioned as a film. Lean In inspired a global community group, LeanIn.org, which Sandberg founded to support women striving to reach their ambitions.
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Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm based in Cambridge, MA, and Mountain View, CA. She was previously VP of marketing at investment bank Adams Harkness. In addition to her work with startups at Y Combinator, she organizes Startup School. She has a BA in English from Bucknell.
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Christine Tsai is the Partner & Chief Pug Herder at 500 Startups. Prior to joining 500 Startups, she was in product marketing at Google and YouTube. She worked on Developer Platforms and was the lead for Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference. She also worked on Google AdSense and early-stage video monetization offerings as well as Google Analytics and YouTube syndication.
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Bedy Yang is Managing Partner at 500 Startups covering investments in Latin America. She is also founder of +INNOVATORS, an organization that became the epicenter and resource for Brazilian tech founders. Bedy was featured on Forbes Brazil and America's Quarterly as innovator and she is member of Kauffman Fellowship Program.
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Ellen is Managing Director of Silicon Valley Connect, working with organizations and entrepreneurs on opportunities for “networked innovation.” Additionally, she actively manages a portfolio of roughly 30 startups either as an angel investor or advisory board member. Ellen spent much of the last decade working with LinkedIn, including having served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, head of Corporate & Business Development and member of the Executive Team, and her original role as Advisory Board member when the company was first founded.
Prior to LinkedIn, Ellen spent two years running a groundbreaking program at Stanford University, facilitating collaboration between industry partners, Silicon Valley, and the University research community by championing questions having to do with people, technology & innovation. Over her career, Ellen has held formal roles in venture capital (Softbank Venture Capital; NeoCarta Ventures; Draper Fisher Jurvetson), startups (WhoWhere, sold to Lycos; Softbook Press, sold to Gemstar; LinkedIn, LNKD), technology think tanks (Interval Research), large corporations (Apple Computer, AAPL; PriceWaterhouse Coopers), and universities (Harvard University; Stanford University).
Referred to as the "Most Connected Woman in Silicon Valley" by Fast Company, and named one of the "Most Connected Women in America" by Marie Claire, Ellen now focuses much of her time on the dynamics of social networks within “the enterprise”, social media and the consumer Internet, innovation ecosystems and supporting organizational models.
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Ms. Flanagan is the Managing Member of the General Partner and Managing Director of BELLE Capital USA, LP. As SCIO Corp's chief executive officer, Ms. Flanagan has more than 25 years experience in founding and operating technology companies. She is also a co-founder and managing director of the Phenomenelle Angels Fund, LP and BELLE Capital LP.
Before founding SCIO Corp, Ms. Flanagan co-founded WebWare Corp, a pioneer in creating the digital asset management market, and served as WebWare's chairman and chief executive officer for seven years, where she raised approximately $20 million in equity capital. WebWare, one of the first Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, was acquired in 2003. Prior to WebWare, Ms. Flanagan co-founded four technology companies and consulted for high technology leaders including Apple, Atari, HP, IBM, Microsoft, NeXT, Texas Instruments and Xerox.
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Cassie McDaniel is Design Director at the Mozilla Foundation, leading a remote team of designers to spread web literacy across the globe and advocate for open practices on the Web. She founded the interview series Women&&Tech, a platform for telling personal stories behind successful and up-and-coming women working in technology. With her husband she also founded Paris Lectures, a series of creative meetups and workshops for people in nearby small towns. She is based an hour outside Toronto in rural Paris, Ontario with her partner-in-crime, Mark Staplehurst, and their toddler, Amelia Moo.
Her design writing has been published in A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, Distance, Offscreen Magazine and others. She writes regularly about design, process, and personal subjects on her blog, Plot47A. Ultimately Cassie’s aim is to inspire people to use their talents for good, to work open, and to be kind, no matter where they are in the world.
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Joanne has had several careers starting out as a buyer at Macy's, to running a company in the rag trade, eventually leading to spearheading sales for a start-up magazine/e-zine/events company called Silicon Alley Reporter. She was quickly on to the non-profit world where she chaired MOUSE (Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools in Education), an organization focused on technology in inner-city schools. She has sat on a number of profit and non-profit boards and has been involved with a variety of real estate transactions from beginning to end.
Joanne has been blogging since 1994 under the name Gotham Gal. She is involved with the start-up community as an angel investor and adviser. She has been a champion of women in tech by starting and co-chairing the Women’s Entrepreneurial Festival with the ITP division of NYU. Many of the companies she is working with are owned or started by women. The tech companies are Food52, Edison Jr., Catchafire, Dailyworth, The Sweeten, NGAdventage, Windowfarms, Venuebook, Scoot, Talk Market, 3rd Ward, Editd, Blue Bottle Coffee, Lover.ly, Mouth Foods, How Good, Little Borrowed Dress, Taxi Treats, Kitchensurfing, littleBits, Nest.io, Red Stamp, VenueBook, Have to Have, Mercaris, Le Tote, Curbed (Eater/Racked) as well as Ricks Picks, several restaurants and The Moon Group. She is the Chairperson of Hot Bread Kitchen and sits on the board of the Highline.
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Vanessa Dawson, CEO & Founder of The Vinetta Project, has raised $33 million for female founders in her collective in less than two years. The Vinetta Project connects female founders with male and female investors and successful entrepreneurs through curated events, like showcases and dinners, as they believe investing in women is smart business. The Vinetta Project also understands and leverages the unique value proposition that women provide by creating a unique Ecosystem that will transform the way companies are built and funded.
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Vicki Saunders is an entrepreneur, mentor, and advisor to the next generation of change makers. She founded SheEO, an organization that helps women create new businesses for a better world. SheEO is building a global platform to finance women-led ventures on their own terms. Vicki has co-founded four companies in Europe, Toronto, and Silicon Valley, including one that went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2000. She was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and has spoken at The World Economic Forum in Davos, Women of Influence Series in Canada, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs events, and the Tallberg Forum.
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Angela is an educator & entrepreneur. As Assistant Dean at Columbia Business School, she is a highly rated instructor of strategy, leadership and investing. Angela is a sought-after expert on CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business and is regularly featured in media outlets such as Forbes, Huffington Post, and Fast Company. Entrepreneur Magazine recognized Angela as one of Six Innovative Women to Watch in 2015. Angela has a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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Elizabeth Gore is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell, where Gore drives initiatives that support Dell’s goals around helping small and medium businesses scale and prosper, fueling the expansion of global entrepreneurship, thereby creating jobs that will drive the world economy. Gore is extending Dell’s global advocacy efforts to raise entrepreneurship to the public policy agenda, encouraging policies and practices that support and enable entrepreneurial growth globally.
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Ms. Hobson is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust. Beyond her work at Ariel, Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study: 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities. Mellody is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., as well as director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs. She is a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, George Lucas Education Foundation, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, she was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Mellody earned her AB from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, St. Mary’s College and the University of Southern California.
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Victoria is a venture capitalist, investing in entrepreneurs who she believes are going to change the world. She loves being at the front line of innovation through her previous work at Google[x] and the startups she advises. When she's unplugged from tech, she loves to dance (everything from hip hop to ballroom), run with her Siberian Husky, Meeko, and write letters to her future self. She graduated from Yale College with a degree in economics, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She believes that empowering and strengthening young women is the key to improving our future world. #SoSheDid
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Suw founded Ada Lovelace Day in 2009 as a response to online discussions about the lack of women on stage at tech conferences. As a woman in tech, she realised that the issue wasn’t a lack of women, but their invisibility. Ada Lovelace Day is her effort to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models to support girls in their study choices and women in their careers.
Suw is also a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, has helped clients worldwide use social tools for collaboration and communication internally and to build customer relationships externally. As a freelance journalist, Suw has written about social media and technology for The Guardian, CIO Magazine, .Net Magazine, Computer Weekly and FirstPost.com. She currently blogs about publishing and crowdfunding for Forbes.com.
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Born and raised in China, Pocket Sun (@pocketysun) came to LA for her master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Never did she plan on becoming an entrepreneur at 23, but she quickly realized that gender disparity is a huge issue. She felt compelled to change the status quo and disrupt the boys' club. And that's exactly what she did. SoGal was born - a platform that empowers emerging entrepreneurs to succeed, and a community that unites global young founders to change the world. Starting from the first event on November 5, 2014, SoGal has been relentlessly bringing new ideas to life and supporting great startups. In just four months, our first conference SoGal Summit attracted 500+ diverse leaders, making it one of the largest (and we think the most awesome) celebrations of diversity in entrepreneurship in Southern California. Many attendees said it was "a phenomenal success", "life-changing" and "one of the best conferences" they have ever attended.
Elizabeth Galbut (@design4innov8) is currently leading the creation of two venture firms: A-Level Capital, a student-led venture capital firm to support the Johns Hopkins University community, and SoGal Ventures, a venture capital firm that supports diverse founding teams. Bridges design thinking with traditional strategic management to drive innovation of products and services within start-up ventures. Successfully co-founded and managed a variety of corporate initiatives, non-profits, and student organizations. Recognized for positive leadership approach, team-oriented management style, and commitment to mentoring and development.
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Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick is Founder of Beehive Holdings. Prior to founding Beehive, Nanon worked in sales and marketing for Playtex International before moving on to become Sr. Vice President of Telemedia Corporation for 10 years. While at Telemedia, Nanon helped grow the company into Canada’s largest consumer magazine publisher with titles ranging from Elle and TV Guide to Canadian Living. She also helped oversee the building of Telemedia into one of the country’s largest radio operator. Born in Montreal, QC, Nanon graduated with honors from Harvard College and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Nanon is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Nanon is currently serving as a Board of Director for Allocadia Software and the de Gaspé Beaubien Family Foundation. Nanon is married with two children and resides in California. Nanon has a weakness for chocolate and French Bulldogs.
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Adriana is the founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, a non-profit organization, which she launched in February 2007. As a woman in tech, Adriana's passion lies in bolstering opportunities around the empowerment, engagement and education of women in tech. Previously, Adriana worked as the Vice President of Marketing at SecondMarket, the global marketplace for illiquid assets. She was responsible for SecondMarket's marketing, branding strategy, event production and digital media efforts. Prior to joining SecondMarket, Adriana worked at a variety of technology start-ups spearheading marketing, communications and analytics. She worked at ImpulseFlyer, hi5, SocialGamingNetwork (SGN), Jambool's SocialGold, GUBA as well as Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide as the Vice President of 360 Digital Influence and Edelman as the Vice President of the Digital Group. She is an Intel Insider, serving as a brand and product advisor for Intel. She is an advisor to a variety of start-ups including Involver, Numiyo Technologies, Palindrome Advisors, Charity Blossom, DooChoo, and Change.org. In 2009, Adriana launched SmittenWithMittens, a 501 (c) 3 providing fair trade mittens, clothing, uniforms and resources to orphans in developing countries. Adriana holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of California at Davis, received a degree from El Tecnologico de Monterrey in Aguascalientes, Mexico in 2000, and participated in Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Adriana is fluent in Spanish and speaks some Japanese and French.
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Nancy joined BGV in April 2015 after having owned and operated her own start up, NanBrands, dba NanCakes. She has lived the life of a Bad Girl and appreciates the highs and lows, disappointments and triumphs, and the happy, sad, tired, and ecstatic emotional roller coaster startups can bring.
Nancy’s extensive marketing, management, and fundraising background will be put to good use at BGV as we strive to expand regionally while continuing to offer top quality training, support and mentorship for women owned businesses in Ohio and Kentucky.
When not actively engaged in making the life of regional female entrepreneurs better, you can find Nancy with her husband David (also a small business owner of his solo Obstetrics/Gynecology practice) at the many football and basketball games their twin sons play or visiting their daughter at beautiful University of Virginia. Both life long Cincinnatians Nancy and Dave love enjoying all the great Cincinnati restaurants, and the Reds, Bengals, Bearcats and Buckeyes!
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Kay Koplovitz is the founder and former Chairman & CEO of USA Networks, which includes USA Network, the Sci-Fi Channel, and USA Networks International – today multi-billion dollar television cable television networks. Ms. Koplovitz ran the company for 21 years before stepping down in 1998, when it was sold for $4.5 billion. Presently, she is a principal in Koplovitz & Company LLC, a media advisory and investment firm. She is also co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, an organization that has fostered the investment of more than $6.6 Billion in women-led firms. Ms. Koplovitz and partners founded the Springboard Fund to invest in women-led companies in the Life Sciences and Technology industries. Additionally, she is a frequent speaker on media, venture capital, and corporate governance and entrepreneurship.
Ms. Koplovitz corporate board positions include CA Technologies, which is the world’s leading independent IT management software company, ION Media Networks, a privately-owned independent television company that owns and operates the largest broadcasting television station group in the United States, and Time Inc., one of the largest media companies in the world reaching more than 130 million people globally each month across multiple platforms. Ms. Koplovitz also serves as chairman of Springboard Enterprises, trustee for The Paley Center for Media as well as the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin. Previous board positions included Kate Spade, Oracle, Instinet, Nabisco, General Re, and Sun New Media.
Photo credit: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy via Joyus.com
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is Founder and Chairman of JOYUS. Before starting JOYUS in January 2011, she spent almost 20 years as a leading consumer internet and media executive at global and early stage companies including Google, Amazon, Polyvore, Yodlee, and News Corporation.
In addition to her role at JOYUS, Sukhinder currently serves on the boards of TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Ericsson. She has previously served as an advisor to Twitter, on the Advisory Council for Princeton University's Department of Computer Science, and as a board member of J. Crew Group. Inc. Sukhinder is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
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Equipped with a successful career in corporate finance in the technology sector, Lally has finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up – a hands-on investor, enabler and advisor to female entrepreneurs.
As Biz Gal, she leverages her finance, strategy and operations expertise – cultivated from her roles as head of finance at Lucent Technologies Canada, Lavalife Corp. and Nulogy Corporation – with her passion for women’s advancement. Simply put, she made sure Rekha’s brilliant idea happened – including starting the company, forming partnerships, developing the technology platform and product management.
Back in university she managed the men’s swimming and water polo teams and played varsity badminton, while early in her work life she took up sailing and rowing. Nowadays you’ll see her learning tennis with her kids in the hopes that it becomes their family sport.
Lally sits on the board of the Information Technology Association of Canada where she also co-chairs the Diversity Advisory Council. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two daughters and pet fish.
Sonja Hoel Perkins (@sonjaperkins) is a Managing Director of Menlo Ventures, Founder of Broadway Angels and Founder of Project Glimmer. Considered one of the best performing and most senior women in venture capital, she invests broadly in all stages and areas of information technology. Sonja began her career in venture capital in early 1989 when she joined TA Associates as an Investment Analyst. She then joined Symantec in Business Development prior to joining Menlo Ventures. In 2010, she co-founded Broadway Angels, an early-stage angel investment group made up of world-class investors and executives who all happen to be women. While not investing exclusively in women, Broadway Angels has invested in several.
Jennifer Scott Fonstad (@jfonstad) is a co-founder of Aspect Ventures. She was previously the Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Considered one of the most senior women in venture today, Ms. Fonstad invests broadly in early stage companies, most recently taking an early leadership role in clean energy. Additionally, she has been working to change our country's healthcare system through entrepreneurship. Recent investment successes include, Athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), Lumenos (acquired by Wellpoint, NYSE: WLP), NetZero (NASDAQ: UNTD).
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Alicia Syrett is the Founder and CEO of Pantegrion Capital, an angel investment vehicle focused on seed and early stage investments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of NY Angels and as the Chairman of the Board of HeTexted. Her past and present Advisory Board roles include the following companies: Enerknol, The Pitch Deck, Beauty Booked, Cissé Trading Co. and Willa.
Ms. Syrett has appeared on CNBC’s Cash Crowd and Power Pitch, Fox Business’s Risk & Reward, and MSNBC’s Your Business. She was named as one of the “25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know” by AlleyWatch and has also been featured in Inc. and USA Today. She was an Instructor with Steve Blank in his Lean Launchpad course at Columbia Business School and is a frequent speaker for various startup organizations and entrepreneurial programs in NYC at Columbia, NYU, and CUNY.
Prior to founding Pantegrion, Ms. Syrett spent over 10 years in the financial industry and was first employee and CAO of a multi-billion dollar private equity firm. She graduated early from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics (magna cum laude) and concentrations in Finance and Accounting. She also possesses two MBA degrees from the London Business School (with distinction) and Columbia Business School where she received Beta Gamma Sigma honors.
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Anu is the Founding Partner of F Cubed - an early-stage fund investing in female-founded technology companies. Prior to launching F Cubed, Anu was CEO of Doonya for two years where she scaled the business nationally, raised an initial round of growth capital and created a business development strategy positioning the company as "ZUMBA 2.0."
In 2010, Anu co-founded Exclusively.In, a private sale e-commerce site (similar to GILT Group) focused on bringing the best of South Asian fashion, jewelry and home decor to the global audience. Within a year of the company's May 2011 launch, the company raised $16M in venture funding from Tiger Capital and Accel Partners.
Prior to Exclusively.In, Anu co-founded The Tasting Room, India's first luxury wine bar, in 2005 with Rajeev Samant, CEO of Sula Wines. Throughout her professional career, she has been an active angel investor, supporting women entrepreneurs in both in the U.S. and India.
Photo credit: Robyn Twomey via All the People
Sharon Vosmek has been CEO of Astia since 2007, previously joining as COO in 2004. Ms. Vosmek has an unwavering passion and a uniquely well-suited background to drive forward the organization’s mission of propelling women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth.
Under her guidance, the Astia community of investors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders has grown from 20 individuals in Silicon Valley; to more than 5,000 around the globe, representing every continent. A highly sought-after speaker, Ms. Vosmek has most recently spoken at the United Nations, the Milken Institute CA Summit, given lectures at numerous Universities most notably on the topic of building inclusive ecosystems at Stanford and MIT, was invited to participate in The White House Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference; the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and in 2011 she as a US Delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit.
She is also a member of Astia Angels; on the Advisory Boards of two venture capital firms, StarVest Partners and Illuminate Ventures; the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Experts Advisor Group; the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors Advisory Committee; and on the “Making Value for America” expert advisory committee for the National Academy of Engineering.
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Michelle Scarborough leads both indirect and direct investments for Kensington Capital Partners from their new office located in Calgary. She has been an investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years, getting her start first in the operation of several junior energy companies, mining and alternative energy and as an early stage investor in emerging technologies in energy, ICT and the environment.
Active in the investment community, Michelle led the establishment of the Ontario Emerging Technology Fund (www.ovcf.com), a $250 million early stage fund and founded the Capital Angel Network (Ottawa) and the Women’s Angel Network (Canada) to facilitate more early stage capital into technology. She continues to play an active role as an angel investor in knowledge based enterprise across Canada.
Michelle is the current Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization (www.nacocanada.com) as well as a board director of the A100 (Alberta 100 Entrepreneurs Organization) and the Manitoba Sidecar Fund. She is a founder of the Women’s Angel Network in Canada and sits on the Advisory Board of the newly formed Women in Energy and PE in Houston. She has been a mentor to energy technology companies at the SURGE Accelerator in Houston and the University of Texas.
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Deborah is an entrepreneur, early stage investor and former investment banker. Before founding Plum Alley, she spent two decades working with clients to raise capital in the public and private markets. She has personally invested in companies at the intersection of technology and the transformation of business. She is a fierce advocate for women building and using technology. Her company was founded to further her interests in technology and to champion women entrepreneurs. Plum Alley provides economic benefits for both women and men. She has won numerous public awards and is a frequent speaker about life as an entrepreneur, early-stage investing and her experience as a mom with two grown daughters.