Pitch applications have closed, but you can still watch the finalists pitch in front of our investor panel. By joining us on November 19, you are helping to open doors to venture capital and empowering women entrepreneurs on their mission to change the world with cutting edge technology and innovative businesses.
This event is intended for investors, entrepreneurs and technologists interested in developing a community of diverse leaders. This philosophy is central to everything that we do, given that our customers, vendors, and internal teams are diverse, and represent a wide array of gender, race, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, sexual orientation, military status, backgrounds, and political views. Valuing different perspectives helps push us to think bigger and differently, enabling us to deliver better products and services for customers.
The event will feature up to 10 finalists who will pitch their company to a panel of leaders and top-tier investors for an opportunity to receive venture capital investment from the Alexa Fund.
Selected companies will have an opportunity to receive up to $1 million in venture capital investment from the Alexa Fund and be selected as “most innovative”. Each finalist will also receive Amazon startup perks, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits. All Raise will guarantee acceptance to its bootcamps and create an All Raise cohort in which finalists will have access to resources and stay engaged as a group.
We are excited to have a panel of prominent venture capital investors participate in the pitch event, including Dayna Grayson, co-founder and general partner at Construct Capital; Charles Hudson, managing partner and founder of Precursor Ventures; Renata Quintini, co-founder and managing director of Renegade Partners; Laurie Yoler, general partner of Playground Global; and Miriam Daniel, VP of Amazon Alexa and Echo Devices.
As a way to foster visibility and support from the technology and venture capital communities, everyone is welcome to attend the virtual event.
Co-founder & General Partner
Dayna Grayson is Co-founder and General Partner of Construct Capital, an early stage venture firm that invests in extraordinary founders building technology to transform the most foundational industries of our economy. Dayna was one of the first venture capitalists to invest in real transformation of industrial sectors of our economy through software based models. During her time as a partner at NEA (2012-2019), she backed companies creating new advances in manufacturing, automation, and vertically integrated consumer brands. She was the lead investor from the earliest stages and was on the board of companies including Desktop Metal (2015 - today), Tulip (2017 - 2020), Onshape (acqd by PTC) (2013-2019), Framebridge (acqd by Graham Holdings) (2014-2020), and Evenly (2019 - today). She also led investments in Formlabs, Neuralmagic, Guideline, and Wirewheel.
Prior to joining NEA, Dayna was an investor at North Bridge Venture Partners in Boston. She started her career in product development and led design efforts at Blackbaud [BLKB], the leading global provider of software to nonprofit organizations, as the company grew to over $130 million in revenue and completed a successful public offering.
She is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Systems Engineering) and Harvard Business School, where she serves as a venture partner today.
Founder & Managing Director
Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies.
Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at Uncork Capital (formerly known as SoftTech VC). In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. In addition to his investment activities, he supported SoftTech portfolio companies on business and corporate development matters. He was also the CoFounder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android-focused mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA.
Prior to joining SoftTech VC and cofounding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007. Before IronPort Systems, Charles worked at In-Q-Tel, the venture capital fund backed by the Central Intelligence Agency, where he invested in early-stage hardware and software companies.
Charles graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Economics and Spanish. Charles holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Renata is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Renegade Partners. Prior to starting Renegade, Renata was a Partner at Lux Capital, an early stage deep technology investment firm, where she invested in founding teams transforming the future of humanity through the use of technology.
Prior to joining Lux in 2017, Renata was a General Partner at Felicis Ventures, where sheworked with startups that define new realities, markets and/or business models. Amongst them:Dollar Shave Club ($1B acquisition by Unilever), Bonobos (acquired by Walmart), Planet (microsatellites) and Cruise Automation ($1B acquisition by GM).
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Renata was an investment manager at StanfordUniversity’s endowment, which invests in dozens of private equity and venture capital funds.
Renata is a Board Member at the NVCA, a Trustee at the Stanford Athletics Department Venture Fund, the Stanford Law School Venture Fund and a Founding Member of All Raise. She earned a law degree from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, LLM and MBA degrees from Stanford University and is a CFA charterholder. She’s also a Brazilian immigrant, a three-time state champion black belt in karate, and a Bossa Nova guitar player.
Laurie Yoler is an experienced board director and strategist skilled in advising companies and founders in imagining, building, and scaling disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing. She is known for taking a holistic, enterprise-wide view to quickly assess and shape technology into new, differentiated products and services. She is savvy in fundraising, M&A strategy and negotiations, cybersecurity oversight, intellectual property strategy, and in devising complex, unconventional strategic alliances.
Yoler has served on the boards of public, private and non-profit organizations. Most notably, she served as a Founding Board Member of Tesla, serving on the board of directors from the earliest days, and on the board of advisors through taking the company public. She also served on the board of Interactive Investor International in London, through taking the company public, and until its acquisition by AMP Bank.
She currently serves on the board of directors of Bose, Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD), Zoox, Leaf Logistics, Lacuna.AI and the Computer History Museum, and on the advisory boards of Accenture, Platform Science, AI4All, and the Washington State Frank Scholars Entrepreneurship Program. She is also a General Partner with early-stage deep-tech venture capital firm Playground Global, as well as an active investor with Broadway Angels and HealthTech Capital.
Yoler has been an integral part of the development and launch of many new innovations and products, both from within large companies like Qualcomm, Visa, Sun Microsystems, and Accenture, and as one of a small group of founders/investors of a new entrepreneurial venture with a radical idea like Tesla, DNA Direct, and Packet Design.
Most recently, Yoler was President of Qualcomm Labs and SVP of Business Development for Qualcomm, driving new internal innovation, and exploring and closing new strategic partnerships and joint ventures. Previously, Yoler was a founding managing director at GrowthPoint Technology Partners, an investment bank advising entrepreneurs in building strategic alliances, completing M&A transactions and raising capital.
Yoler graduated summa cum laude from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. She completed a semester in the international business program at the University of Copenhagen and completed executive management programs at Kellogg, Stanford and INSEAD. In 2019, she was awarded a CERT certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight. Yoler has been very active in continuing her education at Stanford in board governance, biotechnology, biochemistry, neuropsychology, neuroscience and geology. She also guest lectures in the Engineering, Law and Business Schools at Stanford.
VP of Echo Devices & Alexa Skills Tech
Miriam Daniel is the Vice President of Echo Devices and Alexa Skills technologies. She is one of thecreative minds behind Echo and Alexa, innovations that have changed the way we interact withthe world around us. Miriam joined Amazon and the Alexa team in 2014. She is responsible forthe innovative lineup of Echo Products and Alexa experiences that delight our customers everyday, as well as the developer technologies that skill builders use to bring Alexa experiences to life.
Miriam has a background in computer engineering and has previously held product andengineering leadership positions at Intel Corporation.
We reviewed hundreds of applications from women founders around the world, and selected ten finalists to pitch at Women Founders Represent. These ten founders are solving problems to improve water quality, enhance personal fashion and beauty, provide access to sports media, deliver food through ghost kitchens, bring fresh food to the house with indoor gardening, simplify pet health, create the next generation of edge technology and improve criminal justice systems.
Joanna Smith is Founder and CEO of AllHere. Based in Boston, AllHere is a fast-growing technology startup focused on radically improving preK-12 education using text-messaging AI-powered chatbots that support families and students to and through school. Joanna was among the first 30 black women in the U.S. to raise more than $1M in venture capital to grow a company. Since 2018, AllHere has now raised more than $4 million from ReThink Education, AT&T, and others.
Prior to founding AllHere, Joanna was the Director of Family Engagement for Excel Academy Charter Schools, where she invested in helping teachers improve student outcomes by engaging families. Prior to Excel Academy, Joanna managed child development, school attendance, and personalized learning research, supporting schools and districts including Boston, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida. In her roles, she developed innovative strategies to help all kids succeed, while providing strategic direction to leadership on how to nurture an environment of empowered and engaged teachers whose excitement drives students to perform their best.
Joanna has been featured in EdSurge, CBS News, District Administration, Tech & Learning, CIO Review and at SXSWEDU providing expertise on boosting attendance, strengthening student engagement, combining artificial intelligence, proactive nudges, and rigorous research to improve student outcomes + more. AllHere’s technology and inventions have been featured in NPR, The New York Times, The Hechinger Report, and the World Bank blog.
Smith graduated cum laude from Harvard Extension School with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. She completed the Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Incubation Program and earned a 2020 Harvard Women Who Lead award. She’s also the daughter of Bahamian immigrants, an award-winning soprano, and a new mom.
Mouna is the CEO, CTO, and Co-Founder of AONDevices, Inc., an Edge AI chip startup focused on voice and audio. She has over 18 years of experience in the semiconductor business with a successful track record in engineering, engineering management, and cross-functional team leadership. Prior to AONDevices, she was the system lead and principal chip architect at Qualcomm for a family of audio codec chips with integrated voice activation. Before that, she was the Director of VLSI at Conexant, leading audio System-on-Chip (SOC) architecture and design. She is one of the key developers of Conexant’s PC-HD audio codecs, USB audio codecs/DSP, and Voice input processor SOCs for smart speakers. Mouna also serves on the Global Semiconductor Alliance Women’s Leadership Council and runs the WLI Entrepreneurial Committee. Mouna holds an engineering degree from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electricité et de Mécanique (ENSEM), 11 US patents, 7 pending patents, and multiple awards.
Doll Avant is an award-winning data scientist, graduate of Harvard University, & TEDx speaker. Doll is Founder & CEO of Aquagenuity, the “Google Search for water quality,” which has been recognized by Forbes, The New York Times, Reuters, TechCrunch, and WIRED Magazine as the first app to help consumers check water quality as easily as you check the weather by answering the question “What’s In Your Water?” in real-time. Aquagenuity is backed by SoftBank, with additional funding and support from Google.
Doll was honored by Google with the global designation of “Google's Woman of Water” for building the “world’s largest water database.” Doll was named a Global Impact Fellow by Singularity at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley; she has also received awards for entrepreneurship and technology innovation from JP Morgan, Coca-Cola, BMW Mini’s Urban-X, UBS, and Jack Daniels.
BC 30 Under 30 winner Valerie Song is the CEO of AVA, a startup making smart indoor gardens to help people grow food at home. Valerie is a passionate and bold leader that loves growing both plants and people. While working in brand management and sales at blue-chip consumer product companies, she found a passion for brand building. She launched, marketed, and sold products from organic granola to craft beer. Under her leadership, AVA has gone to raise $180K in crowdfunding, $3M in funding, and 15 different awards around the world. Outside of work, Valerie is a proud advocate for diversity and inclusion, volunteering as guest speaker and mentor to youth and women in STEM.
Gabriella Silva is the Founder & CPO of Esportudo, a sports media company that brings the best coverage to Latinx fans all over the world. Gabriella is a Brazilian American from the Boston area who attended Northeastern University. She launched Esportudo to give Latinx fans a complete sports experience allowing them to interact and consume content like never before. Today, Esportudo reaches over 40 million people per month. Prior to launching her company, Gabriella worked within the Operations&eCommerce space at Wayfair before moving onto Staples Advantage, which generates +$20b in revenue. She's mastered working with QA and engineering teams ensuring customer satisfaction and has a knack for building teams and products. Gabriella is paving the way for females, members of the LGBTQ community and first generation entrepreneurs throughout the United States and abroad.
Daniela Izquierdo is the Co-Founder of Foodology, in charge of managing the growth strategy, procurement, ops, finance and IT. Previously, Daniela worked at McKinsey & Co. Daniela has a bachelor in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes and an MBA from HBS.
Siqi Mou is the CEO and Co-Founder of HelloAva. She is a former Bloomberg anchor and also held several positions at Morgan Stanley, PIMCO, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York before starting HelloAva. Siqi was awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 (Consumer Tech) in 2019 and Inc Magazine’s 30 Rising Stars Under 30 in 2018, and has been featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, USNews, Marie Claire, Allure, The Cut, WWD, Fast Company, etc. Siqi held an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and B.A. in Economics from Stanford University where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
Devshi Mehrotra is the CEO and co-founder of JusticeText, a public-interest technology company focused on ensuring fairer, more expedited criminal justice outcomes through audiovisual evidence management software. She received her BS/MS in computer science from the University of Chicago and her MS in global affairs from Tsinghua University through the post-graduate Schwarzman Scholars fellowship. During her time in college, she was recognized by the Obama Foundation as an active community leader for her contributions to advancing gender and racial equality in STEM education across Chicago. Devshi has led applied machine learning projects at Google Brian, Microsoft Research, DeepMind, Peking University, and Stanford Law. She most recently worked for the Chief Innovation Officer of Sierra Leone, advising the national government on education policy as it pertains to the use of ICT in schools.
Anya Babbitt is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mella Pet Care. Her shih tzu mix, Mella, is the namesake for the company. As an entrepreneur, Anya has built and exited multiple startups across industries and her work has been recognized by the United Nations, Wall Street Journal, and more. Her specialty is strategic partnerships, deal closing, and team building.
Pree Walia is the founder and CEO of Preemadonna. Preemadonna is a technology company building interactive hardware & software experiences and powering creative platforms with an initial focus on Gen Z young women. Their first product is the Nailbot - the at home nail system which prints custom instant nail art and eventually polish on your nails with your phone!
She previously worked at high growth venture backed start-ups focused on connected devices and building automation services. Pree started her professional career working on progressive political campaigns as a political fundraiser and community organizer. She holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Northwestern University. She is passionate about causes that impact women and girls and is a certified volunteer domestic violence counselor. Pree serves on the Board of Advisors for MakerGirl, a nonprofit that inspires young girls to pursue STEM fields. Pree was named one of the top 25 women in Robotics to know by Robohub.