Female Founders 2022



On the Way Up: 2022 Female Founders Series

Sponsored by Amazon Alexa Startups

Fall: Female Founders Fireside Chat

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Virtual
11:00am – 12:30pm Pacific Time | Look up your time zone

Winter: Pitch Finale!

Thursday, November 10, 2022 | Virtual
11:00am – 12:30pm Pacific Time | Look up your time zone

Expand your community. Meet the women launching emerging voice tech. Join the conversation.

Can’t attend live? Sign up anyway – we’ll send you the recording after!

Pitch at Women in Voice in 2022!

Applications due Monday, October 10 11:59pm

for November Pitch event 

Quarterly call for Female Founders

Join us in Q4 on Friday, October 7

Women in Voice Pitch Events with Alexa Startups

Female-founded companies raised $3.31 billion in 2020, or 2.2% of the year’s total sum, compared to $3.5 billion and 2.6% in 2019. Ouch. Still not over 3%. (Yahoo, 2021). We’d love to support that changing.

Meet our Sponsors!

Fireside Chat 

Featured Founders & Moderators

Farzane Ahmadi

Tiasia O’Brien, MA

Founder, Seam Social Labs

Tiasia O’Brien is a third-time social entrepreneur with a decade of professional experience in leading strategic communications, fundraising, business development, and public-private initiatives. She is the founder of Seam Social Labs, a mission-driven company working to empower the voice of communities.

Tiasia’s experience in working with community-based organizations and small businesses has given her deep insights into the complex nature of economic development. Academically, Tiasia is a Qualitative Research Scientist with an Advanced Diploma in Data Analytics from NYU and an M.A. in Sociology from The New School, where she researched civic and community innovations to resolve social inequalities.


Candace Mitchell Harris

Founder & CEO, MYAVANA

Candace Mitchell Harris is a computer scientist and visionary entrepreneur transforming the hair care industry through science & technology. She serves as Founder & CEO of MYAVANA, an innovative hair care technology company that uses artificial intelligence to recommend the perfect products for your hair.

Through a recently launched mobile application, you’re able to take a photo of your hair and receive an instant analysis of your hair type along with recommended products, consultations with an expert, and healthy hair guidance. For customers with specific hair challenges,

MYAVANA offers a hair kit to send strands of your hair for a detailed hair analysis and personalized hair care plan. MYAVANA has developed its own patent-pending proprietary technology to help women choose the best haircare products, ingredients, regimens, and professional salons to achieve desired styles and hair health.

Candace has been recognized for her work on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, WWD’s Top 50 Beauty Innovators, BET Honors STEM Award, Sephora Accelerate Fellow, and featured nationally on CNN’s Small Business Success segment, Marie Claire Magazine’s Next Big Thing in Beauty, ESSENCE Festival, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise, Business Insider, and more.

She graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011 with a degree in Computer Science, where she was initiated into the ANAK Society, the highest honor at Georgia Tech, and recently named on their inaugural Top 40 Alumni list.

She currently serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Ascend Atlanta, a technology startup and small business support ecosystem for minority-led companies. She shares her knowledge and insight with other entrepreneurs as an author of The Shift, her first book that helps entrepreneurs gain the spiritual transformation needed to endure and excel on the entrepreneurial journey.

Joy Bordini

Trini Bensusan Mille

Founder & CEO, TeeRead

Trini Bensusan Mille is creating a freer future, equipping kids with tools to become their full selves. She is the founder and CEO of TeeRead, where she is using AI and speech recognition to solve the biggest problem in education – reading. Trini is an award-winning customer-focused strategist and product manager and holds an MBA from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.

Jenny Xu, Amazon Alexa Startups

Panel Moderator

Jenny Xu

Global Business Development Lead at Amazon Alexa Startups

Jenny is the global business development lead at Alexa Startups focusing on supporting underrepresented founders to create ground-breaking voice experiences for customers. She previously led product development across consumer and enterprise products that leveraging computer vision and AI/ML at Amazon. Prior to Amazon, Jenny was the CEO and COO of two venture-backed logistics startups growing from Seed to Series B. Before became a startup operator, she led digital innovation at Bridgestone and founded its Mobility Service group that is building connected hardware and digital solutions for consumer and enterprise customers. Jenny holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Western Michigan University.

Maddy Apple WiV CEO


Maddy Apple

CEO, Women in Voice

Maddy Apple is CEO of Women in Voice (WiV), the global nonprofit supporting women in voice AI. With 9+ years of experience in nonprofit strategy and execution for programming and community events, she was brought on in 2021 as Director of Global Events. Maddy launched and executed the Inaugural Summit and Awards, expanding WiV’s global stage to formally celebrate senior and rising Women+ in Voice and Conversational AI. As WiV’s COO, Maddy ran events, partnerships, and led engagement strategy growing the org by 150% YoY. Prior to WiV, she worked in the nonprofit sector, specializing in membership, marketing, and education while hosting virtual and in-person events for thousands of people. Maddy is a mission-oriented leader driven to engage and serve vibrant professional communities, and amplify underrepresented talent in tech.

Past Founders Include:

Join us at the next event!

Come learn about cutting-edge voice & conversational AI products and companies created & led by women.

RSVP to join us LIVE →

Office Hours for Founders

Quarterly Sessions in 2022

Join us for practical Q&A with advisors, community with founders, and a dose of inspiration.

In your founder journey, have you ever thought…

“I’m not ready to pitch yet.”  “I’m making progress but I’m not sure what the next step is.”

These Office Hours are for you!

On the Way up Elevator Pitch Series Office Hours on August 12

Sponsored By:

Format: Like an office hours in college, drop by to talk to us in an informal way virtually.

Connect with other founders, learn about pitching & talk shop. Learn how our pitch events can help you. Receive support, community, inspiration, motivation!


  • Friday, February 25
  • Friday, April 22
  • Friday, August 12
  • Friday, October 7

Your Hosts:

Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek 
Award-Winning Leader | Founder, Women in Voice

Maddy Apple
CEO, Women in Voice

You’re invited – pull up a chair.
RSVP to join us!

Women in Voice Pitch Events with Alexa Startups

We’re delighted to host elevator pitch events for Women in Voice Founders to connect with investors and the public at large.

These events build community, connection, and networking opportunities to get feedback, implicit and explicit mentorship, and shape a supportive ecosystem of funding mechanisms for founders with diverse perspectives.

These events serve the WiV Mission by Celebrating, Amplifying, Connecting, and Creating opportunities for women in voice tech.

Three events in this 4-part series have WiV Founders pitch, a short Q&A, and then a larger discussion and feedback round.

For our pitch events, each founder pitches via video to an audience of investors. There is then be 3-5 minutes to field questions.

Post call, founders can follow up with all participants to answer any outstanding questions, provide details to VC panelists, etc. We facilitate intros and support founders any way we can- within reason of course!

Our goal is to get founders exposure and connections to support and capital.

Have someone we should be connected to?

Email admin at women in voice dot org!

Keywords: investor, founder, funding, startup, VC, angel, money, pitch, deck, scaling, money, team, build, venture capital, equity

More about this event

Who is invited? You! These events are open to the public and educational. Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors might be in attendance, but we there is no expectation of investment at these events.

Our goal: facilitate relationships, community, and mentorship between investors and underestimated founders!

Event Flow: VCs, Angel Investors, and Founders will gather to hear a few pre-selected pitches. After each pitch, you’ll have the chance to ask the Founder questions, and offer feedback verbally. We will also have a feedback form for you to submit digitally.

Benefits of attending:

  • Support diverse founders
  • Build relationships across industries
  • Stay on the cutting edge of voice and voice-adjacent technology startups
  • Learn more about Women in Voice community members

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice.

Women in Voice Event Sponsor

Special thanks to Amazon Alexa Startups for sponsoring this event series!


Women in Voice Event Sponsor

Special thanks to Symbl.ai for sponsoring our June event!

Women in Voice® is an Approved 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
EIN 85-3262001 | Make a Donation