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.
Expand your community. Meet the women launching emerging voice tech. Join the conversation.
Meet the founders pitching in June!
Ruth Health is a centralized AI platform where pregnant womxn can book same-day pregnancy coaching and schedule medical house call appointments in 2 minutes, 7 days a week. The problem is inaccessible, expensive, fragmented maternal healthcare; the solution is our cohesive AI platform at Ruth Health!
Alison grew up talking about vaginas as the daughter of an OB/GYN. She is a healthcare strategist, equitable tech advocate, and third-time founder. She is CEO and co-founder, with Audrey Wu, of both Dioptra femtech devices—a member of CTIP + alumna company of Grid110—and Ruth Health, a new womxn’s healthcare company for expecting parents.
Alison previously worked as a Brand Strategy Consultant for Fortune 100 healthcare + medtech giants. She then co-founded a conversational AI studio that worked on brands like adidas and on Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign. She has been featured in NPR, Quartz, and at LA MedTech Week. She’s a Yale grad and lives in the Bronx, NY.
Tap with Libbie
Mental health care is expensive and not culturally competent (86% of US psychologists are white). Mental wellness apps are not inclusive. Our chatbot, Libbie, supports women of color using EFT-Tapping.
Colette Ellis is the founder of Tap with Libbie, a mental health chatbot to support women of color. She has been a leader in the personal development and wellness industry for 15 years, as a certified Stress Management coach and practitioner of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT-Tapping). Coach Colette specializes in working with marginalized leaders to prioritize their mental health and wellbeing. She guides them on the path to recovery through programs focused on self-care, mindfulness, and resilience. Colette has been certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health in Mental Health First Aid, and by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in Trauma-Informed Care.
Adassa Innovations: Music Bop Adventures
Music Bop Adventures limits screen time for children through interactive audio adventures and enhances imagination through movement and learning.
Ilarna Nche is CEO & Founder of Adassa Innovations, an Alexa Champion, and a Bixby Premiere partner. She create voices experiences on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.
Ilarna Nche graduated with First Class honours at the University of Kent for Multimedia Technology and Design with a year in industry. Following on from her graduation, she started her own company called Adassa Innovations, which is a Studio and Consultancy that builds voice applications on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby.
Ilarna is an award winning Amazon Alexa Champion and Bixby Premier Developer. She is an expert and thought leader in the voice and conversation design field, from both a development and design perspective. Ilarna has a love for technology and games and is an active member in the voice community, contributing to podcasts, speaking events and meet-ups.
Kids Speech Labs
Digital Health company disrupting children’s speech and language development through remote monitoring and intervention technologies. We are using speech recognition technology at the moment for assessment of speech and language skills, we plan to use smart speakers in the future to drive engaging intervention for children.
Shona has PhD in speech recognition technology and has over 12 years in digital health, she has a track recording in solution development and clinical validation of digital health solutions.
Old-school social networks are killing potential and Gen Z’s — evrmore helps build strong self-narrative and core skills using simple conversations.
Ivy is the founder + CEO of evrmore – a humanity-first mindtech platform applying generative models so intelligent systems can help us decompress our bandwidth for compassion, awareness, and life potential. She is a champion for human potential and a seasoned product leader of 20+ years with a background in applied psychology and behavior-change design. Her domain expertise is forged by category-defining product development for global brands like GE, J&J, Microsoft, and Nike. Her work at evrmore is a driving force for new metrics that will be used to determine product adoption and impact measurement. She’s joining many others in the movement of tech-for-good, so everyone in every age group can bypass the shadows that emerging tech casts in long-term life quality and betterment.
evrmore is a social + mentor platform powered by the science of empathy. It taps into the power of our voice as a tool to help us navigate key moments in life, build our own personal mastery, and turn adversity into resiliency — One story at a time. Because the story that’s going to change our lives the most is the one we tell ourselves every day.
Meet our Featured VCs!
Venture Partner, VoicePunch
VoicePunch is an early-stage venture fund that invests in founders who are enabling the next wave of voice AI and audio technologies. The firm’s mission is to bring together the voice tech community and support founders with capital, strategy, and access to networks.
Principal, M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund
Priyanka is a principal for M12 in the Bay Area. Prior to M12, she was an investor at Tola Capital focused on B2B enterprise software and SaaS venture and growth equity stage investing, and a researcher at Bridgewater Associates—a Connecticut-based global macroeconomic hedge fund. Priyanka is a graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in history and science, and pursued extensive coursework in pre-medical mathematics and sciences. She has completed scientific research fellowships at Harvard Medical School in computational neurobiology, and was awarded Harvard’s David Rockefeller International Experience grant and the Harvard-University of Madrid prize to conduct macroeconomic research on global healthcare economies of scale. She was also named a Harvard College Scholar.
M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, invests in early-stage enterprise software companies with a focus on applied AI, business applications, infrastructure, security, and vanguard technologies. Since 2016, M12 has invested in over 100 companies, helping startups accelerate growth with unparalleled access to Microsoft. With offices in San Francisco, Seattle, London, Tel Aviv, and Bengaluru, M12 has the team and resources to support entrepreneurs globally. M12 is a return-driven fund investing independently of Microsoft’s business units and technology offerings. Follow M12 on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Emily is the Head of Growth at Voiceflow – a platform that helps designers, developers, and their teams design, prototype and launch voice & conversational experiences. Before Voiceflow, Emily was the second growth hire at Clio, introducing product growth experimentation to the org. Before joining Clio, Emily led product growth at PartnerStack (formerly GrowSumo) YC’15, and helped automate/scale Tilt (acquired by Airbnb) YC’12 massive ambassador and community program across the globe. In her spare time, Emily is a speaker, advisor and cofounder/co-organizer of GrowthTO and currently helps startups tackle early growth strategy with several incubators and advisory councils across North America and Tel Aviv.
Voiceflow is an easy way to design, prototype, and launch voice and chatbots with little to no code.
GrowthToronto is all about teaching people how to integrate ‘growth’ into their product and teams. How do we grow? One of the most common questions asked of marketers and product teams alike. Our aim is to demystify growth and enable individuals to put these tools into practice. Not just another meetup/community, you will leave each session or program with accessible and actionable tools to put these into practice.
First Row Partners
Minda Brusse has been in the startup ecosystem for over 25 years. In her early career, she was a lynchpin employee at a venture-backed company acquired by Accenture. She continued to find her way into roles and startups near core innovations in tech, including online marketing, blockchain, and e-procurement innovation.
Over time, Minda found that a key lever in enabling innovation came from the capital that fuels it; and she dug deep — honing her skills as an investor and fund manager with Seattle Angel Conference and seeking mentorship from experienced investors. During the pandemic, she co-founded The 1K Project to help families in need, raising over $3M for 1,000+ families to receive cash grants.
Minda is also a Venture Partner for 2048 Ventures, based in New York. In this role, she focuses on Seattle and Portland and also collaborates with colleagues across the country.
About First Row Partners
In early 2020, we (Minda Brusse and Yoko Okano) began building a venture firm that fills a gap in the startup ecosystem — capital isn’t reaching early stage founders efficiently. As an operator-led micro fund, we use our expertise to find, fund and advance startups in the early part of the journey. We invest in pre-seed and seed stage companies, where technology and/or data are differentiators in the solution. While we are based in the Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, we invests across North America.
We believe in the future of technology that engages us at human-scale; specifically, we invest in companies that transform how we connect communities, perform paid work, and experience everyday commerce. We value the human ingenuity involved in innovation, and actively work to reduce the founder-funder power and information asymmetry in the startup ecosystem.
Women in Voice Event Sponsor
Special thanks to Amazon Alexa Startups for sponsoring this event series!