NOVEMBER 2022 FEATURED FOUNDERS
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.
On the Way Up: 2021-2022 Female Founders Series
In 2021, WiV set out an audacious goal to host a series of Voice Tech pitch events featuring ALL women and nonbinary founders & VCs.
“Are there enough women for an event like this?” someone asked.
We doubled down, hosted office hours for founders to connect and build community, and put out multiple calls to apply to pitch – for FREE, thanks to our series sponsor Amazon Alexa Startups.
Over the next two years, we kept our promise, and held 10 events featuring PHENOMENAL women entrepreneurs and investors.
Not only did these events spread the word about fantastic women-founded products, software, and services, these events inspired those watching:
“I went to the elevator pitch series a couple of weeks ago, and it just has been on my mind a lot. Before I never could see myself starting my own company. I signed up for the next one, it is so inspiring. It’s just so nice to see women in these roles like, I don’t know why I just can’t envision myself before, but now I really can.” – Maryan O
We’re all about expanding community. Meeting the women launching emerging voice and conversational AI tech. Creating space for feedback, encouragement, and conversation.
Featured Founders & VCs,
Want to pitch in the future? Apply to Pitch here.
Co-founder & CEO, Zvook
Anna is the founder & CEO of a podcast advertising marketplace Zvook, helping brands find & scale host-read podcast ads with just a few clicks. She is passionate about storytelling and a big believer in the power of the spoken word.
Anna has been interviewed in a number of podcasts from Podcast Advertising Playbook to Entreprenista, and has been a speaker at numerous events like Podcast Movement. She loves sharing her views about the future of audio, Zvook’s role in shaping that future and her rather unconventional founder journey. Before Zvook she started and ran a big tech startup event in Singapore.
Co-Founder & CEO, Raddle
Liyani Rodriguez is the CEO/Co-Founder of Raddle, an early-stage startup focused on the future of equitable conversations at work through an AI-powered meeting facilitator. Prior to starting Raddle, Liyani had a successful career as a CPA at PwC and then Connor Group, where she advised high growth tech companies on people, processes and systems as they transitioned from private to public companies. She graduated from University of California Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in business economics and a minor in accounting. Liyani loves anything entrepreneurial (she even has a small aprons company with her husband) and is a new dog mom to a rescue!
Co-Founder & CEO, Lexemic.io
Lexemic.io is the first Content Management System for Alexa and Google voice applications.
“If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first!” – this has become not only my favorite quote but also my motto for life. During my student years, I was interested in the latest technologies that are connected to ecology, medicine, and pharmacy. In recent years, though, my attention has shifted to AI, neuroscience, and voice assistants.
I started a local Voice community in Ukraine.
Besides that, back in 2020, I started my own company in the field of voice technology called U-Hertz! During the development of the voice skills, we realized that our customers wanted to manage skills content by themselves. So we started developing our own startup – Lexemic.io – a content management system for Alexa skills.
But enough about business.
One of my favorites are hiking, snowboarding, and really anything that is connected with spending time in the open air and with the people I love! Besides that, I am a pet lover, and have a dog Solar, just like a Solar system 🙂
Creator of Kindspace
Caroline Laurenson is the Managing Director of TL Tech Smart Home Solutions based in Scotland in the UK. TL Tech specialises in supporting people to maintain their independence in their own homes and are passionate about breaking down barriers to help people access digital solutions. In 2020, TL Tech pivoted its business to focus on supporting customers remotely in new innovative ways. In November 2020, Caroline and her team launched Kindspace, a voice application for Amazon Alexa that supports wellbeing, empowers self-care and helps to alleviate loneliness. Caroline found entrepreneurship a little by accident during her own life pivot away from a career in the energy sector and when she’s not working on growing the business, you’ll find Caroline singing, sewing and inspiring others into STEM careers.
Ursula de La Sotta
Co-Founder & CPO, Cuentología
Cuentología is on the rise. With more than 3,800 organically registered users, children have spent 270,000 minutes listening on this app to use their imagination, away from the screens. The team recently won the #SocialVentures Pitch Competition at TechRise Chicago.
“Cuentología”, the first digital library of audio stories created by Peruvians and endorsed by psychologists so that Spanish-speaking children develop soft skills, emotional intelligence and foster creativity and imagination, launches its mobile application. The project won the Startup Peru 8G+ contest in the “Innovative Entrepreneurship” category, an initiative of the ProInnóvate program of the Ministry of Production.
“We make new stories, 100% original, that respond to global, local or family challenges between parents and children; The second thing is that all our stories are endorsed by a child psychologist, and by experts who evaluate that they have the necessary components to address positive discipline with tips for parents, with educational material and activities that reinforce learning. The third thing is that we are a quality audio format with a first level agile production that frees children from the screen” said De la Sotta.
Featured VC Panelist
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.
Featured VC Panelist
Founder and Managing Director, XTVue
Shing has 20+ years of experience in tech innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, investment banking, and M&A across multiple industries. As managing director of XTVue, Shing provides strategic advice to private and public companies within the Artificial Intelligence, Customer Experience Automation and Personalization, Enterprise Visual Computing and Simulation domains. Leveraging her extensive industry and domain knowledge and deep understanding of competitive landscapes, Shing helps companies strategically position for and execute on strategic partnerships, financing, and mergers and acquisitions.
Shing is a startup investor and an independent director for both startup and public boards. She is also a frequent speaker and panelist for leading technology conferences. Shing actively mentors entrepreneurs and women in technology and business. In 2020, Shing was nominated by VentureBeat Transform for Women in AI’s AI Entrepreneur Award. She was recently named Women Leaders in Conversational AI by Project Voice.
Featured Advisor Panelist
Building and launching advantaged startups | Senior Analyst, High Alpha Innovation
As a Senior Analyst at High Alpha Innovation, Paula works to launch new startups with partners through business model design, assumption validation, and market research. Her passion to leverage innovation to create positive change and improve lives is evident in her work spearheading DEI initiatives within the High Alpha Innovation community. Paula was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and now lives in Richmond, VA.
High Alpha Innovation partners with the world’s leading organizations and founders to drive innovation through startup creation, leveraging the venture studio model pioneered by High Alpha.
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.
Women in Voice Event Sponsor
Special thanks to Amazon Alexa Startups for sponsoring this event series!