SG Women’s Month — Get Acquainted with some Female Founders who are Changing the World
Produced by the Startup Team
At Startup Grind we are proud of all our accomplishments and achievements, but chief among them is the diversity of our team and community. From community members and staff alike with different races, backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders, we enjoy a wide range of views and experiences. At Startup Grind, we celebrate those differences that make us unique and use them to come together in the pursuit of our mission to give startups everywhere the education and opportunities they need to build and scale their companies.
In 2021 it’s hard to not look back and realize that the world has indeed come a long way and, while the human race cannot pretend to be perfect, the strides we have made are more than worthy of our celebration and attention.
Just four months ago Kamala Harris made history as the first female Vice President of the United States of America. Her accomplishment, a landmark for feminism and women’s movements worldwide, was capitalized by her immortal statement, “I won’t be the last.”
As those words and the achievements and sacrifices made by women everywhere echo in our hearts and minds, we at Startup Grind want to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the female founders in our Startup Membership Program who are making a lot of firsts in their industries, and we can assure you that they won’t be the last.
1. NOWPayments ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤ Xena Kash (Founder, CEO)
Industry: Cryptocurrencyㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤ ㅤLocation: Netherlands
As many in the world are rushing to add currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and others into their portfolios, Xena and her team at NOWPayments are looking to turn your crypto into currency by offering services to allow you to make and receive crypto payments for everyday purchases.
Their philosophy is to make crypto payments as easy and convenient as possible for literally anyone anywhere. Next time you buy a new sweater and your friends want to know how much it cost, you can tell them you got it on sale for .00042 BTC.
In the words of Xena Kash herself, “Crypto payments are lower fees, global reach, engaged communities, cross-border transactions, and constant innovations. Would you like to join the movement and keep up with the future of currency?”
2. Doctors Under The RadarㅤㅤㅤDr. Quidest Sheriff (Founder, CEO)
Industry: Healthcareㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤㅤLocation: United States
When we talk about heroes who don’t wear capes, doctors and nurses are at the top of the list. Sadly, the healthcare industry has an epidemic of mental health issues, burnout, and suicide that in most cases has gone untreated. This is why Doctors Under The Radar was founded.
Dr. Sheriff shared her personal story with us saying, “ I got hit by a car while riding my bike two days before medical school started and had a traumatic brain injury and, subsequently, mental illnesses. I almost gave up on medicine. I almost lost everything I worked and strived for due to the perils that come with untreated and undiagnosed mental health challenges.”
Driven by the events of her strenuous journey in the medical field, Dr. Sheriff has created a community for female healthcare workers that aims to heal and save those who heal and save the rest of us.
“We would be honored to receive introductions to experts within health tech, legal, community development, PR, and operations. Additionally, we would love to connect with other physicians at this transformative stage to expand our community and network to share their stories to destigmatize physician mental health and humanize physicians.”
3. The Blue Box ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤJudit Giró Benet (Co-founder, CEO)
Industry: Artificial Intelligenceㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: United States
Everyone knows someone who has had breast cancer. That is because 1 out of 8 women will have breast cancer at least once in their lifetime. Despite how common it is, 41% of women skip mammogram screening because of how painful it can be.
As a biomedical engineering student at the University of Barcelona, Judit observed a dog that was able to smell patients’ breath and correctly identify lung cancer. She remarked, “if biology has a way to do it, we engineers could build a device on this principle too.”
This marked the beginning of a project that would take her through her bachelor thesis all the way to UC Irvine in California. There she met Billy, a computer scientist from Taiwan who would help her develop what became The Blue Box.
Designed after a dog’s olfactory system, this product promises to change the breast cancer testing process forever by allowing women to get tested for breast cancer through nothing more than an in-home urine sample. It’s that sort of ingenuity and creativity that won Blue Box the James Dyson Award in 2020 and a host of features from reputable news outlets from around the world.
4. AccuChainㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤMaura Sparks (Co-founder, COO)
Industry: Human Resourcesㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: United States
Did you know that according to the Society of Human Resource Management, 46% of all resumes contain false information? The Department of Labor estimates that the cost of a bad hire is at least 30% of their salary. With a lot of time and money to lose and an abundance of dishonest resumes floating around, hiring can feel more like a game of high-stakes poker with a blindfold on.
AccuChain’s method which uses AI and Blockchain Technology is sure to change the way applicants are vetted, and we have a feeling that it’s going to make a lot of 25-year-olds with “30 years of experience” very disappointed.
In Maura’s own words she said, “The wrong hire is a costly mistake. AccuChain has developed an HR platform for job applicants and HR professionals. AccuChain Validator allows individuals to create their own validated resume and AccuChain Recruiter allows HR professionals to find the best-qualified candidate based on validated resumes.”
Want to get more involved with AccuChain? “[They] are currently looking for beta testers, introductions to investors interested in HR technology, AI/ML and blockchain, and partnerships with companies looking to improve their hiring process.
5. GORODATA ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤElizabeth Cruz (Co-founder, CEO)
Industry: SaaSㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: Portugal
As an employee at a Portuguese Telco, Elizabeth gained substantial knowledge in B2B sales. While there she noticed that many sales reps had little information on customers’ needs and new opportunities. It became apparent to her that her company was not aware of new sales opportunities because of how much time good data took to find.
Sometime after leaving that Telco, she discovered B2B Buying Signals among public data, and after pitching an idea to an old friend from her university, GORODATA was born.
“GORODATA is an AI-powered sales intelligence platform that finds B2B Buying Signals — insightful and useful information to power sales — from an otherwise overwhelming amount of data available online.
At this point, we are recruiting Data Scientists and Software engineers to help us with product development and we are ready to expand to the UK and US.”
6. Sa Wea Luxuryㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤWelee Fofanah (Founder, CEO)
Industry: E-commerceㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: United States
There is a powerful stigma surrounding the use of recreational cannabis despite it becoming legal in many states across America. Welee is on a mission to change the way we think about recreational cannabis in more ways than one.
Fueled with a passion to change this dynamic and end the stereotype of minority cannabis consumers, Sa Wea Luxury Inc. was created.
“I saw a lack of diversity in the cannabis industry, especially with luxury enterprises. My background in information systems gives me direct analysis into developing the best recreational application.”
As a POC female founder, I’m a part of an underrepresented group in the startup world and cannabis industry. It’s imperative that the younger generation sees minority leaders in all industries, excelling without biased limitations. Sa Wea Luxury is going to change the narrative by introducing an application of luxurious recreation for all groups. We’re currently in the process of funding looking for aligned investors.”
7. Artifex Networks ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ Anjali Bawa (Co-founder)
Industry: ConsultingㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: Indiaㅤㅤㅤㅤ
Nearly everyone is attracted to the energy, passion, and excitement of a startup. We love to watch as brilliant ideas take form and start the long process of becoming brilliant realities. But anyone familiar with startups knows that it’s impossible to know everything. From navigating the complexity of a new industry to developing a brand new product, a little expert advice could make all the difference in the world. Artifex was started to help connect entrepreneurs with the information they need to succeed.
“While working for the co-working vertical of OYO, I discovered that one of the biggest challenges that early age startups face is the “inaccessibility of credible advice.”
A lot of new entrepreneurs tend to make bad decisions which can easily be avoided if they get the right advice at the right time. This prompted me to think of a marketplace where vetted experts can answer such queries. With the vision of “making expertise available on-demand”, I decided to pursue my entrepreneurial dream and created Voila.expert.
The product I envisioned is up and running. Now I want to share it with young entrepreneurs and startups at large so that businesses can avoid making common mistakes while being mentored by industry leaders.”
8. PasswordKidㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ Innocent Hlomuka (Founder)
Industry: IT ServicesㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤLocation: South Africa
Passwordkid is Africa’s largest child safety company offering advanced leading child safety innovative technologies to schools. PasswordKid’s System can help verify parents, transport drivers, or trustees when they come to pick up children from school, which in Africa is the most common way in which children are abducted.
With PasswordKid, teachers will be armed with an App that allows them to scan IDs, verifying that no child goes home with someone unauthorized to pick them up.
At Startup Grind, we are thrilled to be working with PasswordKid and many other African Startups who are making massive differences for their local communities, home countries, and the world. Register here to join us all together on June 28th.