Trailblazing Female Entrepreneurs Hit Up Wall Street For A Historic Bell Ringing Ceremony

Trailblazing Female Entrepreneurs Hit Up Wall Street For A Historic Bell Ringing Ceremony


Trailblazing Female Entrepreneurs Hit Up Wall Street For A Historic Bell Ringing Ceremony

For the first time ever, Nasdaq rang a bell to honor trailblazing female entrepreneurs. These accomplished businesswomen from diverse backgrounds were in town to offer advice to young women looking to launch their own businesses and make an impact.

One of the greatest obstacles facing female entrepreneurs is access to capital, networks and business advice. That's why Barclays and Techstars have joined forces to launch the Female Founders First program: to provide these resources.

1. Suneera Madhani of Stax

Suneera Madhani of Stax is a trailblazing female entrepreneur who is showing that entrepreneurship isn't just for men. Her company, Stax, is one of the fastest-growing fintech firms in America and has processed more than 12 billion payments this year alone.

She founded Stax with her brother Sal Rehmetullah out of a desire to revolutionize how businesses pay for payments. Having previously worked at a payment processing company, she had experienced first-hand many customers' frustrations. Inspired by these insights, she set out to create her own business.

But as a woman of color in the U.S., taking the leap into entrepreneurship was no small feat. She battled internal demons like self-doubt and impostor syndrome which proved difficult to conquer.

However, her family's support was the key that enabled her to overcome those difficulties and launch Stax. Now, she encourages other women to take the leap through her podcast CEO School - one of the top 100 business podcasts worldwide. Additionally, she was named EY's Entrepreneur of the Year list in 2017 and helped raise an impressive $245 million in venture capital through Stax.

2. Christina Friis Blach Petersen of LYS

Christina Friis Blach Petersen is the founder of LYS, a Danish company that creates wearable light sensors and wellness programs. She believes people need to be more conscious about how light can impact their sleep quality, energy levels, and overall well-being.

She believes that excessive urban lighting can disrupt our circadian rhythms, which regulate sleep and alertness. Therefore, she wants office workers and city dwellers to understand that light has an enormous impact on their health.

To achieve this, she created a device that tracks the type of light someone is exposed to throughout the day. It measures both intensity and color of light and sends this data to an app which then provides advice and feedback on ways to make one's routine healthier.

In addition to the device, LYS also offers a programme called Light Diet that caters to corporate clients. The initiative seeks to educate employees about how light can affect their sleep and energy levels while creating an improved work-life balance. This involves using both the LYS device in combination with the Light Diet app.

3. Sonia Kastner of Pano AI

Pano AI, based in San Francisco, is an emergency preparedness technology company that assists utilities, governments, fire agencies and private land owners deploy automated wildfire detection systems. Their 360-degree cameras automatically detect, confirm and pinpoint new ignitions - an essential step in containing wildfires before they cause harm to people or property.

The system utilizes a network of rotating ultra-high definition cameras perched on mountaintops to capture an immersive 360 degree view of the landscape every minute. This data, combined with satellite imagery and other feeds, gives first responders quick access to critical information needed to contain flames.

Pano AI leverages advanced artificial intelligence and computer vision technology to enable fires to be reported faster than 911 calls and pinpointed within minutes. This is especially helpful in remote or rural areas where response time is key in stopping wildfires from getting out of hand.

T-Mobile and Pano AI have joined forces to deploy 5G-connected cameras that enable active wildfire detection near Portland, Oregon. T-Mobile's 5G network along with Pano AI's solution may save lives and reduce damage caused by wildfires.

4. Etosha Cave of Twelve

Etosha Cave, originally from Houston, is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Opus 12, a startup that recycles carbon dioxide into higher value products for Earth and someday Mars. Their process uses metal catalysts and renewable electricity to transform CO2 into new molecules such as oxygen, rocket fuel (methane), and precursors for various plastics commonly used on Earth.

Growing up near an abandoned oil and gas site, Cave was deeply affected by pollution in her community. This knowledge spurred her to pursue a career in engineering.

After graduating with her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Olin College of Engineering, Cave was sent to Antarctica by the United States Antarctic Program and Raytheon Polar Services to test open path laser diode spectrometers for future NASA missions, service HVAC systems and collaborate on developing a laser diode needed for a laser rover.

She holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford and is the Co-Founder and CSO of Twelve, an innovative company that converts carbon dioxide into essential chemicals and materials traditionally manufactured using fossil fuels. Together with her team, they plan to scale up their technology so they can produce at industrial levels.

5. Sevetri Wilson of Resilia

Sevetri Wilson founded Resilia in 2016, a technology firm that helps nonprofits increase their capacity and funders expand their impact. Established in New Orleans, the company recently closed a $35 million Series B funding round--marking the largest VC raise ever by a solo Black female-founded tech firm.

Sevetri has achieved great things, yet she acknowledges she has had to overcome many hardships along the way. Growing up in rural Louisiana far from venture capitalists, she experienced tragedy at a young age.

Wilson felt compelled to do something meaningful for her community, so she embarked on college with a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, exploring philanthropy as an avenue.

At 22, she founded Solid Ground Innovations and quickly scaled it to seven figures--bootstrapping everything herself. That experience spurred her on to launch Resilia, a software as a service (SaaS) technology firm that helps organizations expand capacity and funders scale their impact.

6. Tanya Van Court of Goalsetter

Tanya Van Court is the founder of Goalsetter, a family saving, financial education and investing app that has made waves in the fintech space. She launched her company in 2016 after her daughter requested an investment account on her ninth birthday.

She holds two engineering degrees from Stanford and has extensive experience working in children's media. Previously, she served as executive for Nickelodeon, ESPN and Discovery.

Former educator Lisa is on a mission to eliminate the wealth gap by equipping Black and brown youth with financial literacy. Through fun games and quizzes that include pop culture references like GIFs, memes and partnerships with celebrities, she's teaching kids to save smartly and spend wisely.

Her platform has made remarkable progress, and brands like Nike and UBS are joining the cause. In June they held a historic bell ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate their accomplishments and show their support for Goalsetter's work.

7. Elizabeth Weil of Scribble Ventures

Elizabeth Weil is the founder of Scribble Ventures, an early stage VC firm that invests in rapidly growing tech startups. As a super-connector, Elizabeth recognizes that energy and optimism can be vital assets for any company - which explains why she brings such infectious enthusiasm to every startup she supports.

After years of experience working across all stages of venture capital, Weil founded Scribble Ventures with a mission to help early-stage companies scale to her delight. Her knowledge of technology and venture capitalist operations combined with her ability to work closely with investors ensure her portfolio companies' success is unparalleled.

She recently hosted an inspiring bell ringing ceremony at her firm to recognize the accomplishments of trailblazing female entrepreneurs. Attendees included over a dozen of these businesses that have been funded by her firm and featured in their portfolios. We spoke with some of them to learn more about their efforts to transform society for the better.

8. Stefanie Sample of Fundid

Stefanie Sample of Fundid set out to do more when she launched her business finance startup. One of her objectives was to offer an easier access to capital for small businesses through an online platform that would aggregate all available funding opportunities and match entrepreneurs with the ideal match.

When she convened her design team to brainstorm, she challenged them with creating the most user-friendly, cost-effective and time efficient solution. After selecting a website that uses artificial intelligence to offer an uncompromised experience for users and businesses alike, the platform also provides numerous helpful tools like a business credit card as well as the capability to search for matching grants and programs.

The great part was that they could accomplish all this while increasing brand exposure for their company. Their marketing department successfully communicated their message loud and clear, yielding impressive results such as new leads for sales teams and improved online visibility for the business.

Related Articles