NYU Female Founders Fellowship Welcomes 5 New Fellows

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The NYU Female Founders Fellowship program provides community support, training, mentorship, networking, and grant opportunities to entrepreneurs at NYU who are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship. Fellows get fully plugged into NYU’s ecosystem of resources, and, upon graduation from NYU, invites them to apply for Student Loan Alleviation Grants of up to $50,000 each to help alleviate financial burdens which can be significant barriers to starting a startup. The grants are made possible through the generous support of the program’s lead donor, entrepreneur and NYU alumnus Mark Leslie (WSC ‘66, Trustee) and his wife, Debra.

This Spring we welcome 5 new NYU Female Founder Fellows including:

Photo of Caroline Catherine Fitzgerald

Caroline Catherine Fitzgerald (SPS ‘22) 

Founder and CEO of GOALS


GOALS is the first-ever sponsorship consultancy that is solely focused on bringing more investment into women's sports.

Before GOALS, Caroline worked for 10+ years as a marketing and sales professional across a variety of industries. Most recently, Caroline was the Senior Vice President of Partnerships at P3R and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. In her role at P3R, Caroline was responsible for selling and activating partnerships with brands that include DICK’S Sporting Goods, FedEx, Brooks Running, Dunkin’, PNC Bank, Barefoot, Panera, Nuun Hydration, Bank of America, and more. Caroline graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University with dual degrees in Marketing and Women/Gender Studies, and is currently working on a M.S. in Global Sport at NYU. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

Participated in: Startup Bootcamp


Photo of Caroline Vasquez Huber

Caroline Vasquez Huber (Stern ‘23) 

Co-Founder of Cozier

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Cozier is a direct to consumer sleepwear brand for every/body. Our garments are versatile enough to go from the bedroom to a zoom call, and you’ll feel confident leaving the house in them, too. 

Caroline is a communications and digital marketer with a passion for politics and community engagement. In addition to co-founding Cozier, Caroline is also the co-founder of Bluegrass Voters Coalition, an organization which aims to increase voter-engagement through data-driven decision making.

Participated in: Startup Coaching


Photo of Drew Lederman

Drew Lederman (Tisch ‘20) 

CEO and Founder of Resist Nutrition

resist logo

Resist Nutrition makes plant-based, keto protein bars filled with science-backed ingredients with functional benefits for hormone health and blood sugar support.

In 2016 after Drew found out she had PCOS and insulin resistance, she tried her best to follow doctors orders: exercise and eat a low carb/sugar diet. But, the protein bars she was eating were driving her symptoms crazy. Frustrated, she stopped eating them. Desperate for a filling snack, she went back to eating bars she knew would make her feel worse. In 2020, she decided enough was enough. Using her experience interning at a startup, Resist was born!

Participated in: Startup Bootcamp, Startup Sprint, Female Founders Circle


Photo of Lindsay Perper

Lindsay Perper (Stern ‘23)

Founder and CEO of Shop Rodeo

rodeo logo

Shop Rodeo is a mobile application that leverages short-form video content to streamline the discovery-to-checkout process for the young, socially-driven shopper and effectively compensates content creators for their direct impact on brand sales.

Prior to Shop Rodeo, Lindsay served as Director of Merchandise Planning for Ralph Lauren, where she worked for over seven years before coming to NYU Stern to complete her MBA. In addition to stellar skills in business development, trend analysis and merchandising, Lindsay is an avid TikTok creator.

Participated in: Startup Bootcamp, Startup Sprint


Photo of Mikaila Roncevich

Mikaila Roncevich (Gallatin ‘21) 

Founder and CEO of Kaila Katherine

Kaila Katherine NY logo

Kaila Katherine is a luxury vegan brand that works exclusively with the latest innovations in sustainable textiles. Each Kaila Katherine bag is handmade in New York City by experts who are paid a living wage. While other vegan leather products on the market are PVC and PU based, our pieces are made with toxic chemical free plant-based leather alternatives. Our first collection of bags utilizes one of the most recent breakthroughs in textile technology: cactus fiber. This cactus-based material is sourced from a Mexico based, farmer-owner startup whose team has developed a sustainable process using a cactus native to the area, the Nopal cactus, with zero herbicides or pesticides.

Mikaila is a graduate of NYU Gallatin ('21) and worked for various labels, including Oscar de la Renta, throughout undergrad. An animal lover and vegan for most of her life, she spent her junior and senior year researching innovations in plant based textiles as an alternative to PVC based faux leather. 

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Female Founders Circle


These phenomenal female founders will join our existing female founder fellow community which includes: 

  • Adriana Teresa Letorney (GSAS ‘21), Founder & CEO of Visura
  • Aleksandra Medina (Abu Dhabi ‘21), Founder and CPO of Frich
  • Ann Andrews (Stern ‘22), Founder & CEO of Techfunic 
  • Ashley Xie (Steinhardt ‘20), Co-founder & CEO of Rooted Fare
  • Ayman Mukerji (Silver ‘21), Founder & CEO of Jivika
  • Caitlin Ellen (Stern ‘21), CEO & Co-Founder of Sabai Design
  • Caylin Waller (Steinhardt ‘22), CEO & Co-Founder of Theatre Advocacy Project (TAP)
  • Dessa Shepherd (Steinhardt ‘19), Founder & CEO of VisionVoice
  • Jade Kearney (Steinhardt ‘20), Co-Founder & CEO of She Matters 
  • Laura Rocha (Wagner ‘20), CEO and Co-founder of Dathic
  • Nikki Powers (Stern ‘21), Founder of Nourish & Refine
  • Paige Anderson (Steinhardt ‘23), Founder of HealthBoxed 
  • Phantila Phataraprasit (Law ‘20), COO & Co-Founder of Sabai Design
  • Rina Patel (Gallatin ‘20), Founder of SHE 
  • Sutton King (School of Global Public Health ‘20), Co-Founder of ShockTalk 
  • Tinsley Maier (Gallatin ‘20), Co-Founder and CPO of Edgi Learning
  • Thanisha Pariage (Wagner ‘20), Founder and CEO of KinNect Careers

Read about the other Female Founders Fellows accepted into the program in Spring ‘21 and Fall ‘21.

Interested in applying to the next cohort of Female Founders Fellows? Attend an info session on April 21st! The early-bird application deadline for the Fall ‘22 cohort is April 29th at 6pm (a second application deadline will be open at the end of the summer). For more information or to apply to the Fellowship, visit the The Female Founders Fellowship web page.