NYU Female Founders Fellowship Welcomes 4 New Members

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Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the NYU Female Founders Fellowship community!

The NYU Female Founders Fellowship provides community support, training, mentorship, networking, and grant opportunities to entrepreneurs at NYU building scalable, differentiated ventures who are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship. Fellows get fully plugged into NYU’s ecosystem of resources, and upon graduation from NYU, are invited to apply for student loan alleviation grants of up to $30,000 each. These loan alleviation grants help to reduce 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.

The Female Founders Fellowship comes with several benefits, including:

  • Invite-only monthly peer group events with other members of the Female Founders Fellowship, from both the new and from past cohorts,
  • Invites to special social and networking events
  • 1:1 mentorship with external mentors, and priority office hours with Entrepreneurial Institute coaches
  • Automatic interviews for the next Summer Launchpad Accelerator or Tech Venture Accelerator
  • Automatic interviews for the Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program
  • The opportunity to apply for up to $30,000 in grants to help pay down their student loans after graduation from NYU

This spring, we welcome four new NYU Female Founder Fellows, who will join Past Fellows in the Cohort. They are:

Estella Struck (Gallatin '24)

Founder of Viviene New York

Viviene New York is the first Gen Z lead sustainable product marketing agency ahead of its time. Its vision is to inspire a global shift towards conscious consumerism and green finance through the power of social media; creating a future of sustainability, responsibility, and well-being for all. Estella Struck is a Gen Z innovator, thought leader, and social media influencer. She founded and runs Viviene New York — the world’s first Gen Z run sustainable product marketing agency. With 135K+ on TikTok and features in Refinery 29, Insider Business, and more, Struck and her team are on a mission to inspire a global shift towards conscious consumerism and green finance through the power of social media. She is currently a junior at NYU Gallatin studying marketing, sustainable finance, and social entrepreneurship.

Participated in: Startup BootcampFirst Generation Founders Fellowship, Female Founders Circle

Lauren Blandin, RN (Meyers '22, NYU Langone Health Staff)

Founder of Fertility Yoga

Fertility Yoga utilizes mind/body techniques to help safely manage the chronic stress and physiologic changes that occur throughout the fertility journey, in a community of women with shared experiences. Fertility Yoga can be accessed via the Digital Studio, a library of pre-recorded classes that meet the changing needs of those undergoing fertility treatments, and through online groups and private mentorship. Lauren Blandin is a professional ballet dancer turned yoga instructor and medical massage therapist. She created Fertility Yoga from her own experiences of fertility treatments and the lack of information available at the time. Drawing from her nearly two decades of knowledge in yoga, science, and medicine, Blandin created a safe practice to support the complex and changing needs of the fertility journey — one that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. In addition to being a founder, she is also a registered nurse in New York City.

Participated in: Startup BootcampStartup SprintFemale Founders Circle

Ugochi Obidiegwu (Wagner '24)

Founder of The Safety Chic

The Safety Chic is a safety education platform developing African-themed gamified content for African children ages 5-9 to reduce the unintentional injuries they face and raise safety consciousness. Ugochi Obidiegwu is a social development strategist with a specialty in speaking and developing products and programs. She provides policy advisory on pressing development issues affecting young Africans. Her major work pillars are around ensuring child safety, reducing substance abuse in youths, and providing strategic direction for social impact initiatives. She is the author of a child safety story book series available in English and French, co-creator of an online safety game for children, and curator of safety education apps.

Participated in: Startup CoachingStartup Bootcamp

Lama Al-Aswad, MD, MPH (Fmr. NYU Langone Health Staff)

Founder of Envision Health Technologies

Envision Health Technologies is a digital eye health company that combines VR diagnostics and therapeutics with AI analytics. Lama Al-Aswad, MD, MPH is a board-certified ophthalmologist with subspecialty in glaucoma and cataract with a strong interest in disease prevention and population health management. She is currently the CEO of Envision Health Technologies and Visi Health Technologies, two tech startups focused on transformation of eye care delivery. Dr. Al-Aswad was a professor of ophthalmology and professor of population health at NYU Langone Health in New York. She was also the Vice Chair for Innovations and the Director of Teleophthalmology, Artificial Intelligence and Director of the Ophthalmology Innovations Fellowship. Dr. Al-Aswad is the past president of the NY Glaucoma Society and Women in Ophthalmology, as well as the founder and past president of the New York chapter of Women in Ophthalmology. Dr. Al-Aswad is currently a member at-large of the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting secretariat and the program committee, member at-large of the American Glaucoma Society, and an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology. She served on multiple committees for the American Glaucoma Society, Women in Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She is currently on the Ophthalmology glaucoma editorial board, ophthalmology science editorial board and a section editor for the subspecialty of AI, Big Data and Telemedicine in Ophthalmology for the Asia Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology. She holds an appointment with the FDA as a voting member on the ophthalmic device panel.

Participated in: Tech Venture Workshop, NSF I-Corps, Tech Venture Accelerator, Max Stenbeck Venture Equity Program

These phenomenal entrepreneurs will join our existing Female Founders Fellowship community to continue to grow their ventures:

  • Adriana Teresa Letorney (GSAS '21), Founder & CEO of Visura
  • Adrienne Crow (Stern '23), Founder of Adelphia
  • Aleksandra Medina (Abu Dhabi '21), Founder & 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), Co-Founder & CEO of Sabai Design
  • Caroline Catherine Fitzgerald (SPS '22), Founder & CEO of GOALS
  • Caroline Vasquez Huber (Stern '23), Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Jones
  • Caylin Waller (Steinhardt '22), Co-Founder & CEO of Theatre Advocacy Project (TAP)
  • Dana Bevilacqua (GSAS '17, GSAS Staff), Founder of ViBiller
  • Dessa Shepherd (Steinhardt '19), Founder & CEO of VisionVoice
  • Drew Lederman (Tisch '20), Founder & CEO of Resist Nutrition
  • Emily Cohen (Steinhardt '23), Chief Development Officer of Resist Nutrition
  • Erica Ramos (Stern '23), Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Trousso
  • Jade Kearney (Steinhardt '20), Co-Founder & CEO of She Matters
  • Laura Rocha (Wagner '20), Co-Founder & CEO of Dathic
  • Lindsay Perper (Stern '23), Founder & CEO of Shop Rodeo
  • Mikaila Roncevich (Gallatin '21), Founder & CEO of Kaila Katherine
  • Nikki Powers (Stern '21), Founder of Nourish & Refine
  • Paige Anderson (Steinhardt), Founder of HealthBoxed
  • Phantila Phataraprasit (Law '20), Co-Founder & COO 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 & CPO of Edgi Learning
  • Thanisha Pariage (Wagner '20), Founder & CEO of KinNect Careers

Working on a startup and interested in applying to the Fall ‘23 Female Founders Fellowship/Female Founders Circle Cohorts? Attend the info session on April 12 to learn more! Applications are due on April 24 at 6pm. For more information or to apply to the Fellowship, visit the Female Founders Fellowship web page here.