Photos courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau
Nearly 250 members of the NYU community and NYC’s startup ecosystem gathered at AWS Loft on March 3 for the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s 2023 Female Founders Forum.
The event, held fittingly at the beginning of Women’s History Month, brought together women founders and investors, as well as their allies, for an inspirational half-day of conversation and networking in pursuit of expanding opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Over the course of the event, guest speakers and attendees alike shared challenges, successes, and pearls of wisdom from their startup journeys.
De-Ann Abraham, programs manager at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, kicked off the day with a warm welcome and opening remarks for the audience. Abraham leads planning for the Forum and serves as the co-lead for the NYU Female Founders Fellowship.
Starting off the event's programming was the Women in VC Panel: Building the Road to Equity, featuring:
- Moderator: Nicole Ripka (Stern ’23), Managing Partner – Dorm Room Fund
- Panelists: Maya Bakhai (Stern '17), Founder – Spice Capital; Susan J. Schofer, Partner – SOSV / HAX, Chief Science Officer – HAX; Lily Bernicker, Principal – Wireframe Ventures; and Tracey Amara Thompson, Vice President – SoGal Ventures
Next up: Women Who Venture Panel: Challenges and Breakthroughs. This group discussion featured:
- Moderator: Cynthia Franklin (Stern), Director – Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship at NYU Stern
- Panelists: Marguerite Pierce, Co-Founder – She Matters; Laura Katz (Steinhardt '16), Founder and CEO – Helaina; Tara Hankinson (Stern '15), Co-Founder – TALEA Beer Co.; and Billie Simmons, Co-Founder – Daylight
Joe Ferino, partner at Brown Rudnick, then introduced the subjects of our much-anticipated keynote discussion: Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO & co-founder of Zola, and Daniella Pierson, founder & CEO of The Newsette and co-founder of Wondermind. Ma and Pierson led a candid discussion about their experiences as successful female founders, sharing stories about everything from their family backgrounds to their paths securing venture capital.
After the conclusion of the panels and keynote discussion, a powerful recap of the day was delivered by Angie Kamath, dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies. The closing remarks led into a two-hour networking mixer featuring music by DJ Senaida Ng (Tisch '24), founder & CEO of MiSynth. Attendees mingled while enjoying food from Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen and beer from TALEA Beer Co., New York City’s first exclusively woman-owned taproom and brewery. Several alumni of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute's programs held demo presentations to showcase their products and services.
Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping us bring the 2023 Female Founders Forum to life: Brown Rudnick, AWS Loft, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Greycroft, and the Max Stenbeck Charitable Trust!
Are you interested in getting involved with our future Female Founders events? We want to hear from you! Send us an email at email@example.com.
The NYU Female Founders Fellowship is on the search for an extraordinary group of entrepreneurs for its next cohort! This award-winning initiative provides community, mentorship, and social and networking opportunities to founders who are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship. Upon their graduation, student/alumni Fellows are also invited to apply for student loan alleviation grants of up to $30,000.
Interested in joining the Fall ‘23 cohort? RSVP to the info session, and submit your application by April 24 at 6pm ET.