Announcing 14 New Members of the NYU Female Founders Circle

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Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the NYU Female Founders Circle 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.

In addition to the Fellowship, we've launched a new program for founders whose ventures are at an earlier stage than those of the Fellows: The Female Founders Circle. The Circle comes with several benefits, including:

  • Invite-only monthly peer group events with other members of the Female Founders Circle
  • 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 14 new NYU Female Founders Circle members. They are:

Alexandra Debow (Tandon ‘24)

Founder of Somewhere Somehow

Somewhere Somehow is a time-based social network designed to help users create and share more quality time with friends and family. The startup is rebuilding how time is spent, consumed, and remembered by building a platform for Gen Zs who are calendar obsessed and addicted to authentic social media.

Alexandra Debow was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada. At age 14, she started using her Chinese skills to help start up work in China, and she later worked for AI startups in Israel over the summers in high school. When Covid-19 hit, Debow built Alive Vibe, a virtual events marketplace connecting 30,000+ Gen Zs. In fall 2020, she began her education at NYU Shanghai to study data science. In Shanghai, Debow built Entrepreneurs in Action, a founders dinner series; The Entrepre女ers Network, a women entrepreneurs podcast network (with six shows and an audience of 20,000+ listeners); and the WHY WAIT? Collective, China’s first Gen Z-led women entrepreneurship conference. She also interned at Alibaba in HangZhou. Debow studied abroad at NYU Paris before working for GGV Capital’s enterprise tech/cybersecurity and Web3 investment team in San Francisco. She then transferred to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering to study Computer Engineering.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery BootcampStartup Sprint

Annabelle Li (Steinhardt ‘23)

Founder of The Artisan Box

The Artisan Box aims to optimize nutrition status for pregnant women. Its dietitian-designed, OBGYN-approved protein-calorie rich popsicles make nutrition intake easier and more palatable for pregnant women who struggle with intense food aversion and morning sickness.

Annabelle Li was born and raised in Zhongshan, a city south of the Pearl River Delta in China, where the region is blessed with a wide range of nature’s finest ingredients. From a young age, her father would take her on local gourmet field trips, and her mother would prepare medicinal dishes at home according to seasonal changes. Influenced by the region and her parents, Li became enchanted by food and culture early on, which prompted her to pursue a career path in food and nutrition. She is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition. She believes that the right nutrition plan not only addresses underlying health concerns, but also honors an individual's cultural identity. Li specializes in functional nutrition and culinary nutrition. Her seasonal whole-food recipes are often featured in the Union Square farmers’ market’s Instagram. Her most recent fertility-focused recipe will be published in the 2023 Spring Issue of Food & Nutrition Magazine.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp

Caitlin West (Stern ‘24)

Founder of 4Alivio

4Alivio is a product that helps individuals suffering from chronic pain and inflammation receive relief by combining four proven technologies (TENS, PEMF, infrared light, Hot/Cold) into an inclusive, discrete, and affordable non-invasive device.

Caitlin West is an entrepreneur and finance expert who launched Alivio Technologies, Inc. as the result of failed attempts to find an affordable relief option for her psoriatic arthritis. West currently works at Qurate Retail Group and has previously worked for Gap, Charming Charlie, BCBG, and Turn5. She believes in paying it forward and has been active in raising awareness for foster youth, serving as a hospice aid, and acting as a connect leader for the Arthritis Foundation. In her free time, West enjoys spending time with her partner, Luis, and their two fur babies, Charlie and Dexter. She also is an avid horseback rider.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Tech Venture Workshop

Devin Joyner (Steinhardt ‘24)

Founder of Many Colors Co.

Many Colors Co. delivers necessities such as skin-toned tights and makeup to the doors, studios, and theaters of WOC performing artists, removing the hassle that artists face while trying to find these items in the midst of performing or touring.

Devin Joyner has been curating and managing performing arts programs in urban settings and performing in Chicago for the past five years. She prides herself in specializing in facilitating safe and brave spaces for youth to create and tell stories, while evoking strong personal relationships that encourage them to find true meaning in life.

Participated in: Startup Coaching,Customer Discovery Bootcamp

Ellie Kiernan (Wagner ‘23)

Co-Founder of TANDEM

TANDEM is an LTE-enabled and motion sensor anti-bike theft alarm for NYC food delivery workers. The device sends security breach notifications directly to delivery workers’ phones, helping to eliminate electric bicycle replacement costs.

Ellie Kiernan is a second-year MPA student at NYU Wagner specializing in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment. Prior to Wagner, she worked at an innovation and strategy consultancy, leveraging participatory research methods to design products and services for companies. Kiernan was a 2022 summer associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, analyzing disruptive institutional reforms. She is currently a Latin America intern at Ashoka, facilitating social changemaking efforts among local municipal and entrepreneurial leaders. Kiernan also serves as the co-director of events for NYU’s Social Innovation & Investment Alliance. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Hamilton College.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Customer Discovery Bootcamp

Emili Berisha (GSAS ‘23)

Co-Founder of MIRE

MIRE is a website and mobile app for creating a reliable channel of communication between Albanian women going through major life transitions and mental health professionals in Albania and Kosovo. With a data-driven approach, it optimizes the matching process between both sides, leading to a higher likelihood of therapy success.

Emili Berisha is a master’s student studying Economics, with a background in banking and finance. She has a passion for exploring the intricacies of human behavior and a keen interest in psychology and behavioral economics. She tries to bring a unique perspective to her work and is dedicated to creating a better and healthier society in her region.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp, Startup Sprint

Frida Aguilar Sanchez (NYU Shanghai ‘23)

Founder of Nannü

Nannü is a fashion-forward brand specializing in luxury goods for men in their 20s-40s who are on the upper end of the socioeconomic range. It fills the market gap for high-quality and high-functional menswear bags, enabling men to confidently show their fashion style and social status.

Born and raised in Mexico, Frida Aguilar Sanchez chose to attend university in Shanghai to learn more about Asian cultures. She previously resided in Florence and is now finishing her studies in New York. Aguilar Sanchez is majoring in Business and Marketing with a track in luxury marketing and minoring in Chinese. Her interest in fashion and branding has grown as a result of her internships at three marketing and PR firms in various cities.

Participated in:  Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp

Jacqueline Ramales (Wagner ‘23)

Co-founder of Tandem

TANDEM is an LTE-enabled motion sensor anti-bike theft alarm for NYC food delivery workers. The device sends security breach notifications directly to delivery workers’ phones to prevent thefts and eliminate electric bicycle replacement costs.

Jacqueline Ramales is a graduate student at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, specializing in Social Impact, Innovation and Investment. She has extensive experience in the social service sector working with immigrant populations to create opportunities for social and economic mobility.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Customer Discovery Bootcamp

Lindsey Casella (Stern ‘23)

Founder of Rent Your Feed and Live Conscious 

RENT YOUR FEED is a software as a service that enables peer-to-peer lending for young professionals who are frustrated with expensive and time-consuming rental programs. It encourages users to share clothing and accessories with peers in their social network and immediate proximity. For updates, RSVP at

LIVE CONSCIOUS (LC) is creating positive societal change through its support of municipalities, companies, NGOs, and individuals that aim to make a biz case for doing what’s right, and that are on a mission to foster inclusive communities and create visionary movements. LC co-created the #PayUp campaign, which unlocked over $15 billion for garment workers by bringing together over 250,000 concerned citizens around the world via petition.

Lindsey Casella is on a mission to build and inspire sustainable change for the planet through entrepreneurially leading solutions, as a founder and consultant. Previously, Casella was the VP of marketing at a tech-enabled materials management company and led global marketing and e-commerce at Loop, TerraCycle's reuse engine. Before her pivot to purpose-driven roles, Casella started her career working with top fashion and tech retail brands before becoming eco-conscious. She most recently participated in a Hulu documentary advocating for a more ethical fashion industry after her experience working for Victoria’s Secret PINK. Casella is active in her community and serves as the finance director of the board at her alma mater, Temple University’s Klein College of Communications, where she studied Advertising Research and Strategy.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Customer Discovery Bootcamp

Rachel Josepho (Tandon ‘23)

Founder of MindFull

MindFull is a zero-caffeine energy drink designed to give the young working woman relief from energy crashes and brain fog so she can replenish her energy levels without sacrificing her sleep or gut health. Its formulation packages ketones in a ready-to-drink beverage so you can have the benefits of ketones without needing to be on a strict keto-diet.

Born and raised in La Jolla, California, Rachel Josepho has a passion for analyzing and creating meaningful media. She is majoring in Integrated Design & Media and minoring in Psychology and Technology Management at NYU. Josepho has a strong background in product management and experience working at two tech startups. She loves making people happy and strives to make an impact on people’s wellbeing.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Customer Discovery Bootcamp, Startup Sprint

Roxanne Jiang (SPS ‘23)

Co-Founder of NARA and Cling

NARA is a climate tech startup that aims to accelerate the decarbonization of NYC buildings subjected to LL97 carbon penalties. It uses AI to shorten the energy retrofit auditing process and help building managers save time and money while maximizing emission-reduction.

Clinge is a jewelry brand that offers easy-to-wear and accessible pieces that are both unique and tasteful. They believe that jewelry can bring confidence and inner peace to the wearer. Their collection is carefully curated with attention to detail and quality, using sustainable packaging. Cling's aim is to encourage self-expression and bring joy to the wearer.

Roxanne Jiang, an entrepreneur with a diverse background, was born in China and later moved to the US. Observing the pollution caused by cities, she co-founded a climate tech startup, utilizing AI technology to reduce carbon emissions in buildings. Jiang’s passion for cultural diversity, learned from her international upbringing, and artistic training in visual art inspired her to co-found a jewelry brand that showcases the talents of emerging designers. With her combined expertise in tech and art, Jiang aims to make an impact in the world of sustainability while promoting creativity among designers.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp, Startup Sprint

Shivani Kannan (Courant ‘24)

Co-Founder of MIRE

MIRE is a website and mobile app for creating a reliable channel of communication between Albanian women going through major life transitions and mental health professionals in Albania and Kosovo. With a data-driven approach, it optimizes the matching process between both sides, leading to a higher likelihood of therapy success.

Shivani Kannan is a masters Computer Science student at NYU Courant. She completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science with an AI concentration at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her passion for utilizing technology to make mental health more accessible and efficient was further galvanized during her internship at a Silicon Valley startup, which focused on making mental health services available during the pandemic.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp, Startup Sprint

Sruti Madhusudhan (Tandon ‘23)


EASEEBot provides a light, mailable, four-wheeled, autonomous robot for building scientists to issue roof moisture condition survey reports while being cost competitive with commodity roof scanners.

Sruti Madhusudhan completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Rutgers University. She worked as a design engineer for three years at Amphenol SV Microwave, located in West Palm Beach, Florida, before starting her master’s program. She is currently in her second year of NYU’s Mechatronics and Robotics program.

Participated in: Startup Coaching, Tech Venture Accelerator

Annie Schonberger (Wagner ‘23)

Co-Founder of TANDEM

TANDEM is an LTE-enabled motion sensor anti-bike theft alarm for NYC food delivery workers. The device sends security breach notifications directly to delivery workers’ phones to prevent thefts and eliminate electric bicycle replacement costs.

Annie Schonberger is studying Social Innovation and Climate Tech through the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service’s Social Impact, Innovation and Investment specialization. She has a product management background building financial equity tools and investment tools for women.

Participated in: Startup CoachingCustomer Discovery Bootcamp

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, click here.