Nourish & Refine

Nourish and Refine empowers you to practice self-care through all-natural and conscious wellness products.


  • Nikki Powers (Stern '21) |
  • Matt Powers |



Dathic creates an AI-based platform for CPG that understands the US Hispanic consumers, recommends the best locations to grow and connect communities with the products they love.


  • Laura Rocha (Wagner '20) |
  • Jose Daniel Ramirez |
  • Luis Felipe Giraldo
  • Santiago Alvarez
  • Diana Prieto
  • Juan David Ramirez




A virtual space where thousands of GenZ teens around the world can meet, reach their dreams, build meaningful friendships and find support in every area of their lives.


  • Rina Patel (Gallatin '20) |
  • Sydney McCoy



NYU Female Founders Fellowship

The NYU Female Founders Fellowship is an award winning initiative that provides access to a robust community of entrepreneurs at NYU who are committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship, as well as extensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Upon their graduation, Female Founders Fellows are also invited to apply for student loan alleviation grants of up to $50,000. 

Applications for the NYU Female Founders Fellowship open twice a year: once in the fall semester and again in the spring. The next Female Founders Fellowship application is due Friday April 29th at 6pm ET for the Fall '22 cohort. RSVP for an info session today to learn more! Apply today through the following link!


Who participated in this

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  • Info Sessions

    Keep an eye on this section for any upcoming info sessions.

  • Who It’s For

    The NYU Female Founders Fellowship is open to NYU undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs who are enrolled in a degree program from any NYU school or college, who are actively working on a startup venture. Recent alumni entrepreneurs who have graduated within the last year (at the time of application) and who started their venture while studying at NYU are also welcome to apply.

    We seek to build a diverse, inclusive cohort of fellows, and we welcome applications from any student with a demonstrated commitment to women’s issues in the entrepreneurial space, regardless of gender and including but not limited to students who identify as trans*, gender non-conforming, non-binary, or genderqueer.

    All applicants must personally demonstrate:

    • Commitment to their venture: Applicants must be passionate and knowledgeable about the problem they hope to solve for their customer, and demonstrate continued progress on the venture, with the expectation that they’ll continue to work on their startup after graduation
    • Demonstrated hustle including completion of a Startup Bootcamp: Applicants must be able to learn from, and take advantage of available resources. A key way for applicants to show initiative and progress is by meeting with the Entrepreneurial Institute for coaching and completing a Startup Bootcamp (most often) in advance of applying.
    • Commitment to supporting gender equity in entrepreneurship: Applicants must demonstrate that they and/or their venture are advancing causes important to gender equity and/or are supporting gender equity in entrepreneurship.
    • Community mindedness: Applicants must value being part of a community in order to contribute to the growth and success of the Female Founders Fellowship community. Fellows are expected to offer support to their peers, receive group support, and generally show great respect for one another.

    Applicant's Venture Considerations:

    Students pursuing ventures in any sector may apply (social impact, healthcare, biotech, deep tech, consumer products, enterprise technology, etc.). Independent of sector, the program has a strong preference for entrepreneurs tackling meaningful problems, building novel/differentiated solutions, and for businesses capable of radically scaling (including non-profits).

    Applications will be reviewed with the following questions in mind:

    • Problem Identification: Does the venture solve a meaningful problem and how well does the team understand the problem they hope to solve and the customer segment/market they plan to address?
    • Idea & Competition: Is the venture idea novel and/or a radical improvement over existing solutions?
    • Milestones: What progress on the venture has been made so far - what has the team done/created? Is the venture generating revenue? How do you plan to acquire customers?
    • Scalability: Does the venture have the ability to scale? What might be the potential impact and/or market opportunity of the venture at scale?

    Loan Alleviation Grant Selection Criteria:

    The selection criteria for the Loan Alleviation Grants is currently being finalized. Final selection criteria will be published to this website prior to opening the next round of funding. It is expected that the following will be used as high-level guidelines to determine award amounts: 

    • Fellow’s successful participation in the NYU Startup Bootcamp, NYU Female Founders Fellowship, completion of the NYU Startup Sprint, and participation in 6+ months of general coaching at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute 
    • Fellow’s financial need (specifically - student loan amount held)
    • Fellow’s commitment to their venture
    • Fellow’s commitment to supporting women/gender equity in entrepreneurship
    • Fellow's being in good academic standing with the university
  • What You Can Expect from the Fellowship

    Female Founders Fellowship

    Each Fellow will receive access to community, mentorship, training, and resources to support their venture and themselves, including:

    Female Founders Community and Network Access: Fellows will be invited to participate in monthly community events, and an annual full-day Female Founders Forum, alongside the broader NYU community. Fellows will also be offered exclusive community building and networking opportunities, via:

    • Female Founders Fellowship Cohort Meetings: Monthly gatherings where fellows will get to share progress, work through venture challenges.
    • Networking events: Network with members of the Female Founders Fellowship Advisory Committee as well as with special guests from the startup community.

    Training: Fellows will have access to comprehensive startup training, and will be invited to participate in the:

    • Startup Sprint Interview: Fellows will automatically be guaranteed an interview for the two week long intensive program to help startup ventures find problem-solution fit or product-market fit (taking place in January and in May/June).
    • Summer Launchpad Accelerator Interview: Fellows will automatically be guaranteed an interview for the highly competitive NYU Summer Launchpad Accelerator, where if selected they will receive intensive mentorship from investors and successful entrepreneurs, and a $10,000 grant to accelerate their venture.
    • Other programs: Fellows may also be invited to participate in/apply to other select program opportunities, as they arise.

    Coaching: Regular (monthly or more frequent) coaching sessions with members of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute Coaching Team, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and Founders in Residence.

    Mentoring: Fellows will be paired with seasoned entrepreneurial and investor mentors from the greater NYC and US startup communities. Further, fellows will have access to a network of 120+ external mentors and funders through the broader network of mentors at the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.

    Invitation to apply for a Mark & Debra Leslie Female Founders Fellowship Grant: The NYU Female Founders Fellowship aims to enable more founders to pursue their ventures after graduation by removing some of the financial burden of student loan debt. NYU Female Founders Fellows are invited to apply for Loan Alleviation Grants as they prepare to graduate. Grants will be awarded to 6-15 Fellows per year and the awards will range from $5K to $50K per fellow. Fellows who receive this financial award will become Mark and Debra Leslie Female Founders Fellows, to honor the generosity of the donors whose gift makes these grants possible.


  • Meet the NYU Female Founders Fellows

    We’re pleased to introduce the NYU Female Founders Fellows!

    Photo of Caitlin Ellen
    Caitlin Ellen

    (Stern Langone '21)
    Co-Founder & CEO of Sabai Design

    Jade Kearney

    Mark & Debra Leslie Fellow
    (Steinhardt ‘20)
    Co-Founder & CEO of She Matters

    Laura Rocha

    Mark & Debra Leslie Fellow
    (Wagner ‘20)
    Co-Founder & CEO of Dathic

    Phantila Phataraprasit

    (Law '20)
    Co-Founder & COO of Sabai Design

    Rina Patel

    (Gallatin '20)
    Founder & CEO of She

    Sutton King

    Mark & Debra Leslie Fellow
    (School of Global Public Health ‘20)
    Co-Founder & COO of ShockTalk

    Paige Anderson

    (Steinhardt ‘22)
    Founder of HealthBoxed

    Ann Andrews

    (Stern ‘22)
    Founder & CEO of Techfunic

    Photo of Thanisha Pariage
    Thanisha Pariage

    (Wagner '20)
    Founder & CEO of KinNect Careers

    Nikki Powers

    (Stern ‘21)
    Founder of Nourish & Refine

    Ashley Xie

    (Steinhardt ‘20)
    Co-Founder & CEO of Rooted Fare

    Adriana Teresa Letorney

    (GSAS '21)
    Founder & CEO of Visura

    Aleksandra Medina

    (Abu Dhabi '21)
    Co-founder & CPO of Frich

    Photo of Ayman Mukerji
    Ayman Mukerji

    (Silver '21)
    Founder of Jivika

    Caylin Waller

    (Steinhardt '22)
    CEO & Co-Founder of Theatre Advocacy Project (TAP)

    Dessa Shepherd

    (Steinhardt '19)
    CEO & Founder of VisionVoiceInc.

    Tinsley Maier

    (Gallatin '20)
    Co-founder & CPO of Edgi Learning

    Caroline Catherine Fitzgerald

    (SPS '22)
    Founder & CEO of GOALS

    Caroline Vasquez Huber

    (Stern '23)
    Co-Founder of Cozier

    Drew Lederman

    (Tisch '20)
    Founder & CEO of Resist Nutrition

    Lindsay Perper

    (Stern '23)
    Founder & CEO of Shop Rodeo

    Mikaila Roncevich

    (Gallatin '21)
    Founder & CEO of Kaila Katherine

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Do I have to identify as female to apply, or to be selected for the fellowship?
    No. We seek to build a diverse, inclusive cohort of fellows, and we welcome applications from any student with a demonstrated commitment to women’s issues in the entrepreneurial space, regardless of sex and including but not limited to students who identify as trans*, gender non-conforming, non-binary, or genderqueer.


    When do you accept applicants to the Fellowship?
    We hold two cycles of the Fellowship annually - one running in the Fall: September-January, and the other running in Spring: February-July. For the Fall cohort, please apply in the previous Spring (Applications due April 29th, 2022 at 6pm, via this link). For the Spring cohort, applications are due in early December. If you miss the April 29th application date and are still interested in applying for the fall cohort, email

    Do I need to complete a Startup Bootcamp prior to applying for the Female Founders Fellowship?
    Yes. Completing a Startup Bootcamp is a prerequisite for becoming a Female Founders Fellow. A majority of applicants complete the Startup Bootcamp prior to applying for the Female Founders Fellowship, though some do complete the Startup Bootcamp after their fellowship application is submitted. If scheduling is prohibitive, on rare occasions this prerequisite may be waived by the Fellowship program leads. To request that this prerequisite be waived, reach out to

    I’m interested in becoming a Female Founders Fellow, but I don’t hold any student loans. Can I still apply?
    Yes! All Female Founders Fellows receive the full benefits of mentorship and programmatic support. Only a subset of the Female Founders Fellows apply for the Student Loan Alleviation Grants each year.

    I graduated over a year ago from NYU. Can I still apply for the fellowship and the student loan alleviation grant?
    No. Only students who graduated from NYU less than a year prior to their application deadline, and who started their ventures while at NYU are eligible to apply for the Female Founders Fellowship.

    I don’t have student loans for my NYU education, however I do have student loans from prior education. Am I eligible to apply for the loan alleviation grant?
    Yes! If you have student loan debt (regardless of which educational institution you attended when you incurred the debt) and meet the other criteria for the program you are eligible to apply for the Student Loan Alleviation Grant.

    I’m a student from an international NYU campus. Am I eligible to apply for the fellowship?

    Are the Student Loan Alleviation Grants taxable?
    The Student Loan Alleviation Grants may be taxable. Please consult with an accountant prior to filing your taxes to fully understand tax consequences.

    How and when will the Grants be disbursed?
    The Student Loan Alleviation Grants are paid directly to the founder (not to the founder’s venture). If funding is awarded, it will be given post-graduation in the form of a grant, after proof of graduation is submitted. Further details for the Student Loan Alleviation Grant disbursement are still being finalized and will be updated prior to disbursement.

    How many student loan alleviation grants will be awarded each year?
    Though the number is not finite, we anticipate awarding between 6-15 student loan alleviation grants to fellows each year.