Female Entrepreneurs At U-M Continue As Leaders And Best
The month of March hosts International Women’s Day and we wanted to take the time to showcase just a few of the many women in various aspects of entrepreneurship who have in some way impacted the Center for Entrepreneurship. These women have helped instill an entrepreneurial mindset here at the University of Michigan, from students to faculty to speakers and mentors, the CFE is proud to have such a strong female representation in the entrepreneurial landscape.
Sara Jones, Innovation Director, Digital Acceleration & Emerging Aviation – Boeing HorizonX
While getting her MBA from Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Sara founded The École Collection, a contemporary re-invention of the University class ring for women. After spending her early career with the United Nations Association and in public affairs, her Ross MBA propelled her into customer and product strategy consulting with Fortune 50s. She made her way to innovation strategy for Boeing, where she now leads a team tasked with turning emerging trends into disruptive opportunities, creating value for customers and growth opportunities for the company through new products and services.
Avish Kosari, Co-Founder / CEO – SkyGig
While receiving her PhD in Electrical Engineering, Avish co-founded SkyGig to meet the rising demand of data-intensive wireless applications. Their technology serves a wide range of emerging use cases and paves the way to the rapid roll-out and growth of 5G and broadband communications in the global race to ubiquitous connectivity.
Prof. Nina Lin, Co-Founder / SAB Chair – Ecovia Renewables
As a professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University Of Michigan, Dr. Lin‘s research group aims to engineer microorganisms to address critical needs faced by our society such as sustainable biofuel and chemical production. Nina has participated actively in programs focused on technology translation, including an NSF sponsored I-Corps Teams program in 2013, which led to the founding in 2014 of Ecovia Renewables, a U-Michigan start-up aiming to translate microbial co-culture and other technologies for renewable chemicals and materials.
Hunter Phelps, Founder – Terry Lu Naturals
During her time earning a BBA, Hunter found time to follow one of her passions and founded Terry Lu Naturals. Curious about the various chemicals in hair and skincare products she began performing extensive research on natural hair and skin ingredients to create more natural multi-use products.
Maya Pindeus, Co-Founder / CEO – Humanising Autonomy
Located in London, England, Maya utilizes experimentation, design, engineering and enterprise activities to help shape her work in understanding the full spectrum of human behaviors to allow automated vehicles to predict intent, increase human safety and enable automated urban driving at scale. Her company partners with the TechLab at MCity program to give U-M students an opportunity to work on real world problems that face the autonomous mobility industry.
Uma Subramanian, CEO – Aero
Uma Subramanian is the CEO of Aero Technologies, a company that is radically rethinking passenger air travel. Prior to Aero, Uma was the Founder and CEO of Voom by Airbus, an on-demand service that is laying the foundation for urban air transportation in megacities.
Kate Ryder, Founder / CEO – Maven
After working as a member of the editorial staff for The New Yorker and a reporter for The Economist, U-M alum Kate Ryder left journalism to found Maven, a leading women’s and family healthcare company, providing end-to-end coverage for all paths to parenthood. She recently raised a $45 million Series C, one of the largest funding rounds for a female-led women’s healthcare company.
Dana Thompson, Clinical Professor of Law and Director – U-M Law School Entrepreneurship Clinic, Transactional Law Clinics Program and Community Enterprise Clinic
As a graduate of U-M Law School in 1999, a practicing attorney for over 20 years and now a clinical professor there, Dana is the founding director of the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic. She is also director of the Law School’s Transactional Law Clinics Program and the Community Enterprise Clinic. She also founded the Small Business Enterprises and Nonprofit Corporations Clinic at Wayne Law. The Entrepreneurship Clinic provides free legal assistance to UM student startups and to startups in Southeastern Michigan and also offers office hours to assist students with questions about the legal aspects of their startups while attending U-M.
Tess Hatch, Vice President – Bessemer Venture Partners
Based in the Silicon Valley office fostering entrepreneurship, Tess focuses on frontier tech, specifically commercial space, drones, autonomous vehicles, and the future of agriculture and food technology. She has continued to expand on her aerospace degree from U-M by serving on the board of several aerospace and mobility companies.
Catalina Kaiyoorawongs, Co-Founder / CEO, LoanSense
After a stint in the Peace Corps, Catalina came to U-M to receive her MBA. While attending she helped co-found LoanSense, a dual product company: a student loan advising and filing solution, and a student loan matching program. Their aim is to help companies retain top talent and helps lessen the financial burden on graduating students.
Amanda Lewan, Co-Founder / CEO – Bamboo Detroit
With her MA in English and Creative Writing, Amanda went from a marketing and editorial background into creating a space that assists, encourages, and enables other entrepreneurs the opportunity to be successful, confident, and expand at a reasonable price while not sacrificing professional quality.
Kelsey Morgan Pasqualichio, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer – Nex Cubed
Kelsey has utilized her BBA in finance from U-M as a guide to eventually co-founding Nex Cubed, a frontier technology venture capital firm with target investment areas including artificial intelligence, digital healthcare, fintech, transportation and logistics, and sports tech. Prior to that she worked as the director at Techstars where she sourced and screened over 40 seed stage investments for the fund and launched three accelerator programs.
Kiley Judge, CEO & Founder – Quirk
With a bachelor’s degree in computer science and history from U-M, Kiley participated as a member of both ELP and TechArb as well as serving as vice president of MPowered, a student run entrepreneurship organization on campus. At Quirk, she aimed to revolutionize how food waste is handled and help spark positive change through small batch, handmade drinking vinegars.
Jessica Alter, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board – Tech for Campaigns
Jessica Alter is Cofounder and Chairman of Tech for Campaigns, the tech and digital arm for Democratic campaigns. Prior, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Social Capital – where she focused on the opportunities in and around the future of work – and was Cofounder & CEO of FounderDating (acquired by OneVest), the Linkedin for entrepreneurs. Jessica led Business Development and was GM of Platforms at Bebo (acquired by AOL for $850M).
Dr. Aileen Huang-Saad, Assistant Professor – University of Michigan
As a co-founder of the CFE, Aileen has been involved with entrepreneurship at U-M for over a decade. Her recent research at U-M has been focused on entrepreneurship and education, though her past industry experience includes new venture biotech, defense, and medical device testing. She also served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Ann Arbor startup NanoBio Corporation.
Dr. Tiffany Fidler, Shareholder and Patent Attorney – Brooks Kushman P.C.
With several U-M degrees in engineering, Tiffany understands the complexity of patent law not only from a legal perspective, but from an engineering one as well. She has taught both mechanical engineering and law concepts at major universities and now counsels clients about protecting intellectual property rights in a variety of technologies and industries.
Dr. Anna Schwendeman, Co-Founder / VP of Preclinical Development – EVOQ Therapeutics
Part of the MBVF portfolio, Anna’s company EVOQ Therapeutics is pioneering the development of a proprietary platform that represents a genuine breakthrough in cancer vaccine technology. She also serves as an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at U-M.
Dr. Elyse Kemmerer White, Chief Science Officer – Neurocore
After founding Tangent Medical Technologies (which was acquired by ICU Medical) Elyse made her way to Neurocore, based in Grand Rapids, which provides a unique combination of neurofeedback, biofeedback, lifestyle coaching, and counseling. Utilizing her Phd from U-M, she is now the Chief Science Officer and analyzes the data to identify the sources of each individual’s symptoms and develop a program focused on their challenges.
Prof. Kira Barton, Co-Founder – S3D Precision Dispensing
As a Mechanical Engineering and Robotics faculty, Dr. Barton invented S3D’s specialty 3D print heads that are capable of fabricating flexible sensors, actuators, antennas and electrical interconnects, which could revolutionize in-vehicle sensing because they have the unique ability to be printed onto any surface such as seats, steering wheels,and glass.