July 12, 2023. Post from FoundersX Team. - Despite the much tougher funding environment during the market downturn over the past year, we are amazed at the women tech founders that we back at FoundersX. All of the founders showed great resilience in leading their teams generating strong growth. In this post, we are happy to showcase our 10 pioneering tech women founders & CEOs generating headways.
Patricia Bubner, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Orbillion Bio
After her post-doctoral research work in UC Berkeley, Patricia started her career in biopharma industry and quickly discovered her passion in sustainable foodtech and alternative proteins. Teamed up with two co-founders with extensive experience in bioprocessing and biopharma, Patricia is leading Orbillion Bio to become the first company to bring premium lab grown meat to the market, starting from high-end beef steak. Using their proprietary platform technology, Patricia and her team are rapidly decreasing the cost of cultivated meat. The company has signed multiple commercial partnerships including one with Luiten Foods, an existing investor and demand partner who gives them access to distribute their premium beef across 1,200 channels. Featured in Forbes, Patricia has become a thought leader on cultured meat and sustainability. She has been an invited speaker at the World Economics Forums - Davos 2022.
Li-Huei Tsai, PhD, Co-Founder, Cognito TX
Dr. Li-Huei Tsai is the scientific co-founder of Cognito TX, a pioneering neuroscientist and the director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT. She is known for her work on neurological disorders that affect learning and memory, particularly for her research on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the role of CDK5 and chromatin remodeling in the progression of the disease. In 2016, Dr. Tsai discovered the neuromodulation effect of gamma frequency stimulation on Alzheimer’s disease in collaboration with Dr. Ed Boyden, which led to the formation of Cognito TX, spun out of MIT. Cognito TX has since raised over $70M venture funding led by FoundersX and showed remarkable Phase 2 Human trial data, currently in Phase 3 Pivotal Study. Dr. Tsai is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a Member of the National Academy of Medicine. She is a recipient of the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2018 Hans Wigzell Research Foundation Science Prize.
Jen Nwankwo, PhD, Founder & CEO, 1910 Genetics
A Harvard and Tufts trained biologist, Jen founded 1910 Genetics in May 2018 and was in YC W19 batch. Jen aims using AI to tackle undruggable targets and develop non-opioid pain relievers to meet massive market demands. 1910 Genetics has raised $26 million in venture funding and secured a grant from the National Institutes of Health, which will enable the company to expand its computational biology platform. Very recently, the company and Microsoft announced collaboration to accelerate drug discovery. Jen's team will be using Microsoft’s Azure Quantum Elements to supercharge its synergistic, dual-purpose, small and large molecule platform that integrates AI, computation, and biological automation to design drug-like molecules better, faster, and cheaper than traditional approaches. She has been named a 2022 honoree of the Boston Business Journal's Women Who Lead in Life Sciences.
Sipra Laddha and Shama Rathi, MDs, Co-Founders of LunaJoy
Sipra and Shama are both MDs and sisters-in-law, who understood deeply the challenges of America's mental health system as psychiatrists. After having children and experiencing postpartum depression themselves, the two MD founders realized that to solve the women mental healthcare problem which is a major healthcare gap, they needed to get into tech. They launched Lunajoy out of YC W21 in Jan. 2021. The company has been undergoing incredible growth since then. Today Lunajoy is becoming a leading women mental healthcare digital platform with clinics operation in 9 states including in California and New York, covered by major healthcare insurances such as Medicare, Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shields. The company has formed close partnerships with OBGYN clinics. Besides clinical care, Sipra and Shama have been working tirelessly to drive integration of their women's mental healthcare into primary care and are piloting a preventative model which does not exist in our healthcare system today.
Kris Bennatti, Co-Founder & CEO, Bedrock AI
After graduating from McGill University with majors in Accounting and Economics, Kris went to the Schulich School of Business at the York University, where she focused on business analytics, particularly data governance research. She started her career at KPMG and became fascinated with machine learning during her graduate research. Teamed up with Suhas Pai, a leading ML researcher in Toronto, Kris launched Bedrock AI out of YC S21 in March 2021. After some initial efforts in product-market fit, Bedrock team has become a new voice in equity risks and alerts with research automation. Kris has led her team to complete pre-training on 200k+ SEC filings, 65 times more than BloombergGPT and has successfully issued risk alerts against Coinbase, Credit Suisse and many others. Kris has been invited to speak on Bloomberg BNN and is featured on the Wall Street Journal.
Benita Nagel, Co-Founder & CEO, Nuntius TX
Benita studied Finance in Stockholm School of Economics and started her career in Boston Consulting Group (BCG) focusing on healthcare and life science. Teamed up with Albert Kwok, a brilliant postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Cambridge, Benita wants to overcome the biggest challenge for genetic medicines: Safe and effective delivery. The company has a patented high-throughput screening platform allows screening novel nanocarrier formulations at unparalleled scale for RNA drug delivery. Benita has been leading the team to use their cell-specific nanocarriers to develop mRNA and gene editing therapies for currently incurable diseases. Their pipeline includes immunotherapies, which they strive to advance rapidly into the clinic with pharma partnership.
Joy Tang, Founder & CEO, Markable AI
Once a young math Olympian champ, Joy Tang started her career as a hedge fund trader after graduating from MIT studying economics and mathematics. Six years into trading, she realized that her passion is really in creating something powerful with machine learning to help people find their favorite fashion products, ideally with one click to buy. Today, she is leading her incredible team to build AI Automated Social Commerce Marketplace, which use Deep Learning to deliver eCommerce contents through video and visual search. Markable AI (MAI) empowers social influencers to recommend the right products to their fan base. MAI has gained great traction and is becoming a new force shaping the future of social e-commerce for Gen-Z.
Itziar & Maite Diez-Canedo, Co-Founders, VIA Global
Itziar and Maite are the co-founders of VIA Global, a digital EOR (Employer of Record) platform that makes onboarding workers across the globe and building hubs in new countries seamless for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The two sisters, both graduates from Stanford GSB, started selling books as kids, now they are redefining and reshaping remote hiring. The company has a fast-growing global operation across 13 countries in Northern America (US and Canada), LATAM (Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica) and Europe (UK, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Netherland). "Hiring internationally is really complex, so what we are doing is basically making it really simple. Our mission at VIA is enabling any company to be a global organization." Iztiar says.