Meet the 13 Women-Owned Startups Selected to 1871's 1st WiSTEM Program
26 June 2015
26 June 2015
1871's long-awaited and delayed program for women in tech is finally ready to launch, and the first cohort's 13 members have been announced.
WiSTEM--short for women in science, technology, engineering and math--is an initiative by 1871 to create more opportunities and resources for women in technology. The program will be centered around three pillars: connecting female entrepreneurs with capital, tech resources, and mentorship.
"A significant component of the work of [Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center] and 1871 involves fostering diversity and inclusion in the technology and entrepreneurial communities," Laura Ferris Anderson, CEC Treasurer and Chief of Staff, Office of the Midwest Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement. “WiSTEM is a key resource for supporting women entrepreneurs, and we believe that more women will be inspired to develop businesses with the launch of the program.”
The program, which has gone through a rebrand and shifted away from being an incubator, is part of Google for Entrepreneurs’ #40Forward initiative, and is supported by the Lefkofsky Family Foundation and the Motorola Mobility Foundation. 1871 says it is in the process of creating an advisory board--which will include a number of the CEC board members--to help define the overall direction of the program.
The 13 WiSTEM members will start their participation in the program immediately, with the curriculum for the program beginning in September. The curriculum will last three months and conclude in a demo day.
From now until September, members will determine their areas of focus and begin meeting with potential tech and finance partners, 1871 says.
Here are the 13 members selected to WiSTEM:
Alex Buck, Co-Founder and CEO of Plumwise
Plumwise connects its members to providers for services they need without having to sift through reviews. Plumwise vets and verifies providers so users know they are getting a reputable service.
Amanda Greenberg,Co-Founder and CEO of Baloonr
Baloonr is a platform for teams that allows members to comment and suggest ideas anonymously so they can express their thoughts without fear of failure or judgment.
Annie Mohaupt, Founder and CEO of Mohop
Mohop produces sustainable, ethically-produced shoes that customers order from their smartphone and are manufactured on-demand using 3D fabrication techniques.
Catherine Merritt, Founder and CEO of MUMZY
MUMZY is a crowdfunding website for moms that allows them to raise money for their passions and projects and connect with other mothers.
Elena Valentine, Co-Founder and CEO of Skill Scout
Skill Scout is an HR company that helps businesses attract and identify talent. By changing online job boards and applicant tracking into more of a relationship through through video job postings, social recruiting, and hands on interviews, businesses can find the right people to help build their teams.
Holly Bellmund, Founder and CEO of Werenro Group
Werenro Group’s main product is iTravel Benefits, a shared, elective benefit that rewards employees who save for personal travel by providing a company match.
Julie Novack, Founder and CEO of PartySlate
Launching later this year, PartySlate will be a digital platform designed for party hosts and event professionals.
Linda Zabors, Founder and CEO of Honorary Chicago
Honorary Chicago is a source of gifts, tours, and events based on the stories behind the honorary streets, days, tributes, and other commemorations bestowed by the City of Chicago.
Michelle Smyth, Founder and CEO of Pay Your Selfie
Pay Your Selfie brings brands and consumers together using selfies. It creates aperformance-based mobile marketing platform for advertisers, and it pays users cash for selfies, turning their social currency into real currency.
Parminder Batra, Co-Founder and CEO of TraknProtect
TraknProtect is a hardware tracking solution for the hospitality industry that provides real-time location of items such as rollaway beds and cribs on the hotel property to increase efficiency so that employees can focus on activities that create an exceptional customer experience for the hotel guests.
DigitalGroundUp is a platform that offers short, interactive online courses in digital marketing, and Digital4Startups is a digital marketing consulting firm that has worked with over 30 companies in the last two years
Rose Afriyie, Co-Founder of mRelief
mRelief simplifies the qualifying process for social programs by quickly showing people if they are eligible or not, and recently unveiled a text messaging feature that makes the food stamp screening process even easier.
Veatrice Glenn, Founder and CEO of Insightful Decisions, Inc.
Insightful Decisions, Inc. is an ed-tech startup developing a platform for middle through high school students to become "drivers of their own destiny" by finding colleges aligned with their trajectory, and keeping them engaged and accountable to their process to meet their goals.