In 2015, Techstars announced their diversity commitment, in which they agreed to work to double the number of female applicants to Techstars as well as track data and train staff on diversity. It seems that their efforts have already began to pay off! The Techstars Boston class has 6 female Founder CEOs. This is the first time that any of the Techstars programs across the globe have achieved this milestone.
While there is still a long way to go – only 19% of Techstars applicants worldwide in 2016 were female and only 13% in Boston. It is extremely encouraging that one of the top accelerators is working towards diversity and beginning to achieve results. Eveline Buchatskiy, Managing Director of Techstars Boston says, "A substantial part of the value that founders get from the Techstars program comes from the interactions with the other founders in the cohort. We are delighted to welcome the 2017 class with 6 out 13 Founder CEOs being female, knowing this level of diversity would provide for a better experience for all companies participating."
Here are the six awesome women running Techstars companies in the Boston program right now.
Helen Adeosun - CareAcademy
Helen Adeosun is the CEO & Co-Founder at CareAcademy. She is passionate about caregiving. An educator, she drives outcomes for adult learners, striving to find meaningful ways to engage them. Helen has worked with Teach for America, Boston Public Schools, and Pearson Education. CareAcademy was born from her experience as a caregiver, and she hopes to make CareAcademy a place to continuously learn. Helen holds an EdM. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
CareAcademy educates professional caregivers online to provide excellent care.
Anna Hu - Brizi
Anna Hu is the CEO & Co-founder at Brizi Inc. She is a technologist with previous roles at Microsoft and Apple before building her own tech company. Her persistent data-driven mindset has been applied to both building great products and creating client success stories. She has embraced technology throughout her career to disrupt industries one by one in automotive, pharmaceutical, financial services, education, entertainment, and sports. Anna is a graduate in Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, HBA at Wilfrid Laurier University, she also studied Statistical Engineering at the University of Paris.
Brizi is a Remote-control Augmented Reality Camera Systems that helps to automate and monetize fan content in sports stadiums.
Steph Speirs - Solstice
Steph Speirs is the CEO & Co-Founder of Solstice. Steph is a social entrepreneur and community builder with operational experience in the U.S., Middle East, and South Asia. She was selected as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, a Global Good Fund Fellow, a Kia Revisionary, and an Acumen Global Fellow, all of which recognize emerging leaders in social enterprise. She previously led sales and marketing innovation initiatives at d.light India, a solar products company powering areas without reliable electricity; spearheaded Acumen's renewable energy sector investment strategy in Pakistan; developed Middle East policy as the youngest Director at the White House National Security Council; and managed field operations in seven states for the first Obama presidential campaign. She holds a B.A. from Yale and a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) with distinction from Princeton, and is a recipient of the Paul and Daily Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
Solstice radically expands access to clean energy by providing community-shared solar power to the 80 percent of Americans that cannot install a system on their rooftop.
Meridith Unger - Nix
Meridith Unger is the Founder & CEO of Nix. When she is not training for marathons, sitting on Boards, mentoring young entrepreneurs, or raising her beloved Weimeraner, Roni, Meridith keeps busy launching successful ventures. Before founding Nix, Meridith helped launch six life science startups with several venture capital and venture creation firms. Meridith received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College where she received the Anna Pell Wheeler Price for Mathematics, and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a Kauffman Fellow as well as a Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellow. Meridith is a college basketball player-turned-runner, and has run seven marathons on her way to completing all the World Majors with one more to go.
Nix is developing a single use hydration sensor that informs athletes’ hydration strategy: when to drink, what to drink, and how much to drink.
Alex Zimmerman - BrainSpec
Alex Zimmerman is the CEO & Co-founder at BrainSpec. She is a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur with a passion for using science and technology to improve patient care. Alex worked at Johnson & Johnson in R&D as a product development engineer for DePuy Synthes, where she created custom implants and instruments for spinal surgery. At J&J her experience spanned full product lifecycle development, including product design, mechanical testing, and production level manufacturing. At HBS, Alex co-founded BrainSpec, a software platform that enables the accurate, non-invasive diagnosis of brain disorders using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. BrainSpec was formed through the iHub at Brigham & Women’s Hospital with Dr. Alexander Lin, the director of the hospital’s Center for Clinical Spectroscopy. Alex earned a BS in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and an MS in biomedical engineering from Brown University. In the Harvard Business School MBA program, she received the R.F. Jasse Distinguished Award in Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
BrainSpec is a health-tech company that enables the accurate, efficient and noninvasive diagnosis of brain disorders.
Me (Alice Rossiter) - Alice’s Table
Yes, I'm fortunate to be one of the women founders in this year's class in Boston. In September 2015, I launched Alice's Table, the popular flower arranging classes, to teach people how to live a more creative and inspired life. Today, Alice's Table is growing nationally with its Event Exec program where women can run their own lifestyle events business in their communities.