Behind the Investment, Featuring Jalak Jobanputra of FuturePerfect Ventures
June 12, 2015
Hosted by Ms. Anu Bhardwaj and Michelle Jaffee
In this episode, we had the opportunity to speak with Jalak Jobanputra of the New York City-located FuturePerfect Ventures. Jalak tells us about how she got her start in the investment industry, as well as how she perceives her role as one of a small fraction of female investors. Jalak explains what features she looks for in business ventures, and in those who create them, that are seeking funding. We also discuss the importance of globalization and the benefits of immigration in order to diversify the entrepreneur and investor environment. Jalak shares how FuturePerfect Ventures aids entrepreneurs by providing early stage funding and valuable mentorship, providing an example of one of the ventures she is excited about working with. We wrap up the conversation with Jalak’s definition of what it means to invest both in women and girls around the world.
Women INVESTING in Women and GIRLS
Friday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Kids Channel
Women INVESTING in Women and Girls is produced and broadcasted by young women and teenage girls between the ages of 16-19. Our show is focused on Global Women Issues from perspectives of young women. We will be interviewing leading women in politics, business, academia, non-profits, media, and culture; working closely and synergistically with the Women INVESTING in Women Institute, founded by Ms. Anu Bhardwaj.
Women INVESTING in Women and Girls was created to engage the voices of women who are redefining gender equality by shaping the minds of the young women and men, engaged in our global dialogue. Although our conversation will be focused on women, men are strongly encouraged to participate. Follow our Global Economic Revolution which has reached over 150,000 followers in over 100 countries! Listen every Friday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel.
Ms. Anu Bhardwaj and Michelle Jaffee
Ms. Anu Bhardwaj is the Founder of the Women INVESTING in Women Institute which comprises of a social media platform with over 150,000 followers in over 100 countries, the Global WIIW and Girls Voice America Kids Radio Show reaching over 5.6 Million Listeners a month, globally, and the 2014 WIIW Global Summit Series which will be taking place in New York City, Stockholm, Johannesburg, Dubai, Muscat, San Diego, Scottsdale, Singapore, Melbourne, and Santiago. Ms. Bhardwaj is extremely passionate about the economic empowerment of young women and girls in transforming our global economy.
Her specialties include international business development for private equity professionals, women in private equity, women in philanthropy, high-growth women entrepreneurs and Angel Networks/Angel Capital focusing on women.
Michelle Jaffee is one of four children, which includes her older sister, older brother, and twin brother. She is a junior at Pinnacle High School, where she is also the Fundraising Director of DECA and an active member of National Honors Society, Key Club, Society of Women Scholars, Care, and the Spanish Honors Society. During her high school career, Michelle has won 10 medals as part of her involvement for DECA, an international co-curricular organization focusing on teaching student skills in leadership and business. Besides being heavily invested in on-campus clubs and organizations, Michelle prides herself on being strong in her academics, taking all higher-level Honors and AP classes.
Michelle was selected to be Host of the Women INVESTING in Women and Girls Global Radio Show given her discipline in working with a rapidly scaling Global organization, enthusiasm for Global Women’s Issues, and strong interest in entrepreneurship and community service. Michelle will be interviewing speakers from our various Global WIIW Summits in 2014-2015 and ultimately hopes to attend University on the East Coast, leading to a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
From the moment Sheikha Al-Thani was born. She brought together different backgrounds and that characteristic has been As a teenager, Sheikha combines the natural responsibilities that her age entails, such as ensuring the best performance with her charity work. Even before she even knew what she would want to be when she grew up, Sheikha had a clear goal in her mind: she wanted to help other children to develop all their potentialities. In the beginning, she had to overcome important barriers, not only based on her young age, but also on her own background, but her real determination ended up persuading everybody around her that this was an objective for life. The little girl used to distribute foodstuffs on the needy as well as the underprivileged children. She cared not for hot or cold weather, as putting a smile on their little faces made her really happy. Year after year, Sheikha visited many villages in Egypt searching for smiles of children as she gives them new clothes or candy. She became so happy to hear old women invoking divine care for her for what she did. Sheikha refused to abandon such work as some people argued she was still a child to do so. Yet, her love and goodness encouraged her to stick to her humanitarian work. Sheikha chose her way and decided to establish a charitable foundation bearing her name. She was aiming no longer to give money or gifts away, but rather to help the needy, especially children. The underprivileged children became her very target. Those who need health care or education drew her attention. She named her foundation SATUC and decided to open a branch for SATUC in Egypt in order to continue supporting underprivileged children and the poor in the Arab world and Europe. View Guest page
Hazami Barmada is social entrepreneur and public affairs professional. Hazami is the owner and Principal of The Barmada Group, LLC, a firm based in Washington DC that works with business and organizations on developing strategies for management, development, partnerships, programming, public relations and communications. Since 2006, Barmada has built a diverse portfolio of clients that range across industries, sectors and size both nationally and internationally, including The Office of the United Nations Secretary-Generals’ Envoy on Youth, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Royal Court of Oman, TechGirls, The Washington Diplomat, DirecTV, Object Design and Communications (www.barmadaconsulting.com). Hazami serves as an advisor and strategist for many social and philanthropic initiatives including innovative campaigns to humanize the plight of children, women and youth globally. She curates global digital-diplomacy events on social good, recently organizing MENA+SocialGood, a virtual summit on Arab development supported by 75+ corporations including Cisco, United Nations Foundation & UNDP, reaching 27.53million people online in 53 countries (www.menasocialgood.com). Hazami is Founder of Al-Mubadarah: Institute for Arab Development (www.almubadarah.org), an international NGO that focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and social development in the Middle East and North Africa. She is also the Founder of Nexus Middle East on innovative philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. She’s a frequent international public speaker appearing on CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera and is a Citizen Diplomat with US State Department, traveling internationally to host trainings on entrepreneurship and community development. View Guest page
Aurore Belfrage is a tech-geek-entrepreneur, news junkie, social media marketer, speechwriter, ex-scrap dealer, aubergine lover & a West Wing fan. Aurore started her operational career as a scrap dealer in Stena Metal Group where she was managing director for the Czech and Italian subsidiaries/scrap yards. For the past 8 years Aurore has been working from London, Stockholm and Silicon Valley with international digital and social media marketing. She co-founded the global giftcard startup Wrapp with Skype founder Zennström and Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman as early investors. Global brands as well as startup entrepreneurs belong to Aurore’s on-going advisory and coaching clients. And as of recently, she has joined the current affairs site Your Middle East as partner and COO. Your Middle East is a media platform with over 700 contributors, Your Middle East is a young, innovative company that challenges existing structures and looks for new paths with the aim to change MENA societies and the world for the better. View Guest page
Ana Bermudez is an entrepreneur, and the creator of TAGit™ - the mobile app that TV viewers use to buy fashion worn by their favorite TV celebrities. A San Diego, CA native, Ana is a technologist, and business leader with nearly 9 years of combined experience in the finance and start-up industries. A dynamic public speaker, and creative innovator, Ana enjoys volunteering her time as a member of the San Diego High School (SDHS) Foundation, and SDHS Alumni Association, and is a proud member of the University of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies Council. Ana is passionate about encouraging the pursuit of a higher education to students in underserved communities. Ana graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Mendoza College of Business. View Guest page
Katarina G. Bonde is Managing Director at Kubicorp, which engages in technology investments and international board consulting focused on US and Scandinavian companies. Ms. Bonde was most recently CEO of UniSite Software Inc., maker of internet and wireless software, which she financed through venture capital and sold in 2003. Before this she was with Captura Software Inc, as Executive VP and Managing Director of Captura International, Ltd. She built up the company in the US, Europe and Australia and helped raise over $100 M before merging with publicly traded Concur Technologies (CNQR). Other previous positions include: Director, Market Development, for Dun & Bradstreet Software, Atlanta GA; VP of Sales and Marketing for Timeline Software, Bellevue WA, during the company’s NASDAQ IPO; CEO of Programator Industri AB in Sweden, and sales and marketing positions with Digital Equipment AB, Sweden. Current board positions include Chairman of the Board for Aptilo Networks, Director of the Board of Framfab AB (FRAM), Director of the Board of Orc Software (ORC). She is President of Seraph Capital, in Seattle, WA and on the Board of Directors of the Swedish Venture Capital Association. She serves on the Seattle Opera Board, the board of the Royal Swedish Opera and is the Vice Chair of Swedish American Chamber of Commerce-USA. Ms. Bonde holds a MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. View Guest page
Bianca Bracht is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Chinese and Chemistry. She grew up speaking German, Portuguese, and English, and has learned Swahili and Chinese. During her time at Duke, she has become involved in Engineering World Health, and is currently leading a project in the Duke University chapter of EWH. In addition, Bianca has had work experience as an intern at a mechanical engineering company, Bosch Rexroth. In her spare time, she's interested in photography and film. She currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer and focuses on visual promotional media for Girls Engineering Change. View Guest page
When I was growing up, I dreamt of traveling the world, playing college soccer and being the next Giuliana Rancic. (I also wanted to go to a university that had a good football team, but that's another story.) When I was a sophomore in high school, I was able to go to Europe. What I thought was going to be a family trip, ended up being the furthest thing from that. My parents flew with me to New York and said bye to me at JFK airport. I had no idea what was going on. Then, I saw a group of other teenagers. My parents told me that they were going to stay in New York and I was going to spend the next month with that group of teens. Next thing I know, I'm in Europe with 30 strangers. By the end of the trip, I became good friends with all of those random teenagers in the airport and eventually traveled with many of them again. Before that trip, I was a pretty shy girl. After that trip, well, my outgoing personality blossomed. When I got back to Arizona, I began opening up to the fact that I needed to switch soccer clubs if I wanted to further my skills. I decided I would try-out for five clubs in my area. While trying out for different teams, I met a lot of coaches and players along the way. I ended up switching clubs and started playing for my age groups Olympic Development Team (a pool of players that could potentially play for the USA National Team). By senior year, every time I went to a game or tournament, I would see friends and make new friends. With all of my traveling and soccer, I always kept a journal, blogged or shared my experiences on social media. If I had a night without soccer practice, I would think of different careers (majors) that would fit my personality and drive. All signs pointed to journalism. Today, I am proud to say that I have been to all seven continents, I played soccer for ASU's Women's Soccer Team and I'm a senior at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. (ASU's football team isn't too shabby either!) View Guest page
Teal Brown Zimring
Teal operates at the intersection of the private, public and non-profit sectors, with over a decade of experience structuring high-value partnerships to benefit communities and regions globally. She has demonstrated successes in creative problem solving to meet shared objectives, rigorous decision analysis and detailed impact assessment through the Aspen Institute, the UN Foundation, Two Degrees Food, Hewlett Packard and countless additional private and non-profit organizations. She has taught business ethics at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and implemented global corporate citizenship programs alongside small and large nonprofits in over 15 countries globally. Teal currently serves as a managing partner of Galvanize Partners. View Guest page
Barbara Bry is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures which invests in and incubates early stage technology companies. She has been on the founding team of several companies and three nonprofit organizations. Barbara was a co-founder of Atcom/Info, the leader in developing internet kiosks and high speed internet access in hotel rooms. The company was sold in 1999 in a transaction valued at $80 million and is now owned by Cisco. In addition, Barbara was on the founding management team of Proflowers.com, which completed a successful initial public offering in December 2003 as Provide Commerce and then was sold to Liberty Media in 2006 for $477 million. Barbara is also the founder of San Diego Athena, San Diego’s premier organization for women technology executives and entrepreneurs. She spent 10 years at the University of California, San Diego where she was the first associate director of CONNECT, which has received international recognition for its efforts in linking technology entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. She also served as the founding editor and CEO of Voice of San Diego, an innovative non-profit news and information web site. Barbara is currently on the board of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego where she serves on the Executive Committee, and she has been a board member of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She teaches entrepreneurship at UC San Diego and writes a weekly column on entrepreneurship with her husband Neil Senturia for U-T San Diego. She is also the founder of Run Women Run which supports women for elected and appointed office. Barbara’s early career was as a business and political writer for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times. She has a B.A. degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Harvard Business School. She is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia, and the couple has four children between the ages of 27 and 31. View Guest page
Tamar Aydin Donikyan, a partner at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, is a lawyer with a specialty in business transactions and corporate financings. Ms. Donikyan primarily works with entrepreneurs and smaller public and private companies, as well as investors and investment banks focused on this segment of the industry. In particular, Ms. Donikyan and her firm have made a commitment to working with women entrepreneurs and guiding them through building their businesses and meeting their financing needs. Her practice runs the gamut of advising start-ups to publicly-traded companies on matters relating to corporate finance, general business and corporate governance matters, including listings on national securities exchanges. In the securities area, Ms. Donikyan and her firm have extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and consummating private financings (including crowdfunding, early stage and private equity), initial and other public offerings and alternative and creative public offerings (including reverse merger transactions). Ellenoff Grossman & Schole is widely recognized as a leader in the emerging crowdfunding industry. In the corporate area, Ms. Donikyan and her firm represent companies in formations and business restructurings, public reporting requirements, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Ms. Donikyan received a Juris Doctor degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.A. from Haverford College. She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. View Guest page
Andrea brings more than 20 years experience in the media and event industry. She is responsible for the production of leading events and media, facilitating key relationships between companies and optimizing their networking opportunities. Andrea specializes in bringing key players to specific industry events and has an accomplished background as an entrepreneur in markets such as Wireless Technologies, Electronic identification, Finance and Investment, Casino and Gaming, finance and investment and Entertainment. Prior to Coastal Shows, Andrea founded the largest independent media business producing conference, tradeshow and business publications in the wireless industry, Shorecliff Communications. Shorecliff events focused on wireless infrastructure and emerging broadband technology as well as the financing and investment in said technologies. As founder and CEO, Andrea expanded the company building a worldwide presence with conferences across the globe. These events include, but are not limited to, The Tower Summit and Tradeshow, BroadbandWorld Tradeshow and Exhibition, Wireless networks and infrastructure London, Frankfurt, Vienna as well as Broadband Asia and RFID (Electronic Identification) Asia. The company was acquired in 2006 by British conglomerate UBM after forming a partnership for growth in 2002 with Landmark Communications. Since then Andrea has been busy serving as a director on the board of several companies. View Guest page
Sofia Falk is the founder of Wiminvest, a maverick consultancy firm driven by a powerful desire to make businesses more profitable by creating a better balance of men and women in top management positions. By using the proprietary method The Wiminvest Business Transformer© Wiminvest fundamentally change how business work. Sofia is one of the minds behind Battle of the Numbers, a project where ten of Sweden’s largest companies - including Ericsson, H&M, Ikea, Saab, Sandvik, Scania, SEB, SPP, SSAB and AB Volvo – are making powerful changes in order to get more women into operative management positions. Her company Wiminvest ran the process for Axelerate, helping the Axel Johnson Group to have management groups consisting of 40-60% women and 20% of persons with international background by year 2020. Ms. Falk has also been awarded the following titles by top Swedish business magazines – a top 100 supertalent in Sweden, One of Swedens Super Communicators, Sweden’s most stubborn woman in business. She is appointed as the advocate and the national face of the EU-initiative Equality Pays Off in Sweden. She has been an advisor to the Swedish Government, and has moderated workshops with the Nordic and Baltic heads of state in addition to Britain’s Prime Minister about getting more women into leading positions. She has also been part of a reference group for Hillary Clinton’s international council for female entrepreneurs and leadership. Sofia grew up in Sweden and Colombia. She has a master’s degree in Political Science, Security Policies and Crisis Management and has a second lieutenant degree from the Swedish Defense Intelligence Unit. View Guest page
Suzanne Fallender manages the production of Intel’s annual corporate responsibility report and works with a number of groups across the company to integrate corporate responsibility information into both internal and external communications. She has more than 14 years of experience in the fields of corporate responsibility and corporate governance research and communications. Previously, she was Vice President at Institutional Shareholder Services (now RiskMetrics Group), where she was director of the company’s socially responsible investing group. Suzanne works with business groups and senior management across the company to integrate corporate responsibility into strategic planning, policies, and communications, including managing the production of Intel’s annual corporate responsibility report. In her role, Suzanne regularly engages with external stakeholders to identify opportunities for continued performance improvements and development of new global strategic initiatives, and also leads Intel’s shared value strategy and measurement of business value and social impact. Outside of Intel, Suzanne serves on the board of directors of Arizona Businesses Advancing Sustainability, and is a member of Net Impact’s Corporate Advisory Council and the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. View Guest page
Gloria Feldt is co-founder and president of Take The Lead, the new women’s leadership movement to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. The bestselling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, Gloria is an acclaimed expert on women, power and authentic leadership, and an inspiring keynote speaker, who motivates with heart and humor as a practical activist gives practical “Power Tools” for life and leadership. Her journey began from being a teen mom and high school dropout from rural Texas to president and CEO of the world’s largest reproductive health and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to best-selling author and visionary leader for women’s equality inspires both men and women. She was named by Vanity Fair as one of “America’s Top 200 Women Leaders, Legends, and Trailblazers,” Glamour’s “Woman of the Year,” and a Women’s eNews21 Leaders for the 21st century, among other honors. Gloria believes this is women’s moment to achieve parity. Her passion is to remove the last remaining obstacle: Women’s learned resistance to embracing their own power. It’s why women are stuck at 18% of top leadership positions and why the loss of high-performing female employees keeps organizations from optimal success. View Guest page
Veronica is keenly focused on bright minds who invest their energies building innovation-forward companies. She serves entrepreneurs seeking to move up-market via business development, capital raising guidance & go-to-market strategies. Her background includes management consulting, mergers and acquisition advisory, stakeholder buy-in, financial analysis and product development for international firms, as well as the successful build-out of a New York City based FinTech / B2B media & events company serving C-level executives in the financial services industry; key clients comprise the S&P 500, Fortune 500, Nasdaq 100 & Global Fortune 100 firms. Her deal sheet includes various international transactions. Veronica Guzman graduated from New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business with dual concentrations in Finance and Accounting and advanced studies in Management and Marketing, studied at New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising and NYU's Center for Advanced Digital Applications. She is a member of the National Business Incubation Association from which she earned her Certificate in Incubation Management. Veronica serves as an advisor, mentor, funding screener and speaker to entrepreneurs via NYU's Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Astia, Founder Institute and Springboard Enterprises. In Silicon Valley, Veronica is actively engaged with the MIT Enterprise Forum's San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (VLAB) Founders Series & Outreach Committees. View Guest page
Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven. Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provides a productive environment for women who primarily work from home. After building three successful locations in San Diego County, her next goal is to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their business via 200 Hera Hub locations over the next 5 years. Felena is passionate about education, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of San Diego and her MBA from California State University Dominguez Hills. She taught Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and at California State University Dominguez Hills for the MBA online program for eight years. Felena has been nominated for numerous small business awards and was rewarded for her community efforts by winning the 2012 “Women Business Owner of the Year” award and the 2014 “Women Advocate of the Year” award from the San Diego chapter of the National Organization of Women Business Owners. In 2014 she also won the “Small Business Champion of the Year” award from the San Diego Small Business Administration. View Guest page
Moved by her strong desire to see women achieve success through the founding of companies, Deborah Jackson is the Founder and CEO of www.PlumAlley.co and a Founder of the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator. Plum Alley is the place where women entrepreneurs and innovators succeed with crowdfunding, commerce and experts. For the past 10 years, Deborah has been active in early stage companies both as an investor and founder. She was a member of New York New Media in the late 1990s where she made her first early stage company investments. Her investment portfolio spans from cloud technology, consumer internet, mobile technology companies and drug discovery. Since 2009, Deborah has been a member of Golden Seeds, the third most active angel network in the nation. Deborah earned her MBA from Columbia Business School in 1980 and began her career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. Before she retired from her 21 year career in investment banking, Deborah launched the healthcare technology and internet practice at Shattuck Hammond Partners in the mid 1990s. Deborah has served on numerous boards during the last 20 years such as Legal Momentum, Heart and Soul Charitable Fund, and French American Aid for Children. Her achievements have been recognized in publications and organizations including: Fast Company, League of Extraordinary Women, August 2012; Forbes, Women Changing the World VCs/Entrepreneurs, August 2012; Columbia Venture Community CVC 30 list, November 2011; Mashable 44 Female Founders to Know, August 2012. Deborah has served as a judge for numerous competitions including Startup Weekend, Technovation, Columbia Social Entrepreneurs, Vator.tv, Columbia Business Odyssey and Women 2.0. She is an Advisor to the Citrix Startup Accelerator and an Xconomist Forum contributor. View Guest page
Dr. Karen Jacobson
Dr. Karen Jacobson, affectionately known as “Dr. J”, has been serving the community since 1992, sharing a message of Health and Healing through a variety of print, radio and television media. She was the official Wellness Advisor for Healthy U TV Show. Dr. Jacobson is honored to share her stories with the world as a multi-published author in 4 books: “Change Your World” “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen” and International bestsellers “Ready, Aim, Inspire!” and “Success in Beauty – The Secrets to Effortless Fulfillment and Happiness. ”Dr. Jacobson served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Israeli Army and held leadership roles in professional organizations, serving the profession for over 12 years as Board Member and District Director of NY Chiropractic Council and Arizona State Representative to the International Chiropractors Association Assembly, integrating business and legislation. Dr. Jacobson invested years studying leadership, human behavior, communication and Law of Attraction. She has received certifications in Coaching, NLP-Neuro Linguistic Programming, TimeLine Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy and in addition is a certified trainer. As a High Performance Strategist Dr. Jacobson works with entrepreneurs, executives and leaders who are at the top of their game. She helps you stay successful while regaining balance in your relationships, your health and your life; so you can tap into that limitless power within, unlock your ultimate potential and live an extraordinary life. Take the first step to unlock your future - Claim your Free E-book at www.drkarenjacobson.com View Guest page
As a professional woman, Christy Jones is keenly aware of the increased opportunities available to today's women, and the conflict these opportunities can create with the reality of the female biological clock. Christy set out to tackle this conflict by developing medical options to extend a woman's fertility and make fertility preservation a viable option. Out of this research, she founded Extend Fertility in 2003 to bring to market a revolutionary science and service that can effectively prolong a woman's fertile life. Christy is a seasoned entrepreneur with a successful track record of bringing new technologies to market. From 1996 through 2001, Christy served as President of pcOrder, successfully leading the company from start-up to a NASDAQ-listed public corporation. Prior to founding pcOrder, Christy served in numerous management roles at Trilogy Software, the company she co-founded as a Stanford University student in 1989. In 1999, she was honored as Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" in the Young Entrepreneur catagory. Forbe's magazine has featured Christy on three covers, most recently for her role in transforming the computer industry. She was also named one of the "Top 20 Leaders Under 30" by Working Woman. She currently serves on the Board of Fertile Hope, a national non-profit providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility. Christy received a BA in Economics from Stanford in 1991 and an MBA from Harvard in 2004. She and her husband and daughter live in Seattle, WA. Christy is a member of the 2001 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. View Guest page
Ravi Karkara is a trained Social Worker with commitment to advancing human rights, gender equality, inclusion and social justice. Ravi has served as the Global Advisor on Youth + Partnership with United Nations Millennium Campaign and UN-HABITAT, based in New York. He is the lead author of the groundbreaking report “Youth 21: Building the Architecture of Youth Engagement in the UN System,” by UN-Habitat, which contributed to the creation of United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Ravi represented UN-HABITAT as the Co-chair of the UN Interagency Network on Youth Development. Government of Sri Lanka appointed him as the Global Advisor to the World Conference on Youth in 2014, focusing on youth perspective in developing post-2015 development agenda. He has relentlessly supported United Nations SG’s My World 2015 survey in reaching close to 2 million youth. Ravi has been co-chairing the Policy Strategy Group for World We Want 2015 - a UN & CSO post-2015 data-curation-visualization platform. He is serving as Strategic Adviser Partnership Beijing+20, Office of the Assistant Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director, UN Women. His has committed his lifetime to women’s empowerment, strengthening human rights of girls, young women and women, gender equality and social inclusion. He is a founding member of the MenEngage Alliance and Young Men 4 Gender Equality. He has worked with several organizations on gender equality with a specific focus on children, youth and women including UN-Women, UNICEF, UNMC, Save the Children – has been successfully advocating role of boys and men in gender equality from a life-cycle approach. He has extensive experience in facilitating and managing strategy processes with diverse range of audience ranging from policy makers to development workers to local communities. View Guest page
Playing with Barbie dolls as a child –I had a collection of more than 50 from around the world – began my institutionalization into the world of the expected female body image. Weight issues and self-esteem problems during my teens changed my outlook drastically. I turned to glossy magazines that polluted my head further with unrealistic notions of girlishness. Being a free-spirited farm girl from the majestic hills of Inanda in rural KwaZulu Natal, my life has always been about reward and effort, as well as helping people less fortunate than myself. While coming from a traditional Indian home, academics have always been the forefront of my life for my parents. The image of a door bearing the words Dr. Ramona Kasavan has always inspired me. For my post grad degree it was obvious to me that I would write about adolescents and teenage-hood. It was an amazing topic: totally mind blowing. This forced me to explore the two greatest mysteries in my life- the constructs of femininity in advertising, and my own sense of self. Six years ago I ventured into the world of broadcast media and quickly developed an instinct for doing things differently, coupled with a strong desire to challenge mind-sets. After working at two commercial radio stations, I find myself a respected television personality for the public broadcaster. I was overwhelmed; I realized how visible I had become when I saw my name in flashing lights. I now had the power to effect real change. Based on my academic insights and broadcast experience I created the "Happy Days" sanitary pads brand to help young women feel confident, to embrace their periods and understand their bodies. "Happy Days" speaks one simple language, that of the menstrual cycle. Happy Days celebrates womanhood and makes girls accept themselves and countering the insecurities faced by youth of today. Studies show that positive thinking and positive emotions shape our society. View Guest page
Candace Klein is Chief Strategy Officer for Dealstruck (dealstruck.com), an alternative Peer-to-Peer lending platform that provides loans and lines of credit to small business borrowers. Prior to Dealstruck, Candace co-authored the legislation that became the JOBS Act, then chaired the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates, the industry advocacy group for platforms and broker dealers affected by the JOBS Act. Candace was the founder and CEO of two companies: Bad Girl Ventures (bgv.bz) and SoMoLend (somolend.com). Bad Girl Ventures is a non-profit, micro-finance organization focused on educating and financing woman-owned startup companies. SoMoLend was a technology platform that connected business borrowers seeking loans of $35,000 or less with lenders looking to make a return on investment. Candace Klein received her bachelor degree in Communications from Northern Kentucky University. Candace began working as a lobbyist for the Northern Kentucky Chamber and United Way, and then began attending law school at Chase University. While attaining her law degree, Candace led the Communities Practice at Property Advisors, with the title of "Maven" and the job description, "run and think." Candace continues to serve as General Counsel for Women Investing in Women, a global NGO focused on increasing the number of women in private equity and venture to increase access to capital for female entrepreneurs. View Guest page
Melissa Jane Kronfield
A New York City native and resident, Melissa received a B.A. in International Relations from George Washington University and an M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University and Rutgers University. Melissa has lectured on American foreign policy and national security issues in the Political Science department at Rutgers, as well the Global Affairs department at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is currently completing her dissertation on American national security and militarization. In 2012, she was awarded first place in the Richard A. Clarke National Security and Counter-Terrorism Scholarship contest. Her winning monograph was featured in the Journal of Terrorism and Security Analysis and was presented at the annual Syracuse National and International Security Conference. A journalist and editorialist, Melissa has been featured in the Politico, The Daily Caller, Government Security News, Fox News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business, and the New York Post. Melissa is also engaged in numerous community organizations including serving as Vice President of the Young Leadership Group at Save A Child’s Heart; an Advisory Board Member for Only Honest; a Consultant for Girls Heath Ed; and a contributing member for development strategy at Curated Innovation. She is also an active member of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents and has worked on fundraising efforts for K9s for Warriors, the American Society for the University of Haifa, the Survivor’s Initiative (benefiting victims of the Holocaust), Shalva’s House (benefiting children with disabilities in Israel), AIPAC Young Leadership, the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, Birthright, and Seeds of Peace. Melissa co-founded the New York Young Leaders for Sandy (in support of the victims of super-storm Sandy), and founded the Tweet4Shalit campaign (in support the family of Gilad ShShalit) as well as the New York Teddy Bear Bash (in support of the families of the Sandy Hook, CT). View Guest page
Ann-Christine Langselius, MBA, PhD is Senior Vice President for Strategic Mergers & Acquisitions at Cellucci Associates, Inc. Additionally, as Chief Executive Officer of MG Enterprise Invest Group AB and Miraculum Applications AB her areas of expertise include: operations management and build-up, investment capital fundraising, company development and international market growth. In her role as CEO of MG Enterprise Invest Group AB, she guides company development including setting targets for increased growth through marketing, sales, and recruitment, business development, market analysis and business intelligence, coaching knowledge to generate growth by creating and developing new and existing customers. Dr. Langselius also serves as the Chairman of the Nüwa investment platform where she provides strategic leadership, as well as developing and executing the business models including recruitment, development of business plans and business models, leadership and coaching, sourcing investment capital, negotiating with international partners, and team recruitment and development. Along with Dr. Thomas Cellucci, she operates the Global Security Technology television channel, or GST-TV, a Web-based channel, that will offer informative, no-nonsense programming aimed at uncovering the essential requirements of both public and private organizations with respect to their security needs. View Guest page
A life-long education advocate, Sharon Lechter is the founder of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization, and YOUTHpreneur, an innovative new way to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in our children. In 2008 Sharon was appointed to the first Presidents Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. She and the 18 other members of the council, selectively appointed by President Bush, continue to serve President Obama and advise him on the need for financial literacy education. Sharon is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, educator, international speaker, licensed CPA and mother. She has been a pioneer in developing new technologies to bring education into children’s lives in ways that are innovative, challenging and fun, and remains committed to education particularly financial literacy. Each year, in cooperation with the Women’s Presidents Organization, Sharon holds an event across the country to teach young girls financial lessons through interactive games. In 2009 this event launched her new financial literacy board game THRIVE TIME for Teens, an innovative experiential and fun life and money reality game. Sharon has authored Think and Grow Rich Three Feet From Gold in cooperation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation and Greg Reid which was released in October 2009. Future projects with the Napoleon Hill Foundation include Think and Grow Rich titles for Women and Children. Sharon is also known world-wide as the co-author of the international best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the Rich Dad series of books. During her 10 years with the Rich Dad Company, it grew into an international powerhouse with over 20 books, board games, Web sites, CDs, audio cassettes and seminars. Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been on The New York Times Best Sellers List for over six and a half years and is available in over 50 languages and sold in more than 108 countries. More than 27 million Rich Dad books have been sold around the world. View Guest page
With 25 years in broadcasting, Lisé’s passion is the operational side of business development, seeking out innovation in technology and partnerships with platforms on the forefront of the digital future. She was one of the youngest general managers of a broadcast facility in the US and was instrumental in the construction, funding, acquisition, design, and launch of several television stations as well as affiliate partner with Fox, WB and CW networks. Hired by the Tribune Company, she was their first female president and general manager in the company’s 150 year-history. She had oversight of the purchase of a bankrupt television station in San Diego acquired for 70.2 million dollars, and 22 times cash flow. In five years, KSWB became one of the top performing stations of all 26 Tribune owned stations, quadrupling the revenue from a 3 to 14 percent market share and achieving cash flow margins of over 40%. Lisé has received numerous broadcast awards including Emmy’s and recognition as California Broadcast president launching the first breast cancer stamp with Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Senator and the United Stated Postal Commission. She founded a children’s charity with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to help challenged and abused children raising over 8 million dollars in four years of operation. She is Harvard trained and credentialed by the Harvard Business School in Television Management. As an entrepreneur, Lisé founded DMTV, Direct Mail Television with Tribune as a charter client. Univision Television group, CBS Radio/TV, Fox Network, Twentieth Television, and Warner Bros. Television. In 2009, Emic Interactive Media was formed by Lisé and her partners for their marketing and branding expertise for social media platform development and strategic partner alliances using analytic, big data, and SEO expertise to leverage their clients’ assets in the interactive digital landscape. View Guest page
Sarah-Jane is an EMMY-nominated film-maker, story design expert, and passionate abolitionist who believes great education and great stories can change the world. Born in Ireland and educated in France, SJ earned a BA from Auburn University and PhD from Princeton. She is also a graduate of the Ecole-Normale and an alumna of the UCLA professional program in screenwriting, where she studied under chairman Richard Walter. She is a tenured associate professor of creative writing and great texts at Baylor University and the founder of StoryRhetoric (storyrhetoric.com). SJ’s career in both research and film focuses on the power and art of story design. She is committed to projects with broad social impact and won and EMMY-nomination for her first documentary PRIMARY CONCERN (primaryconcernmovie.com), produced by Livingston+McKay and distributed nationally on PBS. She is currently filming INEFFABLE, also intended for PBS, and a short film, WHAT IS ART?, aimed at sparking an international conversation about why the arts matter. Upcoming projects also include story consultant and associate producer credits on the second and third installments of the NEFARIOUS documentary trilogy on sex trafficking and IMBA MEANS SING, the story of the African Children’s Choir. Her first feature film, NORMAL LIKE ME, is scheduled for production in 2015. SJ lives in Austin, TX but travels frequently to both coasts. She can also be found practicing her salsa routines or heading up the first English translation of the Old French Moralized Ovid for the National Endowment of the Humanities. She is represented by Livingston+McKay (www.livingstonmckay.com/talent-rep). View Guest page
Codarica creates seriously fun coding games for kids, starting with its first app CodeQuest available now on the AppStore for iPads and iPhones. Sanna Nilsson founded Codarica at age 24 after meeting her co-founders during their program at Hyper Island, where they also learned to code. They quickly realized the importance of that skill set, and wished they knew it earlier. That’s how the idea behind Codarica was born; a notion that programming should be taught out as early as possible. Today there are great programming initiatives for kids, but Codarica set out to change the way we look at technology by demolishing existing stereotypes surrounding the tech industry as well as by setting out to create a fun space for both girls and boys. Codarica just graduated from the first Disney Techstars accelerator and is now based out of Stockholm, Sweden where Sanna and her team are originally from. View Guest page
Maud Olofsson grew up in Högbyn, in Örnsköldsvik Municipality, Västernorrland. She started her political career as an ombudsman of the youth organisation of the Centre Party in 1974, and served as a member of the local council in Luleå from 1976. From 1978 to 1981 she held the same job with the party. From 1992 to 1994, during the Carl Bildt centre-right government, she worked as Special Adviser to Minister Börje Hörnlund at the Department of Labour. From 1996 she has been a member of the Centre Party board. From 1997 to 2001 she worked as Managing Director for the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet) in Västerbotten. She was elected Party Leader on 19 March 2001, succeeding Lennart Daléus. Her political standpoint could be seen as a traditional Centre Party position, with an emphasis on rural Sweden and the survival of rural communities, combined with centre-right economic policies. It was however a remarkable new feature in the history of the Centre Party, when Maud Olofsson characterized her party's ideology as Social Liberalism. Although the Centre Party in history has sometimes cooperated with the governing Social Democrats, under Maud Olofsson the party opted for a clear oppositional role, strengthening its alliance with the Liberals, the Christian Democrats and the Moderate Party. Following its victory in the elections in 2006, this alliance was able to form a new government under Fredrik Reinfeldt. Maud Olofsson was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Energy. Maud Olofsson is married to Rolf, a relative of Jennifer Granholm (former Governor of Michigan) with whom she has three children. View Guest page
As the executive director for the Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Clinton Foundation, Maura guides strategic direction, program development, and engagement efforts across the Secretary’s initiatives, including No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, which works to advance the status of women and girls around the world; Too Small to Fail, which aims to close the word gap and promote early literacy for children ages zero to five; and Job One, which mobilizes businesses and organizations to create employment pathways for disconnected youth in the United States. Maura joined the Clinton Foundation from Bloomberg Philanthropies where she provided strategic direction for programmatic activities and oversight of operational management. Previously, Maura served as the Acting Assistant and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs where she oversaw international exchange programs, including the Fulbright Scholarship Program, and created new programs, including smARTpower and TechWomen, which worked to enhance engagement and mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other nations. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Maura served as deputy counsel for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, manager of politics and public policy at Oxygen Media, and special assistant in the Office of White House Counsel under President Clinton. Maura earned a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California. View Guest page
Sara Presler, JD, is a trailblazer for women in Arizona as CEO of Arizona Foundation for Women. Sara served as the first female mayor of Flagstaff for and the first female CEO of the Maricopa County Medical Society. Before her appointment to AFW, Presler served as CEO of the Maricopa County Medical Society and its business services, two terms as Flagstaff's mayor, general counsel for Southwest Windpower and as an attorney in private law practice focusing on ethics and business law. She also taught business at Northern Arizona University and Constitutional Law at Coconino Community College. Presler holds a degree in history from Northern Arizona University and a J.D. from Michigan State University. She is a Flinn-Brown Fellow and alumni of the Flinn Foundation’s Civic Leadership Academy’s inaugural class. Presler is an active member of the State Bar of Arizona and volunteers for the Asian Pacific Community in Action and one-n-ten, an organization dedicated to serving LGBTQ youth. Presler currently serves as the Vice Chair of the American Association of University Women, Phoenix Chapter. View Guest page
Douglas Ragan has worked in youth development with NGOs, local and national governments and the United Nations at the local, national and international level for the past 25 years. Currently he is the Unit Leader for Youth and Employment for UN-Habitat, managing UN-Habitat's Global portfolio on youth development in over 60 developing countries. The programs focus on urban youth development, including youth employment, governance and participation. He manages three flagship youth programs for UN-Habitat: the Urban Youth Fund, the Youth 21 initiative and the One Stop Youth Resource Centres. Doug has authored and co-authored research and policy publications on urban youth issues faced by marginalized young people globally, the most recent being the Global Youth-Led Development series, representing some of the first research done on youth-led agencies in the developing world. Doug holds a Bachelors Degree in Latin American Studies, a Masters Degree in Management for the Voluntary Sector and is currently working under a full fellowship towards a PhD in Architecture and Design with a focus on youth-led organizations in slums. In his previous role as director for the Environmental Youth Alliance from 1991 - 2007, Doug worked with marginalized communities globally such as aboriginal, immigrant and refugee and street youth to develop livelihood programs. View Guest page
Princess Rema Bint Bandar Al Saud was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but raised and educated in Washington, D.C. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Vernon College of George Washington University. Princess Reema returned to her birthplace of Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where she currently resides. She is the CEO of the luxury retail corporation Alfa International, which operates the Harvey Nichols luxury fashion multi-brand store in Riyadh. She served as the former CEO of luxury retail corporation Al Hama LLC, which for the past 15 years managed brands including Donna Karan and DKNY in the Middle East. Princess Reema serves as the Founder of private equity fund Reemiyah, Creative Director and Founder of luxury handbag and luggage brand Baraboux, Co-founder of Yibreen, a women’s day spa, and Contributing Editor of System Magazine. Princess Reema is the Founder of Alf Khair, a social enterprise whose aim is to create a Saudi Arabia where women and men form the greatest natural resource, with initiatives including a service excellence academy. She is the Co-founder of 10KSA, a world- record-breaking event raising awareness of and funding for breast cancer, taking place in Riyadh in October 2015, as well as a founding member of Zahra Breast Cancer Association. Princess Reema is a Patron of Arab Women’s Awards, Kingdom Saudi Arabia, since 2014. She is also an Advisory Board Member of Saudi National Creative Initiative, whose initiatives include provision of communication platforms for creative talent in the Kingdom. In addition, Princess Reema is Saudi Arabia’s Committee Expert and Mentor for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership, in the Middle East and North Africa, for Women’s Campaign International. Princess Reema was named a Foreign Policy Global Thinker Mogul in 2014. She was also Number 31 on Forbes Middle East 200 Most Powerful Arab Women in Family Business 2014 and Number 16 on Forbes Middle East 200 View Guest page
Savannah Sanders, a founding board member of Well Founded Hope, an Arizona nonprofit helping to restore the life of traumatized young women who have been sex trafficked, is an active member of a large network of human trafficking survivor advocates. Sanders shares her compelling story of abuse and recovery as a source of inspiration and motivation for audiences across the United States, providing testimony on Emmy-nominated television news segments, in sex trade documentaries, at local events and on talk radio. Working with the organization Mending the Soul, Sanders was instrumental in the development and implementation of curriculum, specifically created to help survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation. She is currently working on developing a local survivor's council. Additionally, Sanders has worked as a Program Fellow of Intervention, Recovery and Empowerment services for TRUST, a grant funded project that coordinates anti-trafficking efforts in Arizona. Concurrently, Sanders is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Social and Cultural Pedagogy at Arizona State University. She earned her undergraduate degree from ASU with a Major in Social Work and Minor in Women and Gender Studies in 2014. She is currently working on her upcoming book, "Sex Trafficking Prevention: A Trauma-Informed Approach for Parents and Professionals" due to be released in 2015, and working as the Training Coordinator for the O’Connor House SAFE Action Project, which is designed to elevate awareness and action within the hospitality industry to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children. View Guest page
Melina is a Duke senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Having grown up in the Triangle area, she is very excited about her role as Chief of Regional Outreach. She is a member of the Duke chapter of Engineering World Health and spent the past summer in Tanzania through a DukeEngage program repairing medical equipment in developing-world hospitals. She is involved in the Pratt Academic Action Committee, is the Wellness Advocate for her sorority, Alpha Phi, and is part of the Nutrition Education Task force. View Guest page
Rebecca is a strategic marketer with a passion for messaging, communications and product marketing. She combines her natural curiosity with a passion for technology, research and strategic planning. She uses these passions to help elevate Infusionsoft's messaging, identify marketing trends and oversee strategic product launches. Rebecca was named one the 5 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business Under 35 by Arizona Business Magazine in 2013. View Guest page
The 25-year-old Slovenian applied to med school, then changed course, deciding to study sculpture at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. She ended up co-founding Bellabeat, a start-up that designs devices to track the health of pregnant women, new mothers, the unborn and the newly born. She connected with her co-founder Sandro Mur, a Croatian computer software expert, through the sport. When Mur met Sršen’s mother, an obstetrician/gynecologist, she started talking about doctors’ need for an affordable, user-friendly system that would enable routine check-ups at home and send data to healthcare providers. Mur asked Sršen to help him. Sršen’s odyssey has taken her from her hometown of Ljubljana to Zagreb in Croatia, and San Francisco. Along the way the company won first prize in the Pioneers Festival’s 2013 start-up competition in Vienna; won a place in Y Combinator’s March class; and was voted ‘most likely to succeed’ among the Silicon Valley winter cohort. These accolades helped Bellabeat raise $4.5 million in May. View Guest page
Strong-Register has an Executive MBA, is the managing partner of JatroBioFuels and CEO of PLR Services. She also spends her spare time being a mentor for start-up companies and teaching at-risk students life skills. View Guest page
Lisa Thorén started her entrepreneurial life as the heiress of the Swedish baby product company BabyBjörn. After more than 10 years with BabyBjörn she switched from baby products to being a Business Angel and among others invested in the innovative company ProSk8, where she today serves as the company’s CEO. She continues to work as a board member in BabyBjörn, focusing on public relations, branding, and visionary competence. View Guest page
Ursula Wynhoven is the General Counsel as well as the Chief, Governance and Social Sustainability for the United Nations Global Compact, the UN’s corporate sustainability initiative. She is a member of the office’s Executive Team. In addition to managing legal affairs and governance matters, Ursula founded and is overall responsible for the office's work programs on the various dimensions of social sustainability, including human rights and labor principles, women’s empowerment, business and children, indigenous peoples' rights, and human trafficking, and on business and the rule of law. Ursula joined the UN Global Compact in 2002. Ursula worked in private legal practice and government human rights agencies in both Australia and the US before joining the UN. Ursula has also worked for the Secretariat of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the OECD’s corporate responsibility initiative. Among other academic qualifications, Ursula has two Masters of Law degrees - from Columbia Law School, where she was also a Human Rights Fellow, and from Monash University Law School in Australia. She has been an Adjunct Professor in Corporate Sustainability, Transnational Business and Human Rights at Fordham Law School in New York since 2007. She is admitted to practice law in jurisdictions in Australia, United States (California), and England and Wales. Ursula is also a Trustee of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law and a Girl Scout troop leader. View Guest page