Celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Part 2
December 1, 2020
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November was a celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship at MIT in honor of the 150th anniversary of MIT’s first woman student, Ellen Henrietta Swallow, stepping foot on campus. In the century and a half since, the women of MIT have made an immeasurable impact around the globe.

The Trust Center spent the month spotlighting some of the woman entrepreneurs who have come through our center during their time at the Institute who have built companies that are changing the world. Read part one of our celebration of MIT women entrepreneurs.

Today we continue with even more of the many talented and inspiring females that were featured on our Instagram page in the month of November. To read the full profiles of these inspiring entrepreneurs, please follow us on Instagram.


Ambika Singh, Armoire

What does your company do in one sentence?

Armoire is a clothing rental subscription for women that provides an endless stream of high-end, everyday clothing tailored to each member’s unique preferences, for one flat monthly price (think Netflix or Spotify for womens apparel).

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

We are a minority women-founded business and have thus attracted a very diverse workforce, which is something I’m super proud of. At Armoire, we’ve created an environment where women can grow and thrive. Armoire is more than a subscription service, we’re also a community where our members enjoy supporting each other and creating opportunities for women. Our members post photos of themselves in their rentals to our “PWR Feed” (a members-only social feed … think Instagram), where they celebrate each other. Every Armoire member is a “Boss Lady” and we’re proud to be a part of her life and journey!

Who is one member of the MIT entrepreneurship community who is female and has inspired you the most?

I am most inspired by Heidi Zak, the co-founder and CEO of ThirdLove!


Natalya Bailey, Accion Systems

What does your company do in one sentence?

We build ion engines for the future of space commercialization and exploration.

What are three words that describe your entrepreneurial journey to date?

Marathon, dynamic, hard.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

Standing out from the crowd when pitching investors, speaking at events, and basically everything.


Anum Hussain, acciyo / Below the Fold

What does your company do in one sentence?

Below the Fold is a newsletter featuring important stories that don’t make it to front-page news.

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

I’m proud of our team for never giving up, and instead brainstorming new futures for our business and survival.

What are three words that describe entrepreneurs who are female?

Hustlers, scrappy, strong.


Shambhavi Kadam, Depict

What does your company do in one sentence?

The company I co-founded at MIT, Depict, was a digital art marketplace and smart frame that allowed you to change the art on your walls right from your phone.

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

Reflecting back on my startup days, I’m really proud of how much I learned and grew through the whole process. Being an entrepreneur is like getting a deep immersion practical education, and I learned more from this experience than I did in any class or at any job. You learn so much about creative problem solving, communication, wearing multiple hats, advocating for yourself and your ideas, responsibility, and leadership. I feel that I was able to parlay so much of my startup experience into valuable skills that I use everyday in my role as a Director of Product Management at Adobe.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

Helping to shatter preconceived notions of what leaders/inventors must look and act like!


Sloane Philips, Iterative Scopes

What does your company do in one sentence?

Iterative Scopes is leveraging machine learning and computer vision to deliver insights that improve patient care.

Who is one member of the MIT entrepreneurship community who is female and has inspired you the most?

Of the many inspiring women, Alicia Chong of Bloomertech stands out. She and her team are building health tech for women, and I have seen first hand how diligently she and her team have worked to design a user-centric product.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

In terms of being a female entrepreneur, the best thing is being part of a community; we get to both be part of the larger entrepreneurial community as well as a smaller, more closely knit women’s community. However, gender aside the best part of being an entrepreneur is exploring new territory and finding novel ways to improve people’s lives.


Trang Luu and Alli Davanzo, Encora Therapeutics

What does your company do in one sentence?

We are building wearable wristbands that can reduce hand tremors for Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor patients.

What are three words that describe your entrepreneurial journey to date?

Heart-warming, rewarding, spooky.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

As a female entrepreneur, you’ll meet other female entrepreneurs who are willing and excited to answer all your questions because they’ve had them too. You’ll learn so much from these inspiring women, and before you know it, you, yourself, will have the opportunity to pay it forward and be that mentor for someone else.


Eva Breitenbach, Ten Percent Happier

What does your company do in one sentence?

Ten Percent Happier makes a guided meditation app.

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

Being willing to step away from more secure, stable, and boring job opportunities and embrace the uncertainty and challenge.

What’s one way entrepreneurs who are female can invest in themselves?

Understand that you’re more than your company; make time for sleep, exercise, friends, and some time away every once in a while. You’ll come back with a better perspective on your business and more motivation to make things happen!


Sade Nabahe, The Okoa Project

What does your company do in one sentence? 

The Okoa Project is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to rural healthcare.

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

Recognizing my limits. Life happens and we still have our individual responsibilities to family, health, and community. There is no shame in bowing out when necessary. You will return when the time is right.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

Doing my part to chip away at the damn glass ceiling for future women and minority leaders.


Loewen Cavill, AuraBlue

What does your company do in one sentence? 

We bring back sleep to women experiencing hot flashes with our sensor bracelet that predicts hot flashes triggering our cooling mattress pad to keep her body at her optimal temperature all night long.

What’s the one thing you’re most proud of from your entrepreneurial journey?

I am most proud of my team and my decision to pivot from an airline company to a menopause company. It took a large leap of faith in ourselves to drop what we had been working on for seven months and go back to the drawing board. At the end of the day we came out so much stronger and grew more as entrepreneurs than we have from any other experience.

Who is one member of the MIT entrepreneurship community who is female and has inspired you the most?

Elaine Chen is a stellar engineer and entrepreneur. She has so much deep knowledge in the hardware entrepreneurship space that she is more than willing to dedicate her time to sharing with whoever might ask.


Lola Kamdem, MYAVA

What does your company do in one sentence?

For busy women who shop online, MYAVA provides hyper-personalized recommendations to increase purchase confidence using avatars and AI algorithms.

What are three words that describe entrepreneurs who are female?

Inspiring, rock stars, passionate.

What’s one way entrepreneurs who are female can invest in themselves?

Take time only for yourself either dancing, painting, exercising, or just having a conversation with a friend talking only about things you love and bring you joy. The idea is to have time to reconnect with yourself without thinking about your business, your family, or your to-do list!


Sonal Singh, Spatio Metrics

What does your company do in one sentence? 

Spatio Metrics analyzes floor plans to create a future in which every building makes us healthier.

What are three words that describe entrepreneurs who are female?

I struggle with this one. I’m proud to represent female and minority founders because we’re tenacious, grounded, and human. But at the end of the day, I’m like every other entrepreneur. No preface, no modifier, no disclaimer.

What’s one way entrepreneurs who are female can invest in themselves?

Build your cheerleader circle with people who are NOT advisors or investors: family, friends, or mentors that you can trust for straight-shot advice or just lean on after a long day.


Aagya Mathur and Aya Suzuki, aavia

What does your company do in one sentence? 

aavia is a hormone health brand guiding people on a health journey better than their mothers’ with technology, education, and community.

What are three words that describe your entrepreneurial journey to date?

Ups and downs.

Who is one member of the MIT entrepreneurship community who is female and has inspired you the most?

Kit Hickey! From her true business finesse to emphasis on building up the necessary soft skills. She’s still just one text away which we really appreciate.


Malena Corral, Go-Aut

What does your company do in one sentence? 

Early detection of developmental disorders in children from two months to five years.

What are three words that describe your entrepreneurial journey to date?

Challenging, wonderful, fulfilling.

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur who is female?

Feeling you can contribute to the society in a meaningful way.