The Future is Female — Meet our Summer 2020 Female Founder Track Cohort

September 23, 2020
From the Fund


We’re excited to introduce you to our third Female Founder Track cohort: a group of 21 incredible women, working on 11 different startups. 

When FFT went virtual this summer, we knew we had the unique chance to reach schools — and speakers and mentors — from different backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, majors and locations around the country. Our participants have founded a diverse selection of companies, ranging broadly from solutions to help tackle menopausal symptoms to material management for the construction industry. We’re ecstatic that we had the chance to help their projects scale. 

Over six sessions, participants learned about building MVPs, obtaining and maintaining product market fit, hiring, pivoting and fundraising. We’re ever grateful to our guest speakers — Deirdre Clute at Rightfoot, Cissy Chen at Citizen, Jess Lee at Sequoia, Sarah Guo at Greylock, nicky Goulimis at Nova Credit, Nicole Gibbons at Clare, Olamide Olowe at Topicals, Mollie Chen at Birchbox, Ilse Calderon at OVO, Kelly Watkins at Abstract, Hayley Barna at First Round, Mar Hershenson at Pear VC, Parul Singh at Founder Collective, Amanda Johnson at Mented, and Andrea Tang at AbinBev — who shared their hard-earned insights with the cohort: 

We here at Dorm Room Fund are so, so proud to introduce you to the graduating Summer 2020 Female Founder Track cohort!

Bozzy — Mackenzie Branigan, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Malika Mehrotra, Harvard Kennedy School

Tell us a bit about Bozzy: Bozzy is an on-demand virtual assistant service for busy parents to offload daily household and family tasks. Our mission is to reduce mental load to allow busy parents to thrive both at home and in the workplace.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Every single week I came away from our FFT sessions with new ideas, new ways of thinking about my business, and more tools to become a successful founder.

Coven Media —Alexandra Davis & Caroline Brockett, Duke University

Tell us a bit about Coven: Coven is a media platform and community for college-aged womxn.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Our FFT mentor didn't just shape our positive growth throughout the FFT, but in our company as a whole. We left each Zoom meeting feeling inspired, empowered and driven to iterate or grow each week.

The Regime — Yan Lawrence, The City College of New York

Tell us a bit about The Regime: The Regime is an online beauty tech platform that automates hair regimens and product selections for kinky and curly hair naturals to rediscover self love through hair care.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Created a network for me where we uplifted each other. My network has now increased my net worth.

Thermaband — Markea Dickinson, Yale School of Management

Tell us a bit about Thermaband: Thermaband's mission is to provide an equitable solution for women with menopausal symptoms through the Zone device, a smart personal thermostat with digital health data. Founded by a mother facing the burden of hot flashes and lack of solutions, and her daughter.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: FFT has been such a diverse and inclusive environment for me to flourish this summer, personally and professionally as a first-time founder! One of my favorite sessions was on VC & Fundraising- a panelist encouraged us to “be bold and sell the dream” when raising capital, and had an empowering discussion around overcoming gender biases in the space.

Amora — Tori Seidenstein & Sarah Jacobson, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Tell us a bit about Amora: Amora is a telehealth platform that helps people with aging parents navigate the complexity that comes with growing older.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Helping us think strategically about early enterprise sales and partnerships

Boon — Gabrielle Finear & Vanessa Wong, MIT

Tell us a bit about Boon: Boon is a mobile platform where users can post favors to their network in a quick, easy, and personalized way. Users can optionally monetize their favors, creating a miniature gig economy for fellow students to make money fast while helping an acquaintance in need.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: FFT contributed to our confidence! As first time founders new to the startup landscape, FFT acted as our compass for resources and connected us with industry experts who had relevant advice for everything from VC relationships to growth strategy and team dynamics.

Sherpa — Charanya Venkataramani, UC Berkeley - Haas School Of Business

Tell us a bit about Sherpa: Sherpa is a platform that allows students to try out careers before committing to them via a combination of expert masterclasses and experiential project based learning. This empowers students to make informed post-secondary education and career choices rather than wasting precious time and money "exploring" during college.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Gave me clarity on the next things to work on and validate; gave me clarity on what investors look for in early-stage companies.

VATT — Arushi Somani & Crystal Wang, UC Berkeley 

Tell us a bit about VATT: English is no longer the dominant language of the web, and our mission is to dub and subtitle the ever-diversifying Internet. VATT offers a way for modern content creator networks to adapt to the rapidly shifting demographics of their current and potential audiences.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: FFT definitely helped us build our confidence in ourselves and our product. It refined the ways we originally thought about company-building and the entrepreneurial space.

Trackr — Shraddha Agrawal, UC Davis and Debparna Pratiher, Carnegie Mellon

Tell us a bit about Trackr: Tools to optimize one's job search. 

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Business model and growth strategy

NaviWell — Nitya Kanuri, Yale School of Management and Yale School of Public Health and Salina Hum & Agnieszka Matyja-sanetra, Yale School of Management

Tell us a bit about NaviWell: Our mission is to help all college students navigate their journey to mental wellness. Our first product, the Connect to Care platform, enables students to identify resources that fit their needs and preferences best, and empowers administrators to manage student wellness, at the individual and population level.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: By participating in FFT, particularly engaging with the speakers and the fellow FFT founders, we realized the path to a new venture is messy; so, if you're feeling a bit haphazard and helter-skelter, you're doing just fine.

Healthy HOP — Esi Yobo, Drexel University 

Tell us a bit about Healthy HOP: Healthy HOP is a platform dedicated to healthy diet-specific food essentials. It is our mission to make healthy eating easier and more accessible for everyone including those of special diets.

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Clarity

Acadia — Catherine Jiang & Sara Pearce-Probst, Stanford University

Tell us a bit about Acadia: Modern materials management for the construction industry

What’s one thing FFT helped you with: Providing great mentorship and resources as well as an inspiring community of strong female entrepreneurs


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Written by Mahira Dayal, Head of Content at Dorm Room Fund. Follow her on Twitter.

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