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2024 Women Leaders Shaping the Greater Boston and New England Startup Community

Updated: 17 hours ago

In the vibrant landscape of Boston and New England's startup ecosystem, innovation knows no bounds. It's a world where bold ideas meet entrepreneurial spirit, and where the seeds of change are sown by visionary leaders. Here, we’re highlighting the remarkable women at the helm of the region's startup scene. Their contributions are not just shaping the future; they are redefining it, leaving an indelible mark on industries and communities alike. These are the community builders and trailblazers of the Greater Boston and New England startup scene. 

The 2024 Women Leaders in the Boston and New England Startup Community 

Allison Byers (Founder & CEO, Scroobious) - Allison is an ally for helping women and minority founders lock in funding for their startup company. She created her company, Scroobious, to address this funding gap and is very vocal on social media about the issue. 

Annette Tonti (Managing Director, RIHub) - Through her work at RIHub, Annette is responsible for connecting high-growth startups with resources in Rhode Island. 

Betty Francisco (CEO & Investment Committee Member, Boston Impact Initiative) - Through this non-profit, Betty is working to close the racial wealth divide in Massachusetts. She is also the co-founder of Amplify Latinx, which is focused on increasing Latino civic engagement, economic opportunity and leadership representation in Massachusetts. 

Bobbie Carlton (Innovation Women, Innovation Nights, Lioness) - Bobbie built Mass Innovation Nights in 2009 which has helped launch over a thousand products into the startup community. She continues supporting and connecting the startup community with the online magazine she manages, Lioness, which supports and highlights many resources for female entrepreneurs.

Caitlin Reimers Brumme (CEO, MassChallenge) - a staple leader in the Boston startup community, Cait is supporting hundreds of startups every year through MassChallenge. She is always willing to lend an ear and to support new and aspiring founders and startup employees.

Felicia Jadczak (Co-CEO, Head of DEI Programs, She+ Geeks Out) - Felicia is passionate about addressing workplace inclusion by providing holistic solutions for a more inclusive culture; creating a community for tech and tech-adjacent women and marginalized genders, and their allies. 

Fran Pastore (Founder & CEO, Women’s Business Development Council) - Fran runs this Stamford, CT-based non-profit that provides tools and resources to help women thrive in business. 

Gabrielle King Morse (President & CEO, Center for Women & Enterprise) - As CEO of CWE, Gaby supports women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial women with the tools and training and support they need to thrive personally and professionally. 

Gayatri Sarkar (Founder, She-VC) - Through her platform, She-VC, Gayatri highlights women and diverse GPs, LPs and fund managers from around the globe. The goal behind this media platform is to showcase the stories of women and underrepresented institutional managers. This series is done in partnership with Women in VC.

Isabella Mandis (Founder & CEO, Girls Into VC) - Her organization, Girls Into VC, is focused on empowering the next generation of female venture capitalists and championing women-led startups. The organization holds a yearly summit and also creates weekly content highlighting and elevating women in venture capital. 

Julie Demers (Executive Director, NH Tech Alliance) - Julie is playing a pivotal role in connecting the New Hampshire startup community through both leading the charge at the NH Tech Alliance and service as an Advisor on NH Sector Partnerships Initiative 

Kat Lawlor (Executive Director, Entrepreneurship for All) - Through EforAll, Kat is supporting founders by creative programming and initiatives that accelerator economic and social impact in communities nationwide. 

Kat Lazell (Senior Program Manager, Cambridge Innovation Center) - Kat is constantly creating programs and events for the startup community in the Boston and Cambridge Area - and has been for years! Most recently, she was responsible for launching CIC’s Social Impact Cohort in Cambridge, MA, which supports underrepresented founders.

Kristen Craft (VP, Business Partner Manager, Fidelity Investments) - Kristen is consistently creating events and initiatives that help founders and startup folks connect and engage through her work at Fidelity. She is always willing to lend a hand and to make an introduction.

Alyssa Krejmas (Founder, InnoCrew) - Alyssa is supporting Boston founders by creating intimate events for them to mingle with one another and grow their support system - because, as we all know, being a founder can be incredibly lonely

Lauren Abda (Founder, Branchfood & Cofounder, Branch Venture Group) - Lauren is the person connecting food innovators and entrepreneurs here in Boston. She is a go-to resource for founders or startup enthusiasts in this space. Through her founding of Branchfood, she also created the Branch Venture Group, to further the impact her and her team were having for food-related startups

Lisa Ranglin (President & CEO, Rhode Island Black Business Association) - In her role at RIBBA, Lisa is dedicated to advancing business opportunities and vitality of Black-owned and minority businesses in Rhode Island through contracting, business development resources, entrepreneur training, business advocacy, investor services, access to capital and workforce development.

Maria Gorskikh (Executive Director, DREAM Venture Labs) - In addition to running DREAM Ventures Labs, which is focused on supporting immigrant entrepreneurs and student founders, Maria is also co-founder of WomenX Innovators, a networking group focused on bringing together female founders in supporting one another. 

Nana Younge, M.Ed. (Founder & Executive Director, Get Girls Going) - Nana’s organization, Get Girls Going, is focused on empowering Black teen girls to create social enterprises that solve problems in the world. 

Rachel Leigh Gross (Senior Manager, Platform & Community, NEVCA) - Rachel is consistently creating events and initiatives highlighting the startup and investor community throughout New England at the New England Venture Capital Association

Senofer Mendoza (Founder & General Partner, Mendoza Ventures) - This woman is an advocate for diversity and inclusion across her portfolio and in her personal life. Her firm has invested in many notable startups, including Boston-based startups Wabbi and Alyce.

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