Amira is a menopausal healthcare platform leveraging wearable technology and AI. We are launching with a product that keeps women asleep through their nighttime hot flashes.
Luna Nectar’s mission is to kick the stigma of women’s hair loss, specializing in all-natural, vegan, waterfree hair, lash, and brow density serums.
Bossa Bars, named an Oprah Daily Best Menopause Product, are the first function food created for women in the stages of menopause. Bossa Bars are delicious plant-based and gluten-free bars helping women support energy and weight loss during the challenging stages of The Pause!
Moremme is a female-owned, NIH-supported, therapeutics company dedicated to providing natural, hormone-free and scientifically designed products to treat Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM).
OCON Therapeutics is developing highly innovative women’s health solutions, inspired by women’s anatomy, specifically designed to be safe, comfortable, easily usable, and highly effective.
Vigeo Orthopedics is a black female orthopedic surgeon owned company that advances health equity in underserved communities by providing orthopedic surgical services and creating sustainable community centered bone and joint health programs.
Adrianna Samaniego is the Principal Investor at Female Founders Fund, an early-stage fund investing in female-founded technology companies across B2B, Consumer, Healthcare, and Fintech. Female Founders Fund has invested in some of the fastest-growing female-led start-ups including Zola, Billie, Co–Star, Eloquii, Maven Clinic, Rent the Runway, Peanut, Tala, WinkyLux, and more. In her role, she sources, invests, and supports portfolio companies that are building category-defining technology businesses.
Prior to joining Female Founders Fund, she worked at JetBlue Ventures, Harlem Capital Partners, & New Media Ventures. Adrianna spent eight years in tech, formerly as Co-founder & Co-CEO at Area 120 Google’s Startup Incubator. In this role, she led a team to rapidly build and launch a B2B marketplace for Fortune 500 companies to procure from diverse-owned companies. Adrianna also formerly led and created Google’s Global Supplier Diversity Program which created over $2B in opportunities for diverse- owned businesses.
Adrianna is passionate about removing inequities and increasing diversity in VC and Tech ecosystems. Adrianna Samaniego is of Mexican descent and was born and raised in the small border town of Douglas, Arizona. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from the University of Georgia.
Faz K. Bashi, MD, has a research background in Immunology and Virology from UCSF. He is Lead Venture Investor for Portfolia’s FemTech Funds I, II and III, focused on Women’s Health and Wellness (www.portfolia.co), an active member of Life Science Angels (www.lifescienceangels.com) in Silicon Valley and an Emeritus Board Member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA; www.angelcapitalassociation.org) where he continues to Chair the ACA&’s Life Sciences Syndication group. He is active with UCSF’s Entrepreneurship Startup 101 and Lean Launchpad, and serves on the external advisory board member for UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Johns Hopkins’ Center for BioEngineering and Design (CBID; https://cbid.bme.jhu.edu/). He mentors women entrepreneur leaders for Springboard Enterprises (www.sb.co) Life Sciences Council.
Dr. Bashi is also very active in the Animal/Pet Health entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves as an advisor to One Health Group (www.onehealthgroup.com), with 72 issued patents providing non-contact, highly accurate, medical-grade remote-monitoring animal health data. Dr. Bashi is committed to helping find treatments for Tinnitus, Autism, Lupus, and Vascular diseases. He completed several triathlons with Team-In-Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Devon Sanford is an investor at SJF Ventures, a returns-driven impact investing fund. She focuses on innovative solutions in healthcare and workforce development, and has a keen interest in advancing women’s health. Devon earned her MBA from Harvard Business School with honors. Prior to business school, Devon worked at The Global Good Fund, a nonprofit supporting social entrepreneurs, where she co-launched the organization’s first impact investing fund. She started her career at GoodCompany Ventures, a Philadelphia-based accelerator, after graduating from Boston College summa cum laude.
Jolene Anderson is the Managing Director for VectorPoint Ventures, a seed through early growth stage purpose-driven impact venture firm and advisory team. VectorPoint’s team launched VectorPoint Impact Partners L.P. (VIP) to fund and accelerate impact companies. Ms. Anderson served as advisor for Kineta Bio, Investor Relations for a public company, Chapter President for Keiretsu Forum NW/Idaho, investor/advisor/senior wellness director for Inmedix, Inc. and advisor/mentor to life science, material science and clean tech companies in North America. She is a current Board member of the Evergreen Bioscience Innovation Cluster appointed by Washington State Commerce, member of the ACA Life Science committee, Co-Chair for ACA Impact Syndication Committee, Keiretsu Forum Northwest Life Science Screening Committee, and speaker at Life Science Innovation NW. A participant on investor panels at global health and FemAging events, she is a pioneer in the spa/wellness industry and founder of one of the first corporate wellness education companies. She has three decades of experience working with thought leaders in longevity medicine and East West medicine. A decades long commitment to cancer prevention and cures, she participated in the Celebration on the Hill in Washington, D.C. and lobby days in WA state to support funding for cancer research. An active participant in ACS events she was appointed to the Leadership Advisory Board for American Cancer Society NW Region in 2014 for a 2 year term. A former Board member for the St. Alphonsus Hospital Foundation, advisor for the Chris Elliott Fund for Brain Tumor Research, and former Board MIT Enterprise Forum NW, she is a tireless advocate for global health and education on healthy communities.
Mia Farnham is an investor at SteelSky Ventures, one of the largest women’s health funds in the world with $73M in AUM and the mission to increase access, care and outcomes for women. Prior to SteelSky, Mia was an operator at Attn: Grace, the first skin-safe personal care brand for women 50+ and started her venture career between Precursor Ventures and Anthem in their Emerging Business Group. Before the world of startups and venture capital, Mia worked in M&A consulting supporting Life Sciences and Healthcare Fortune 100 companies through transactions across the entire deal life cycle. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and received her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Maeesha Merchant is an experienced C-level executive, an angel and real estate investor, and a startup board advisor. She has over 17 years of strategy, financial and operational management experience and currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and VP of Business Development at the Colburn School, a leading performing arts educational institution. In addition to managing the School, she is also responsible for the development of Colburn School’s historic Frank-Gehry-designed performance hall and dance school in Downtown Los Angeles, and the management of the School’s investment pool and endowment funds.
Prior to Colburn, Maeesha was the SVP of Finance and Operations, CFO and Chief Innovation Officer at California Institute of the Arts, CalArts. In her role as CFO|SVP she oversaw global initiatives, finance and accounting, analytics and IT, operations, facilities and HR. In addition, she was responsible for strategic planning and innovating new business models.
Prior to CalArts, Maeesha was a management consultant and innovator. She has experience across multiple states, countries and industries. At Deloitte, she led successful business transformation efforts for higher education and state governments. Prior to Deloitte, Maeesha worked for (Mercer) Oliver Wyman as a financial services strategy consultant across Asia, Europe, and America.
Maeesha is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship and founded her own education technology startup and served clients in Asia. She has also worked with the XPRIZE Foundation.
Maeesha graduated Magna Cum Laude from the prestigious Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania with three degrees in Finance, Biomedical Science & International Relations.
Co-producer of the FemAging 2023 report, and longtime community health advocate and media pioneer, Denise is a trusted resource for women as they pursue midlife wellness. She’s the founder of WisePause Wellness (www.wisepause.com), an event and membership platform for women’s health leading up to and including menopause.
Denise is the immediate past president of the Medical Board of California and serves on the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Minority Health Association. A recognized global leader in femtech, an award-winning marketer and serial entrepreneur, Denise has participated in 10 start-ups in entertainment, publishing and consumer package goods. A legendary event planner, Denise has directed over 300 nationwide events and designed marketing strategies that put three books on The New York Times Best Sellers list in one year.