The Women Who Empower
Innovator Awards

A COMMUNITY BASED ON EXCELLENCE

When we conceived the Women Who Empower Innovator Awards, we were excited about the program’s ability to help us reach some bold objectives. Yes, we wanted to amplify the power of Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and, yes, we sought to strengthen investments in women by providing funds, prestige, and networks to propel their efforts. 

But we also really wanted to honor the innovators themselves rather than simply their innovations. That’s because these winners are capable of myriad achievements, ventures, and impact in the years to come. Take a look and we think you’ll agree.

Women empowered with $100,000

We received more than 150 applications for the Women Who Empower Innovator Awards from women and men representing all Northeastern colleges and over a dozen countries spanning five continents. This impressive pool comprises entrepreneurial, talented, global change agents from a wide range of industries and interests—from health and sustainability to fitness, fashion, and technology.

An internal committee reviewed applications to determine semifinalists, and then a team of external judges reviewed our innovators for their creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, authenticity, community and inclusion, track record, and overall potential impact.

With support of Cartier and other generous donors, we are awarding a total of $100,000 in one-time grants to winners in five categories. There are a total of 19 recipients (including two teams of two) for 17 individual awards. And while we awarded winners in each category, we were impressed with all the applicants, and we hope they will continue to help shape and strengthen our Women Who Empower community.

Meet the 2021 Women Who Empower Innovator Award Winners

YOUNG ALUMNAE:
GRADUATE

YOUNG ALUMNAE:
UNDERGRADUATE

EXPERIENCED
ALUMNAE

UNDERGRADUATE
STUDENTS

GRADUATE
STUDENTS

YOUNG ALUMNAE GRADUATE AWARD WINNERS

1st Place ($10,000)

Emily Man, E’19, and Valeria Martinuzzi, E’18 | Venova Technologies

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Binja Basimike, BHS’12, MPH’14 | Kivu Venture Capital

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Camille Martin, S’19 | Alexandria Growth Brands

YOUNG ALUMNAE UNDERGRADUATE AWARD WINNERS

1st Place ($10,000)

Natasha Ibori, SSH’18 | Uwana Energy

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Cassie Choi, BHS’13 | Pair Team

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Jameson Johnson, AMD’19 | Boston Art Review

EXPERIENCED ALUMNAE AWARD WINNERS

1st Place ($10,000)

Emily White, AMD’05 | Collective Entertainment

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Thai-Anh Hoang, DMSB’06 | EmBeba

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Deborah Keane, BHS’86 | California Caviar Company

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AWARD WINNERS

1st Place ($10,000)

Gabrielle Whittle, E’21 | Phoenix Footwear

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Theodora Christopher, S’22, and Anastasia Mavridis, S’22 | Salutemp

Honorable Mention ($2,500)

Mya Brown, DMSB’21 | Jet Noire

Honorable Mention ($2,500)

Khailah Griffin, DMSB’22 | UnorthoDOCx

GRADUATE STUDENT AWARD WINNERS

1st Place ($10,000)

Molly Beck, DMSB’09, Khoury’22 | Messy.fm

Runner-Up ($5,000)

Shital Waters, Khoury’23 | BluePlanetAI

Honorable Mention ($2,500)

Michelle Calderon, DMSB’21 | Addition Beauty

Honorable Mention ($2,500)

Aniyah Smith, DMSB’21 | Push Beauty

Meet our Judges

These experts took their seasoned knowledge to evaluate applications  and final presentations to select our Women Who Empower Innovator Award winners:

    • Jill Bornstein, PNT’22, Founder of UpNext Leadership and Executive Coaching
    • Cathy Sakellaris, business leader and philanthropist 
    • Julietta Dexter, PNT’20, Co-Founder and Chief Growth and Purpose Officer at Science Magic Inc.
    • Cristina Csimma, MHP’91, Board Chair at Caraway Therapeutics
    • Cheryl Kaplan, President at M.Gemi and Women Who Empower Summit Speaker
    • Henry Nasella, UC’77, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees and a founding partner of Women Who Empower; Co-Founder of LNK Partners

QUESTIONS?

Contact:

Betsy Ludwig
Executive Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship
b.ludwig@northeastern.edu

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