Mentors for the Women Startup Challenge 2016

San Francisco 2016 | FinalistsJudges | Mentors

Thank you to the following mentors for the 2016 Women Startup Challenge Pitch Competition, held June 14, 2016 at LinkedIn in San Francisco.

Joanna Bloor

CEO, The Amplify Lab

Joanna Bloor, CEO of The Amplify Lab, is a people accelerator, scalability junkie and belief agent for brave and curious women.

A veteran in the media space, Joanna has almost 20 years experience in digital media, broadcast television and radio. Working in leadership roles at OpenTable, CBS Interactive and Pandora, Joanna is an established expert in strategy, sales training, team development, and ad operations. Joanna knows how to develop people, grows brands and scale businesses.

Joanna is passionate about helping people identify their personal goals, unique skills and setting a path to attain them. In 2015, Joanna embarked on a new idea that leveraged her business acumen around media, her curiosity about 3D printing and her personal struggles with weight loss. The result? 3D L.I.L.A. was born. L.I.L.A. – Late in Life Athlete – is a weekly podcast that chronicles how Joanna is using 3D printing and a love of a running to win the weight loss battle. Joanna shared her 3D L.I.L.A. story at the TED 2016 Dream Conference.

Joanna is a frequent speaker and panel moderator at various industry events including Watermark, Dreamforce and many others. In addition, she has delivered motivational speeches, created customized sales training, team building and personal career development programs for a host of business and organizations including Microsoft, Ernst & Young, and Dentsu Aegis.

Arvind Rajan

Cofounder and CEO, Cricket Health

Arvind Rajan is the cofounder and CEO of Cricket Health, a health care startup based in San Francisco that is focused on late-stage chronic kidney disease. Prior to starting Cricket Health, he worked in senior leadership roles in a wide range of technology companies.  Most recently, he spent six years on the executive leadership team at LinkedIn, where he led the company’s entry into new markets around the world. Prior to that, he was CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, a company he co-founded in 1999. He’s also worked in startups in a wide range of other industries, including electric cars and wireless telemetry systems, and also spent time as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.

Andy Smith

General Partner at Center Electric

Andy is a General Partner at Center Electric, LLC, a Seed Stage venture capital firm focused on the Internet of Things. He brings deep industry experience around consumer electronics, ingredient tech, social media and IoT. With deep roots as a venture/mentor, guest lecturer and experienced operator, Andy provides a perspective on innovation that few can match.

For over 20 years, Andy served as an executive leading teams at Dolby Labs, BIGWORDS, LiquidWit, Intel, Analysis Group, Polaroid, Integral Inc. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In 2010, he co-wrote The Dragonfly Effect, an actionable guide to driving impact through customer insight and highly effective, measurable social marketing strategies. While working with companies to create Dragonfly Effects of their own, he advised and supported technical and social ventures with guidance in customer strategy, marketing and technology.

Andy is a Venture Mentor in both Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad class (Berkeley and Columbia) and at Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Conference. He has lectured at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business on social technology, growth hacking, and brand building, with a focus on applying technology to address real problems. He contributes to Fast Company, First Round Review, GOOD Magazine, and blog at Psychology Today exploring ideas and businesses that embrace and integrate both meaning and innovation. Andy also appears on radio and TV, speaks at events including SXSW, The 140 Characters Conference, Social Media Breakfast, World 50, Marketing Week, TechCoire and Interbrand. He is on boards of Accompani, Ziploop, Publet, 140 Proof, LIF Brands, Avanoo, and One Family One Meal.

Andy earned his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School and holds an Economics degree from Pomona College.

Lisa Stone

Entrepreneur and Digital Strategist (BlogHer,,

Lisa Stone is an entrepreneur and digital media strategist with 18 years of experience developing scale consumer communities via storytelling, quality conversation and analytics. Most recently, Lisa was CEO and Co-founder of BlogHer Inc., where she grew an idea for a grassroots conference into a leading start-up reaching 100+ million women each month, $30 million in annual revenues and a proprietary technology platform for engaging social influencers. She also executive-produced BlogHer’s conferences, the world’s largest for women in social media (her past interviews include President Barack Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Soledad O’Brien, and Melinda Gates). In 2014, Lisa led the sale of BlogHer to SheKnows Media, creating the #1 women’s lifestyle digital media company. Previously, Lisa pioneered the first blog publishing network at, and was Vice President, Programming and Editor in Chief at Networks, where she led original programming and partnerships (Bloomberg, Gallup, E! Online, HBO’s Sex and the City), and helped launch 11 Hearst and two Rodale magazine sites.

Although Lisa left CNN for WebTV in 1997, she has continued to write (The New York Times,, LinkedIn, Medium, HuffPost and, of course, Her honors include a Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and an Ernst & Young Winning Women award. She was the first Internet journalist awarded a Nieman Fellowship by Harvard University. A Montanan who goes home to ski as often as possible, Lisa lives in Silicon Valley with Christopher Carfi and their children.

Monique Woodard

Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Monique is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups investing in black and Latino entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of Black Founders — a national community of entrepreneurs whose mission is to increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech. Previously, she was one of the first Innovation Fellows for the City of San Francisco and has helped cities use technology to innovate workforce and other civic services. She has more than 15 years of entrepreneur and operating experience in consumer, e-commerce, and civic tech. She likes art, fashion, and fly things.