Finalists of the 2019 Women Startup Challenge Solving Big Problems

NYC 2019 | Finalists | Judges | Advisors | Mentors | Sponsors

Meet the 10 women founders who pitched their startups to a panel of the most esteemed investors and tech leaders in the industry on May 29, 2019, at Google in New York City. PathSpot was awarded the $50,000 equity-free, cash grant grand prize, Good Call won the Audience Choice Award of $120,000 in cloud services from Google, and all of the founders will walk away with pro bono services for their startups.


Pitching Founder: Anna Skaya


Basepaws is building a DNA testing platform for pets, focused on breed identification, health monitoring and nutrition. In 2017 Basepaws created the world’s first at-home DNA test for cats, powering a new consumer and building the largest ecosystem of pet genetic and behavioural data on the planet. We work closely with pet owners, veterinarians, shelters and pet care companies, and use genomic data in a variety of fields including pet nutrition and therapeutics. Our products are built on proprietary cost-saving technology which combines whole genome sequencing with the specificity of amplicon approaches.

Online sales of pet care products is a $10B business & is the fastest growing CPG ecommerce category. Genetic testing is a game changer in the pet care space, allowing us to better monitor and care for our pets, while providing personalized nutrition and a direct way to help our pets live longer, healthier lives.


Pitching Founder: Rachna Dhamija


The future of healthcare is care at home, an $18B market opportunity for remote health monitoring. Ejenta gathers data from wearable and IoT devices and from electronic medical records to create AI-driven analytics that help health providers to detect and predict which patients need care, resulting in improved health outcomes and reduced readmissions.

Ejenta’s technology is exclusively licensed from NASA where the founder developed AI to monitor astronauts in space. Ejenta has been successfully tested in clinical trials with Kaiser Permanente and is rapidly expanding deployments with leading health providers across the US.


Pitching Founder: Gloria Kolb


Elidah’s Elitone device is a wearable, non-invasive device that stimulates the pelvic floor muscles for the 1 in 3 women with urinary incontinence. The Elitone essentially does Kegel exercises for you, but can do so longer and stronger than you can on your own to stop those leaks when you sneeze or run. After four long years, Elidah received FDA clearance and a CE Mark is on the way. There are two patents granted in the US and six more pending internationally.

Founded by a team of engineers from MIT, Stanford and serial entrepreneurs in the medical device space, they have quickly developed and brought the device to clinical use to enter the $10B market. Elidah will improve the quality of life and reduce the need for surgery for tens of millions of women.

Farm Fare

Pitching Founder: Cullen Naumoff & Laura Adiletta


Farm Fare is a local food supply chain technology with a vision to restore local and regional food systems. Our B to B software and data analytics platform allows regional food hubs to work together to lower costs and increase sales driven by market data. This approach is a new model for regional food supply chains in which family farms and food hubs can capture market share from industrial farms by collaborating as a network. Together, they can transition from the vertically integrated hub-and-spoke model designed by and for large agribusiness to a more efficient, decentralized system that works for farmers, communities and planet.

Farm Fare provides food hubs with software to manage business operations, drives regional sales, and generates powerful data that creates sustainable and equitable outcomes. When regional foodsheds strategically collaborate to gain efficiencies, we call this “economies of collaboration,” and it can compete with economies of scale.

Good Call NYC

Pitching Founder: Stephanie Yim


Good Call is NYC’s first centralized 24/7 arrest support hotline. With one call to 1-833-3-GOODCALL, anyone can be connected to a lawyer in under a minute in the case of an arrest. Every day, nearly 700 New Yorkers are arrested and unable to access immediate legal counsel. This lack of immediate legal support can have devastating life consequences including job loss, undeserved jail time before being convicted, people accepting unfair plea deals, and worse.

Our vision is to provide early legal support to every American so that everyone has access to the support needed for equal and fair outcomes in the criminal justice system.


Pitching Founder: Jasmine Edwards


i-Subz is a recruiting and placement marketplace for substitute teachers and schools that serve low-income students (Title 1). Utilizing automation, our focus is to ensure availability, accessibility, and fit exist between substitute teachers and schools that serve low-income students so that students thrive in the classroom. For schools, we get them quality, prescreened substitutes on demand that are passionate about their student population. For substitutes, we get them easy access to jobs and same day pay. This allows schools to maintain quality support in the classroom in the absence of a primary teacher, students to be matched with motivated substitutes that are passionate about their success, and substitutes to be rewarded for their work.

Metalmark Innovations

Pitching Founder: Sissi Liu


Air pollution is one of the leading contemporary societal challenges. To combat the problem, Metalmark Innovations has developed a breakthrough platform technology for making catalysts with remarkable performance and longevity, leveraging bioinspiration and the latest innovations in nanotechnology and material science. They aim to apply their catalyst technology toward treating indoor airborne toxins such as formaldehyde and fine particulate matter, which have been linked to chronic illnesses.

Adopting Metalmark’s air purification technology could result in 30-40% energy savings associated with indoor climate management. In the long run, their solution could also be used to minimize cold-start pollution, which currently accounts for 90% of all emissions from modern cars and trucks, and simultaneously reduce the cost of catalytic converters by lengthening their lifetime and lowering their rare metal content by ~50%. Together, we could save gigatons of CO2-equivalent emissions by cutting direct pollution and enabling fuel-efficient vehicle technologies.


Pitching Founder: Christine Schindler


PathSpot protects restaurants and their customers from the threat of foodborne illness by scanning employees hands to see if they have any harmful contamination that could make someone sick.

Restaurant employees simply wash their hands and place them underneath the device, where they receive accurate notice of contamination — all in less that 2 seconds.

A mobile application on the tablet-based system gives them a notification of green – all clear, or red – rewash. PathSpot collects the data from these scans and the biometric identification that is incorporated into the scanning systems, providing a 24/7 data platform to their customers so they can review trends in handwashing, identify gaps in their sanitation procedures, and create a positive and accountable culture around cleanliness.

Queen of Raw

Pitching Founder: Stephanie Benedetto


Queen of Raw is a marketplace where companies can buy and sell unused textiles and profit from waste. Today more than $120 billion worth of excess fabric sits in warehouses around the world, waiting to be burned or buried. Wasted fabric destroys drinking water. One tshirt takes 700 gallons of water to produce. Using blockchain and machine learning/AI, our marketplace matches these textiles with buyers around the world and has already saved over 1 billion gallons of water.

The Growcer

Pitching Founder: Alida Burke


The Growcer designs and manufactures hydroponic growing systems retrofitted inside shipping containers to create modular commercial farms. The Containerized Growing System cultivates up to 12,000 pounds of food every year using less water and less arable land than conventional farming methods. As a result, the systems provide an entrepreneurial solution to food insecurity founded on community cohesion, improved economic outcomes, sustainable farming practices, and increased access to affordable healthy food options.