Women Startup Challenge Emerging Tech Judges

Ten finalists pitched their startups to these investors at Google in New York City on March 6, 2018. The grand prize winner, Emma Yang of Timeless, received $50,000 as a cash grant.

Meet the Jury

John Ason

Angel Investor

John Ason has been a professional angel investor for 18 years. Over that span, he has funded 60 startup companies and currently have over 20 active companies. The majority of these companies were pre revenue with many consisting of one or two people in a kitchen or garage. In about half of the companies, he was the lead angel. Some examples of the companies he has invested in are: Xlibris.com, Diapers.com, Soap.com, FulcrumGallery.com, AppyCouple.com, TuckerToys.com, CallunaVineyards.com, Ology.com, Koding.com, WeHostels.com, DoodleDeals.com, MotionMathGames.com, etc. His notable exits have been Xlibris, LiveLook bought by Oracle and Diapers.com, bought by Amazon for $545 million.

Erica Duignan Minnihan

Managing Partner 1000 Angels

Erica Duignan Minnihan is Managing Partner at 1000 Angels, a private digital venture investment network. We provide a platform for high net worth individuals, family offices, and Venture Funds to make direct investments in a curated selection of high-growth, early-stage investment opportunities. We typically invest in companies raising Seed and Series A rounds, and focus primarily on the technology sector, although we are open to all opportunities with exceptional risk adjusted return potential.

Iana Dimkova

Director on Healthcare Investing Team, GE Ventures

Iana is a Director on the GE Ventures Healthcare Investing team. Prior to joining GE Ventures, Iana spent most of her career in the healthcare sector. She was one of the first employees of ProCure Treatment Centers, a start-up that raised $700mm to develop and operate a nationwide network of radiation (proton) therapy centers. After leaving ProCure, she joined Alvarez & Marsal’s Healthcare Group where she helped Private Equity firms evaluate potential investments and improve portfolio company operations. Iana holds a BA and an MBA from Columbia University.

Nisha Dua

Partner, BBG Ventures

Nisha Dua is a Partner at BBG Ventures, a NYC based early stage fund which she founded with Susan Lyne in 2014. BBGV is focused on consumer internet and mobile startups with at least one female founder. They back the new wave of female entrepreneurs who are reimagining daily life, creating market-defining consumer tech products and services that make our work, play and home lives simpler, better — and more satisfying.

Nisha has spent the last 10 years working across media, tech, strategy and law. She was the General Manager of AOL’s millennial site, Cambio, which she re-launched in 2014 as a site “for girls, #BUILTBYGIRLS” in partnership with Girls Who Code and where she quadrupled the traffic in less than 7 months. Nisha founded the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement which challenges young women to be part of the tech-enabled economy through a series offline and online programs designed to help young women get ahead in tech, including the Girls Who Fund internship program which teaches girls the fundamentals of venture capital.

Nisha was previously Chief of Staff for the AOL Brand Group, working on strategy, operations and special projects. Prior to that, she was a management consultant for Bain & Company advising companies across Tech & Telco, Financial Services, and CPG. She cut her teeth as an M&A and securities lawyer at top tier Australian law firm, Blake Dawson. Nisha has also consulted for various early stage startups.


Stacy Plum, PhD

Consultant, Biopharmaceutical Drug Development

DJ Saul

Investor, NextGen Angels

Jo Schneier

CEO, Cognotion

Erin Horne McKinney

Cofounder, Black Female Founders

Nisa Amoils

VC, Scout Ventures

Simon Heseltine

Vice President, ForRent.com

Arvind Rajan

Cofounder and CEO of Cricket Health

Veronica Orvalho

Cofounder, MyDidimo

Drew Bernard

Angel Investor, Founder, Action Sprout

Suki Fuller

CEO, Salaam Ventures

Liva Judic

Serial Entrepreneur and Executive Coach

Melissa Jun Rowley

Cofounder, Resolve

Elizabeth Kraus

Chief Investment Officer, Merge Lane

Stephanie Redish Hofmann

Director of Agency Development, Google

Nikita Mitchell

Founder, Above the Bottom Line

Charles Thiede

Co-Founder and CEO of Zapnito

Marilyn Waite

Program Officer, Hewlett Foundation

Jason Leder

Partner Lead for VCs & Startups, Google

Chris Fralic

Partner, First Round Capital

Nahid Alam

Senior Software Engineer, Cisco

Abby Albright

CoFounder, Women in XR Fund

Carissa Flocken

CoFounder, Entry Point VR

Sandy Carter

Vice President, Amazon Web Services

Diane Tate

Senior Program Manager at Mozilla

Adam Zuckerman

Director of Ventures & Innovation, Discovery Communications

Sibyl Edwards

Cofounder, Black Female Founders

Lynne Johnson


Ligaya Tichy

Angel Investor

Penny Lee

Chair, K Street Capital

Angela Jackson

Co-Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund

Jen Consalvo

Cofounder, Tech.co

Frank Gruber

Cofounder, Tech.co