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

General Partner, BBG Ventures 

Nisha Dua is a General Partner at BBG Ventures, which she co-founded with Susan Lyne in 2014. BBGV is a NYC-based seed fund, investing in consumer tech startups with at least one female founder. BBGV invests across content, commerce, future of work and platforms and services for Gen Z. BBGV has invested in over 60 startups.

Nisha has spent the last decade working in media, tech, strategy and law. She was the General Manager of AOL’s millennial site, Cambio, which she re-launched as a site “for girls, #BUILTBYGIRLS” in partnership with Girls Who Code. She founded the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement which challenges young women to be part of the tech-enabled economy and recently launched the WAVE platform, which connects girls with professionals to help them build their first networks into tech.


Stacy Plum

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, Cricket Health and Investor

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

Head of VC and Startup Partnerships (US), 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, Mozilla

Adam Zuckerman

Founder of Fosterly and Investor

Sibyl Edwards

Cofounder, Black Female Founders

Lynne d Johnson

Senior Editor, AdMonsters

Ligaya Tichy

Angel Investor

Penny Lee

Investor and CSO, 1776

Angela Jackson

Co-Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund

Jen Consalvo

Cofounder and co-CEO, Established

Frank Gruber

Cofounder, Tech.co