NYC Cohort Members

Meet the P.E. Class of 2020 N.Y.C. cohort: Selected from more than 500 applications, this extraordinary group of 48 female entrepreneurs demonstrated the ability to clearly articulate a problem, their solution to that problem, and a vision for executing it to grow their businesses.

Cohort 1

Deborah Agustoni

Founder
Aurore

Jazmin Alvarez

Founder
Pretty Well Beauty

Mio Asatani

Founder and C.E.O.
Curina

Carli Blum

Founder and C.E.O.
Sunscoop

Kristen Depowski

Co-founder and C.E.O.
theSkoop, Inc.

Caitlin Cummins

Founder
JAKA JAMU

Samantha Dong

Founder and C.E.O.
Ally Shoes

Amy Engel

Co-founder and C.O.O.
Taza

Nina Farran

Founder and C.E.O.
Fashionkind

Franci Girard

Founder and C.E.O.
The Sixes

Jaclyn Grauman

Founder and C.E.O.
The Verticale

Tracey Hummel

Founder
Bee & Kin

Ali Kaminetsky

Founder and C.E.O.
Modern Picnic

Harroop Kaur

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Hours

Alice Kim

Founder and C.E.O.
PerfectDD

Vivi Mullen

Co-founder and Co-C.E.O.
GO BIG

Jovana Mullins

Co-founder and C.C.O.
Alivia

Mary Myles

Founder
Ever Appter

Anna Peck

Founder and C.E.O.
Oswald

Sarah Sukumaran

Founder and C.E.O.
Lilith NYC

Eleanor Turner

Founder
The Big Favorite

Grace Yoon

Founder and C.E.O.
Qi Alchemy

Joyce Zhu

Founder and C.E.O.
Numa Foods

Cohort 2

Emma Bates

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Diem

Courtney Brand

Founder and C.E.O.
thelighthouse

Jennifer Brisman

Founder and C.E.O.
Vow

Alexandria Carroll

Founder and C.E.O.
License to Drift

Carolina Cordón-Bouzán

Founder
Montserrat New York

Kadi Correia

Co-founder and C.M.O.

Irene Ryabaya

Founder and C.E.O.
Warmintro

Amanda Gorman

Founder
Nest Collaborative

Joana Gutierrez

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Aiko AI

Alessandra Henderson

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Elektra Health

Rita Ting-Hopper

Founder and C.E.O.
Festi

Shubham Issar

Co-founder
SoaPen

Ashleigh Ferran

Co-founder and C.E.O.

Lisa Mayer

Founder and C.E.O.
My Social Canvas

Melissa Mitchner

Founder and C.E.O.
The Bark Shoppe

Bimla Picot

Founder and C.E.O.
Reboundwear

Marla Gonzalez Rivera

Founder
Humanified

Erin Rose

Founder and C.E.O.
Every Two Minutes, Inc.

Julie Schechter

Founder and C.E.O.
Small Packages

Lauren Siclare

Founder and C.E.O.
BuckleBath

Lane Tabb

C.E.O.
LLABB

Beau Wangtrakuldee

PhD; Founder, and C.E.O.
AmorSui

Amanda Wojtas

Founder
Eternal Fleur

Debi Yadegari

Founder and C.E.O.
MommaWork

Allison Young

Founder
The Forem

Deborah Agustoni

Founder
Aurore

Deborah is a social entrepreneur and a human rights activist. She dedicated the last 10 years studying the issue of human trafficking and working on counter-trafficking measures at places like the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Prior to her work at the United Nations, she worked at a renowned European private institute for health. There, she successfully managed the health institute while gaining knowledge and experience in natural therapies and clean skincare based on Chinese medicine. Deborah founded Aurore to offer radically clean and effective skincare products while delivering a new, sustainable solution to combat the complex issue of human trafficking. Her focus is on empowering both consumers and women at-risk of modern slavery through giving work and directly tackling one of the root causes of human trafficking in developing countries like Cambodia. She adopts a bottom-up approach to help decrease the incidence of human trafficking by building stronger communities. She holds a BA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a MA in Social Enterprise from the School of International Service at American University.

Jazmin Alvarez

Founder
Pretty Well Beauty

Pretty Well Beauty, founded by Jazmin Alvarez, a 14 year veteran of the fashion and beauty industry, is the answer to functional and approachable clean and sustainable beauty. For the past 9 years, Jazmin has been a leading and trusted clean beauty advocate having experienced herself that using products with fewer and non-toxic ingredients creates a happier, holistic relationship with your skin that radiates from the inside out. Having seen first-hand the direct relationship between the products that you put on your body’s largest and external organ to your vital organs.

Jazmin’s goal for Pretty Well Beauty is to define and set the highest standards of clean beauty and wellness by partnering with brands that adhere to only the strictest standards of clean and sustainability practices. Additionally she would like to continuing building upon the platform of education when it comes to clean beauty and how that plays into our everyday lives and making it accessible to everyone who seeks a more holistic approach to personal care and well-being.

Mio Asatani

Founder and C.E.O.
Curina

CEO, I am an ex-management consultant with passion for bringing art to every household. I founded Curina, an art rental subscription service, when I moved to New York 3 years ago for business school and wanted buy original artwork for my new home. With Curina, I am making art ownership more affordable, accessible, and flexible.

Carli Blum

Founder and C.E.O.
Sunscoop

Eat, Pray, Sneeze. Story of my life. Being born with food allergies is not easy. I love food, I celebrate with food, and I am endlessly inspired by it. Food for me is both my hardest challenge and biggest blessing. Being allergic to dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, eggs, and sensitive to refined sugar, I’ve struggled with inflammation and fatigue my whole life.

In the journey of discovering what foods triggered me I also found the foods that healed. Being a lover of ice cream, I was never able to find a brand that was allergen-friendly and tasted good. One day I asked myself, why can’t dairy-free ice cream taste insanely delicious, have clean ingredients, and make your body feel good? From that point on I knew I wanted to bring Sunscoop to the world.

Kristen Depowski

Co-founder and C.E.O.
theSkoop, Inc.

Caitlin Cummins

Founder
JAKA JAMU

Caitlin graduated Fordham University with a B.S. in Business Administration. After graduating, she held positions with Oyster Bay Wines coordinating their in-store marketing campaigns and product demonstrations. Prior to founding DRINK JAMU LLC, she was a member of TPG Institutional Credit Partners team helping to assemble and analyze portfolio compliance and reporting for the TICP funds. She was actively involved in monitoring workflows for the TICP research team as well as coordinating with the middle office platform and trustees for the TICP funds. Caitlin has lived in Japan and Singapore and currently resides in New York City.

Samantha Dong

Founder and C.E.O.
Ally Shoes

Samantha Dong is the Founder and CEO of Ally Shoes, an innovative, fashion brand designed for women by women. Ally is renowned for designing pain-free heels for power women. After a foot injury, Samantha couldn’t find heels that wouldn’t hurt, so she teamed up with the best creative minds and podiatric experts to design stylish heels for all women. She is passionate about empowering women through fashion and making luxury footwear more accessible for women on the move.

Previously, Samantha worked in Operations and Product Management at OrderAhead (which was acquired by Square). She also spent time in Strategy and Operations at Deloitte Consulting and the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. She graduated from Cornell University and received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Amy Engel

Co-founder and C.O.O.
Taza

Amy Engel is a Co-Founder and COO of Taza, a wellness brand rooted in the holistic science of Ayurveda. Prior to pursuing her passion for wellness, Amy spent her career in finance and consulting, working at Bridgewater, A.T. Kearney, and Citi. Outside of work, Amy loves yoga, travel, and Lebanese food!

Nina Farran

Founder and C.E.O.
Fashionkind

Nina’s background is in developing innovative opportunities for positive impact. While at the University of Pennsylvania, she launched an on-campus extension of a humanitarian fashion brand that built schools in sub-Saharan Africa using the profits generated from the sale of branded apparel and accessories. After graduating from Penn, Nina initiated, built, and successfully launched the impact investing program at a leading national investment and wealth management firm.  This enabled clients to construct 100 percent impact-aligned fully diversified portfolios without sacrificing returns – for the first time. These experiences highlighted the opportunity to align social and environmental impact with luxury consumption.

In 2014, Nina founded Fashionkind, originally as an educational blog on Instagram. Today, Fashionkind is a multi-brand e-commerce platform with a dedicated expertise in sustainable luxury. Fashionkind.com marries a top-of-the-line consumer shopping experience with a one-of-a-kind storytelling platform that champions the stories behind each brand and reintroduces discovery into the luxury shopping experience. As described by VOGUE, Fashionkind is “”living proof that traditional, time-honored craft can be synonymous with luxury, and that sustainability needn’t come at the sacrifice of style.

Nina has been named a Modern Swan – one of the 50 most influential young women in the world – by Town & Country.  She was selected as one of ten mentees from around the globe to participate in Bank of America’s and Vital Voices’ Global Ambassadors Program. In addition to leading Fashionkind, Nina serves: as an advisor for Trade+Impact, a trade association of members from the craft and natural cosmetic sectors with a focus on women-led social enterprises in Africa and the Middle East; and as Chair of the Board of Power Up Gambia, a non-profit that transforms healthcare services in The Gambia via solar energy.

 

Franci Girard

Founder and C.E.O.
The Sixes

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Franci Girard is the Founder and CEO of The Sixes. She created The Sixes to give tall women, like herself, a newfound fashion freedom.

After graduating from Stanford University in 2008, Girard started her career as a professional volleyball player in Europe. She later pivoted to Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs acting as a relationship manager for some of the firms top hedge fund clientele. While at Goldman, Franci enrolled at Parsons School of Design, pursuing her associate’s degree in design at night, while managing a demanding corporate career during the day. Eager to marry the worlds of business and fashion, she went on to obtain an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Franci embodies the customer she serves. She launched The Sixes in October 2019 as an ode to tall women who love fashion but have been excluded from major style moments because they aren’t the size of the average American woman. The brand is currently sold direct to consumer online at thesixes.com.

Jaclyn Grauman

Founder and C.E.O.
The Verticale

Founder and CEO of The Verticale, Jaclyn Grauman believes great brands deserve to be discovered. With a focus on retail innovation, operational efficiencies, evolving consumer behavior, Jaclyn is building the destination of attainable brand discovery for the new era of digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs). The Verticale makes it easier for consumers to shop according to their values and discover brands they don’t yet know exist.

Before starting The Verticale, Jaclyn built a successful career in fashion editorial and PR. From traditional retail at Hudson’s Bay Company/Lord & Taylor to global brands including Dune London, Marc Fisher Footwear, and Ann Taylor, Jaclyn is an expert in the art and science of brand curation.

In her 8+ years within the industry, Jaclyn was constantly solving problems related to the broken retail system — digital disruption, customer loyalty, and production. The landscape for DNVBs is now evolving at an equally rapid pace and customers are overwhelmed. Jaclyn is on a mission to build the go-to source for scalable, digital brands.

Tracey Hummel

Founder
Bee & Kin

Tracey Hummel, the Bee & Kin Founder, has a background in fashion with an upbringing in technology. Having worked in merchandising and production for brands like Tory Burch, Salvatore Ferragamo and David Yurman, Tracey felt there was a gap to fill in the luxury handbag market that fused technology with fashion.

While the aesthetic of handbags is constantly evolving, the interior has remained unchanged. Tracey’s mission with Bee & Kin is revolutionizing the interior of a handbag with technology that encourages women to be more present and reduce stress in work and life.

Ali Kaminetsky

Founder and C.E.O.
Modern Picnic

Founder and CEO. When Ali graduated from college in 2016, and moved into the city to start her job in retail she would bring her lunch to work everything. However, she realized she did not have a chic or functional way to do so. When she went online to buy herself a lunchbox she saw options for little kids, and men, but nothing for women who wanted to look and feel her best. It was clear that the traditional lunchbox needed a makeover. From there, Modern Picnic was born. Since launching in 2018 Modern Picnic has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Today Show, E! News, The New York Times, Harpers Bazaar, Teen Vogue, amongst others.

Harroop Kaur

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Hours

Harroop Kaur is using her experience from the corporate world to build HOURS into a category defining brand that provides plus size women the clothing they deserve. She’s led Fortune 500 companies through complex, multi-million-dollar strategic deliveries around the globe for 14+ years. In her spare time, Harroop enjoys teaching spin, participating in her community and being active with her two daughters.”

Alice Kim

Founder and C.E.O.
PerfectDD

Alice Kim is the founder of PerfectDD, a womenswear brand focused on body positivity, boldly celebrating curves of large breasted women with a narrow frame. PerfectDD provides a solution for women who struggle to find fashionable styles that accommodate their D+ chest size.

Alice started her career in investment banking and then shifted gears into fashion for more than 15 years. She held various positions in merchandising, retail, wholesale, and licensing, and was most recently Head of Women’s Fashion Footwear at Walmart Ecom/Jet/Shoes.com/Elevtd. Prior to that, she was Divisional Merchandise Manager of Accessories at Shopbop, and Vice President of Asia Pacific & South America at Diane von Furstenberg.

She is a graduate of Dartmouth College, a fellow in the Startup Leadership Program (SLP), and a 92Y NYCEDC Fashion Fellow.

Vivi Mullen

Co-founder and Co-C.E.O.
GO BIG

Vivi Mullen is the co-founder and co-C.E.O. of GO BIG. With just a few, functional ingredients, GO BIG is the world’s first energy and wellness shot that provides a clean option in a market dominated by junk. The brand is built on values of empowerment and authenticity, in opposition to the toxic brands that dominate the energy drink industry.

Prior to GO BIG, Vivi started her career at Valença Textil, a textile company in Brazil, leading sales and eventually taking over production to come the general manager. She also worked for Casa dos Ventos, the largest wind-energy developer in Brazil, where she was a director in charge of procurement, negotiating $1.4 billion in supply contracts and involved in business development, M&A, and debt-finance negotiations.

She holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Jovana Mullins

Co-founder and C.C.O.
Alivia

Jovanna Mullins is the co-founder and C.C.O. of Alivia, a social-impact womenswear brand inspired by the artistic expressions of people with developmental disabilities. Although her career has always centered around fashion, her true passion has always been volunteering, and using art as a vehicle for empowering individuals with disabilities. In 2019, she founded Alivia along with her husband, with the mission of providing purpose and voice to the previously unheard, showcasing the many talents and abilities of people with disabilities, and pushing the fashion industry further towards inclusivity.

She has spent the past 10-plus years designing prints and embroidery for luxury and contemporary fashion brands such as Coach, Alice + Olivia, and Cynthia Rowley.

She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and holds a B.F.A. in fashion design.

Mary Myles

Founder
Ever Appter

Mary Myles is the founder of Ever Appter, the wedding app to have and to hold for all guest and wedding party needs leading up to the big day. In addition to crafting wedding apps, she is a vice president within BlackRock’s Global Digital Marketing Group. Her team works to support design operations and is responsible for the digital transformation and event technology of the firm’s 300-plus live (and now virtual) global events.

Prior to BlackRock, Mary was a founding team member and one of five to open the Galvanize New York campus as the Member Success Manager. Her experience involved creating a venture capital mentor program for entrepreneurs and managing all member events. She was a 2013 Teach for America Corps Member in Dallas, where she was a founding teacher at KIPP Destiny Elementary and also taught a third year at Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary, in New York.

Mary graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, triple majoring in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship, and minoring in Spanish. She received her Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Anna Peck

Founder and C.E.O.
Oswald

Anna Peck is the founder and C.E.O. of Oswald. She launched the company in 2019 with its first product, Chia Smash: a-better-for-you jam made with no added sugars, and packed with chia seeds and dates, and sweetened with dates.

Prior to founding Oswald, she worked at Blue Apron in roles spanning strategy, operations, and product innovation. She also spent more than three years at Ernst & Young in their advisory practice.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Anna came to the U.S. in 2009 to study at the University of Virginia, where she also joined the swimming and diving team.

Sarah Sukumaran

Founder and C.E.O.
Lilith NYC

Sarah Sukumaran is the founder and C.E.O. of Lilith NYC, a data-powered, women’s sneaker startup based in New York City.

Most recently, she was Director of Product, Data Science and Models, at Nike. Nike’s Member Data Science predicts future cash flow for Nike and is responsible for building and deepening a holistic view of Nike’s consumers through data and analytics, and applying those insights to inform the growth of incredible digital services, content, and experiences for its consumers. Prior to working at Nike, Sarah worked at Jirafe as Head of Product, an e-commerce analytics startup that was subsequently acquired by SAP in 2016.

She graduated from Babson College with a B.S. in business management.

 

Eleanor Turner

Founder
The Big Favorite

Eleanor Turner is the Founder, The Big Favorite. For more than a decade, she has designed for iconic American brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and J.Crew. In 2015, she co-founded Argent, an apparel company aimed at empowering working women through stylish and functional clothing. During her tenure at Argent, she innovated workwear with four patents pending, dressed trailblazing women like Hillary Clinton, Emily Weiss, and Awkwafina. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and Vogue, among others.

She brings years of experience and a passion for creative problem-solving to her latest project, The Big Favorite. She is reimagining the brand, once led by her great grandfather in the 1940s, with a new mission to tackle textile waste through a line of circular first layer garments set to launch in 2020.

Grace Yoon

Founder and C.E.O.
Qi Alchemy

Grace Yoon is the founder and C.E.O. of Qi Alchemy, a leader in the health and wellness industry specializing in Korean wellness products and services.

Grace began her wellness journey following her personal health issues and led by her grandmother, who was an Eastern medicine doctor. After taking traditional Korean herbs, Grace’s energy and immunity improved and her illnesses disappeared. Inspired by organic herbs from South Korea and in collaboration with Dr. Jun, a highly respected traditional Korean medical doctor with more than 40 years of clinical experience, Qi Alchemy shares the highest-quality functional herbal blends rooted in ancient medicine with the modern world.

Joyce Zhu

Founder and C.E.O.
Numa Foods

Joyce Zhu is the founder and C.E.O. of Numa Foods. She is a former banker and consultant turned candy connoisseur.

Emma Bates

Co-founder and C.E.O.
Diem

Emma Bates is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Diem, which was created to solve for the lack of a comprehensive platform for women’s health community and education.

A British expat living in New York, Emma’s background is in marketing and business development. Prior to Diem, she was an early employee at Away, leading many of the company’s marketing and partnership initiatives for the first three years of the business. She also was head of community at Whalar

She holds a B.A. Honors in war studies from King’s College London.

Courtney Brand

Founder and C.E.O.
thelighthouse

Courtney Brand is the founder and C.E.O. of thelighthouse, a tech-enabled career platform built for the future of work.

Prior to founding thelighthouse, Courtney worked as a management consultant advising Fortune 500 companies including Apple and Alibaba, in N.Y.C., Shanghai, and Beijing. She speaks French and Mandarin Chinese.

Jennifer Brisman

Founder and C.E.O.
Vow

Jennifer Brisman is the founder and C.E.O. of VOW, the premier wedding planning platform with the human touch, to help all couples plan their weddings like a pro.

A 20-plus-year event and wedding professional who has orchestrated more than 650 projects and executed more than $65 million in contracts, she also is the Chief Planning Officer of Jennifer Brisman Weddings New York.

Alexandria Carroll

Founder and C.E.O.
License to Drift

Alexandria Carroll is the founder and C.E.O. of License to Drift, a destination discovery platform that matches consumers with vacation experiences aligned with their interests. Alex identified an opportunity in the travel sector while working as a director of planning in the fashion industry. In that role, she noticed trends in discretionary spending, including a growing consumer appetite for experiences over physical goods.

Alex’s career spans more than a decade in tech, consumer retail, and investment banking, and she honed her business acumen at leading multinational companies such as Goldman Sachs, Centric Brands/Li & Fung, and Perry Ellis International. She is passionate about mentoring and STEM education for communities of color. She co-chaired the East Harlem Tutorial Program’s Junior Board for four years and co-produced the Inaugural Harlem Week Hackathon.

Alex is a proud native of Washington, D.C. and a product of the D.C. public school system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. with Honors from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Carolina Cordón-Bouzán

Founder
Montserrat New York

Carolina Cordón-Bouzán is the founder and designer of Montserrat New York. She is a brand strategist specializing in digitally native, direct-to-consumer sales and marketing strategies, and passionate about leveraging data in retail, and digital consumerism. She is motivated by fast-paced environments where she can create streamlined solutions to help grow business operations and omni-channel sales. Her designs have been featured in WhoWhatWear, Town & Country, and The Zoe Report, to name a few. Most recently, she designed a capsule collection in collaboration with BaubleBar.

Previously, as U.S. Influencer Community Coordinator for & Other Stories, she singlehandedly developed the brand’s U.S. Affiliate Program. Her efforts increased & Other Stories’ Web site traffic by 35,000 sessions per month via affiliate links in three months. Originally hired to manage the East Coast, her responsibilities were extended to cover the scouting and management of the entire United States by her fourth month in the role.