North America

Benita Singh & Summer Rayne Oakes

What do fashion designers do when they’re looking for fabrics? They visit trade shows, wade through hundreds of sample folders, surf vast online directories… activities which research from Cornell University finds takes up to 85% of their time. ‘That leaves just 15% actually designing, which strikes us as a terrible waste of resources,’ says Summer Rayne Oakes, co-founder with Benita Singh of Source4Style, an online platform and community for materials with a difference: they come exclusively from sustainable and ethical sources.

Meg Wirth

Every 90 seconds, a woman dies in childbirth. ‘That’s 358,000 women a year, the vast majority in developing countries,’ says Meg Wirth, CEO of Maternova, a company she founded to pursue a mission close to her heart: to bring these figures down. To do so she has created a three-dimensional business that meshes information services, products and software tools.

Jeanette Hill

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that end up making the difference, like ballpoint pens, light bulbs, and the device that Spot On Sciences has created to simplify blood testing: HemaSpot. By leveraging advancements in dried blood spot testing, commonly known as DBS, HemaSpot eases the cost and burden of traditional venipuncture needle testing.

Taryn Rose

An orthopedic surgeon with an entrepreneurial flair makes fashionable and functional luxury shoes
Taryn Rose changed the footwear industry in 1998 by creating a line of luxury shoes that are as fashionable as they are functional. Her idea of being well dressed with a sense of well being touched a nerve with women from coast-to coast, creating a dedicated following for her footwear collection.

Humberto C. Antunes

Mr. Antunes twenty-plus years of experience spans the globe, beginning his career with Sandoz Pharmaceutical division (now Novartis) in the United States. In the years that followed, he accepted positions of increasing responsibility that took him and his family through the United States several times, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Germany and France.

Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino is Founder, of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises. She is author of "Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work," from Broadway Books.

Recently, Nell has become Chair for the Personal Data Independence Trust at Personal BlackBox, a company that unlocks the potential of personal data for members and clients by helping them protect, see, and grow its value.

Virginia Littlejohn

Ms. Littlejohn, Quantum Leaps Co-Founder and CEO, has served as the OECD's Senior Advisor for Women's Entrepreneurship since 1996.

K. Shelly Porges

K. Shelly Porges is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, a global consortium of venture funds pledged to invest in women-founded firms. She is also a Board Member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women and on the Advisory Board for Cornerstone Capital, Mindshift Capital and Different Funds. Ms. Porges also serves as an Expert on Call for Georgetown University’s Entrepreneurship Program.

Kimberlie Cerrone

Kimberlie L. Cerrone has over twenty-five years experience in structuring and executing many types of strategic alliances, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and partner, licensing, customer and vendor relationships for life science and high technology companies. She is expert in developing and executing intellectual property protection strategies and in acquiring, managing and exploiting valuable intellectual property, and technology and product rights

Elsbeth Vaino

For years, exam preparation techniques have been dominated by traditional study guides and flash cards. Former university roommates Elsbeth Vaino and Bobbi Jaimet believe that this lucrative market - worth one billion dollars a year in the US alone - has long needed an injection of fresh ideas. With this in mind, they created B.E. Innovative Group Inc., a company which helps students preparing for exams by using lively interactive games that complement traditional study methods.

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