XXcelerator // COHORT 3

We are so excited to see these women and their companies grow over the course of the next 12 months. Meet some of our program participants and learn about their companies below. 

Pamela became interested in artificial intelligence and the intersection between language and technology in her theoretical linguistics program at University of California, Santa Cruz. Post college, she received an opportunity to work for the Oregon Graduate Institute on emerging speech technologies. Pamela started with the Center for Human-Computer Communication, but was recruited by the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU) to be an on-site researcher at a local school for deaf children under an NSF grant whose goal was to explore the uses of CSLU’s speech toolkit technologies (speech recognition, dialogue systems, and synthetic speech) in the education of children with language delays related to hearing loss.  As she observed the teachers and students using the tools, she began to conceptualize and prototype software programs that made their technology use easier and more targeted toward supplementing what they needed. Pamela continued this work for over a decade, even after the institute merged with the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). After the merger, she was the principal investigator on five NIH SBIR funding opportunities at a company partially owned by OHSU. In 2017, she chose to start her own company, Auditory IQ, LLC. Auditory IQ creates and markets auditory rehabilitation products that are commercially viable and readily available for people with hearing loss.

Pamela became interested in artificial intelligence and the intersection between language and technology in her theoretical linguistics program at University of California, Santa Cruz. Post college, she received an opportunity to work for the Oregon Graduate Institute on emerging speech technologies. Pamela started with the Center for Human-Computer Communication, but was recruited by the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU) to be an on-site researcher at a local school for deaf children under an NSF grant whose goal was to explore the uses of CSLU’s speech toolkit technologies (speech recognition, dialogue systems, and synthetic speech) in the education of children with language delays related to hearing loss.
As she observed the teachers and students using the tools, she began to conceptualize and prototype software programs that made their technology use easier and more targeted toward supplementing what they needed. Pamela continued this work for over a decade, even after the institute merged with the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). After the merger, she was the principal investigator on five NIH SBIR funding opportunities at a company partially owned by OHSU. In 2017, she chose to start her own company, Auditory IQ, LLC. Auditory IQ creates and markets auditory rehabilitation products that are commercially viable and readily available for people with hearing loss.

Pamela Connors // Auditory IQ

Cassie and Amy have been partners and owners of Altar for five years. Both women are particularly inspired by the creative aspects of the company, but it also seems that their major strength as business owners is continued innovative approaches to marketing and branding. Each with a different background in manufacturing, soft goods and metal-smithing, they bring expertise to the retail setting and have an eye for on-trend/ahead-of-trend curves. In their personal lives, they are great friends who have built a lot of the company ethos around women supporting women. This has been a point of pride in their partnership as major life events such as motherhood, marriage, health care, and everything in between have happened amid the challenges of running the company.

Cassie and Amy have been partners and owners of Altar for five years. Both women are particularly inspired by the creative aspects of the company, but it also seems that their major strength as business owners is continued innovative approaches to marketing and branding. Each with a different background in manufacturing, soft goods and metal-smithing, they bring expertise to the retail setting and have an eye for on-trend/ahead-of-trend curves. In their personal lives, they are great friends who have built a lot of the company ethos around women supporting women. This has been a point of pride in their partnership as major life events such as motherhood, marriage, health care, and everything in between have happened amid the challenges of running the company.

Amy Fox // Altar

Cassie and Amy have been partners and owners of Altar for five years. Both women are particularly inspired by the creative aspects of the company, but it also seems that their major strength as business owners is continued innovative approaches to marketing and branding. Each with a different background in manufacturing, soft goods and metal-smithing, they bring expertise to the retail setting and have an eye for on-trend/ahead-of-trend curves. In their personal lives, they are great friends who have built a lot of the company ethos around women supporting women. This has been a point of pride in their partnership as major life events such as motherhood, marriage, health care, and everything in between have happened amid the challenges of running the company.

Cassie and Amy have been partners and owners of Altar for five years. Both women are particularly inspired by the creative aspects of the company, but it also seems that their major strength as business owners is continued innovative approaches to marketing and branding. Each with a different background in manufacturing, soft goods and metal-smithing, they bring expertise to the retail setting and have an eye for on-trend/ahead-of-trend curves. In their personal lives, they are great friends who have built a lot of the company ethos around women supporting women. This has been a point of pride in their partnership as major life events such as motherhood, marriage, health care, and everything in between have happened amid the challenges of running the company.

Cassie Ridgway // Altar

Sonya Sanford is the executive chef and owner of Beetroot Market & Deli. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Sonya is the child of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union. Sonya began her culinary education with the cooks in her family. From them, she learned to pickle, preserve, garden and forage and to prepare the recipes that have been passed down for generations. Propelled by this appreciation for great food, Sonya worked in restaurants while attending college in Portland, Oregon. It was during those formative years that Sonya discovered and fell in love with the richness of Pacific Northwest produce and local ingredients. In her early twenties, she moved to Los Angeles for a job in the entertainment industry, though she quickly found a way to put her passion for food at the center of her work. While in Los Angeles, Sonya worked as a personal chef and caterer to Hollywood executives and producers, and later as a food stylist, culinary producer, and food writer. As a chef, Sonya specializes in Jewish food from around the world and is particularly interested in exploring how Jewish dishes have evolved to incorporate the influences and ingredients of countries across the Jewish diaspora.

Sonya Sanford is the executive chef and owner of Beetroot Market & Deli. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Sonya is the child of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union. Sonya began her culinary education with the cooks in her family. From them, she learned to pickle, preserve, garden and forage and to prepare the recipes that have been passed down for generations. Propelled by this appreciation for great food, Sonya worked in restaurants while attending college in Portland, Oregon. It was during those formative years that Sonya discovered and fell in love with the richness of Pacific Northwest produce and local ingredients. In her early twenties, she moved to Los Angeles for a job in the entertainment industry, though she quickly found a way to put her passion for food at the center of her work. While in Los Angeles, Sonya worked as a personal chef and caterer to Hollywood executives and producers, and later as a food stylist, culinary producer, and food writer. As a chef, Sonya specializes in Jewish food from around the world and is particularly interested in exploring how Jewish dishes have evolved to incorporate the influences and ingredients of countries across the Jewish diaspora.

Sonya Sanford // Beetroot Market & Deli

Torri’s background is in Special Education with a strong emphasis on challenging behavior. She has more than two decades of experience working with staff development, training professionals in the educational setting as well as foster, group home and biological families. Torri is also the founder/CEO of another business (Wright Behavior: Consulting and Advocacy LLC) focusing on consulting, speaking engagements, workshops/trainings, and thought leadership. She has written a book (See Beyond Behavior) and has a podcast series (also, See Beyond Behavior). Human behavior is large part of our communication, therefore Torri’s expertise has been developed in behavior linguist and building bridges in challenging situations.

Torri’s background is in Special Education with a strong emphasis on challenging behavior. She has more than two decades of experience working with staff development, training professionals in the educational setting as well as foster, group home and biological families. Torri is also the founder/CEO of another business (Wright Behavior: Consulting and Advocacy LLC) focusing on consulting, speaking engagements, workshops/trainings, and thought leadership. She has written a book (See Beyond Behavior) and has a podcast series (also, See Beyond Behavior). Human behavior is large part of our communication, therefore Torri’s expertise has been developed in behavior linguist and building bridges in challenging situations.

Torri Wright // BEHCA

Maret is a feminist futurist with a vision for spatial and ambient computing. Formerly a lawyer, curmudgeon, and Virtual Reality Skeptic, her career path forever altered when she agreed to five minutes of wearing a silly VR headset. Five minutes became forty as she realized how immersive experiences like Virtual and Augmented Reality can persuade, inform, and delight. She co-founded Bevel in 2017 which develops custom design communication tools for architecture and construction. Her favorite reality is Real Life Reality which she enjoys with her friends, family, and dogs.

Maret is a feminist futurist with a vision for spatial and ambient computing. Formerly a lawyer, curmudgeon, and Virtual Reality Skeptic, her career path forever altered when she agreed to five minutes of wearing a silly VR headset. Five minutes became forty as she realized how immersive experiences like Virtual and Augmented Reality can persuade, inform, and delight. She co-founded Bevel in 2017 which develops custom design communication tools for architecture and construction. Her favorite reality is Real Life Reality which she enjoys with her friends, family, and dogs.

Maret Thatcher // Bevel Space

Genevieve is a restaurant industry veteran having held roles from prep cook to bar manager. She escaped the dinning room floor to work with wineries and distilleries on PR and marketing, however there was still something missing in her career path. It was while developing what she hoped would be a lifestyle brand centered around home entertaining that Genevieve discovered making bitters and saw the glimmer of a product and what the market was missing. Now she creates all the flavors and manage the brand of The Bitter Housewife.

Genevieve is a restaurant industry veteran having held roles from prep cook to bar manager. She escaped the dinning room floor to work with wineries and distilleries on PR and marketing, however there was still something missing in her career path. It was while developing what she hoped would be a lifestyle brand centered around home entertaining that Genevieve discovered making bitters and saw the glimmer of a product and what the market was missing. Now she creates all the flavors and manage the brand of The Bitter Housewife.

Genevieve Brazelton // The Bitter Housewife

Monique came to the United States in 2014. It was difficult for her to get good organic sourdough bread, like she was used to from her old home country Germany. After Monique had started to bake fresh homemade bread for her husband and her kids every day, she was looking for ways to simplify the daily process and started preparing baking kits for herself. Now, she simply had to add water, mix and bake. After a friend in Germany gave her a baking mix in a jar, Monique had the idea of selling her own bread baking kits to everyone in the US. The idea of Breadlovers was born. In 2017, Monique and her family traveled through the United States with their camper van, to visit a number of mills and find the perfect ingredients for their bread baking kits. Each one of the 6 bread baking kits which are now sold online and several Grocery stores in the United States are either named after the place they were baked at for the very first time or after a place they were inspired by.

Monique came to the United States in 2014. It was difficult for her to get good organic sourdough bread, like she was used to from her old home country Germany. After Monique had started to bake fresh homemade bread for her husband and her kids every day, she was looking for ways to simplify the daily process and started preparing baking kits for herself. Now, she simply had to add water, mix and bake. After a friend in Germany gave her a baking mix in a jar, Monique had the idea of selling her own bread baking kits to everyone in the US. The idea of Breadlovers was born. In 2017, Monique and her family traveled through the United States with their camper van, to visit a number of mills and find the perfect ingredients for their bread baking kits. Each one of the 6 bread baking kits which are now sold online and several Grocery stores in the United States are either named after the place they were baked at for the very first time or after a place they were inspired by.

Monique Menesi // Breadlovers

Besides brief childhood dreams of becoming a zookeeper or astronaut, Catherine has always wanted to be a writer. She counts herself fortunate every day that she has the opportunity to ask deep questions, interview experts, explore the world and see where the story takes her. Catherine worked as an editor at SELF Magazine before freelancing full-time. She has contributed to publications including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Glamour, Real Simple, Bloomberg Business Week, Travel Portland and many more; she also ghostwrites for people with big ideas but packed schedules, landing their thought leadership in outlets including Entrepreneur, Ad Age and others. Catherine writes a family travel blog, To & Fro Fam, where she shares family travel hacks + kid-friendly destinations to help overextended parents spend more time with their kids—with less stress. Catherine loves nothing more than spending time outside and exploring the world with her husband, two kids, and Kooikerhound rescue pup Finn.

Besides brief childhood dreams of becoming a zookeeper or astronaut, Catherine has always wanted to be a writer. She counts herself fortunate every day that she has the opportunity to ask deep questions, interview experts, explore the world and see where the story takes her. Catherine worked as an editor at SELF Magazine before freelancing full-time. She has contributed to publications including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Glamour, Real Simple, Bloomberg Business Week, Travel Portland and many more; she also ghostwrites for people with big ideas but packed schedules, landing their thought leadership in outlets including Entrepreneur, Ad Age and others. Catherine writes a family travel blog, To & Fro Fam, where she shares family travel hacks + kid-friendly destinations to help overextended parents spend more time with their kids—with less stress. Catherine loves nothing more than spending time outside and exploring the world with her husband, two kids, and Kooikerhound rescue pup Finn.

Catherine Ryan Gregory // Catherine Ryan Gregory

After spending many years in branding and marketing, plus facilities and office management, Allyson realized her calling was to make a difference in people's everyday lives through improving work environments. After several years spent managing accounts in the world of commercial furniture and interiors, it became crystal clear that there was a need to create an improved experience for people and businesses going through workplace transitions. So Allyson built ctrl+shift+space with the goal of adding a human-centered touch to the process of changing office environments.

After spending many years in branding and marketing, plus facilities and office management, Allyson realized her calling was to make a difference in people's everyday lives through improving work environments. After several years spent managing accounts in the world of commercial furniture and interiors, it became crystal clear that there was a need to create an improved experience for people and businesses going through workplace transitions. So Allyson built ctrl+shift+space with the goal of adding a human-centered touch to the process of changing office environments.

Allyson Strowbridge // ctrl+shift+space

Kim Campbell is the Founder and Designer of Dare Heart™, a movement brand to empower women through ultra-comfortable and steadfast cotton underwear. She is folding her decades of being a mother, partner, sister, friend, and business founder into this new fashion venture. Born into an entrepreneurial family and educated in philosophy (BA) and art therapy (MA), she is the third generation to own and operate a business in Oregon. Kim holds the fundamental belief that we should all be seizing our opportunities to live by our own choices. In 1995 she started Campbell Salgado Studio, a well-regarded boutique photo studio in Sellwood-Moreland. After decades of crafting bespoke imagery, she has witnessed first hand the challenges and expectations society places on women — prescribing how they should look — and how this affects their self-esteem and confidence. Her powerful antidote is to create a clothing brand that embraces women in their current beautiful bodies. Making self-care and personal-empowerment her priorities, this native Oregonian loves to create gorgeous outdoor spaces for spending time with family and friends, practice yoga, shape new or upcycled fabric into clothing, and try new recipes from places where she’s traveled. Active in her community, she volunteers with her local business alliance and mentors future entrepreneurs and artists. As a fine art photographer, her latest body of work entitled ‘Enrobed’ tells a personal love story between her late mother and herself through her mother’s gifts of hand-made clothing. Dare Heart™ will resonate with women who value personal authenticity over societal expectations. By offering a product that lifts women up, she hopes Dare Heart™ inspires individuals to be courageous in big and small ways. Kim firmly believes in the collective power of women to turn ripples into waves.

Kim Campbell is the Founder and Designer of Dare Heart™, a movement brand to empower women through ultra-comfortable and steadfast cotton underwear. She is folding her decades of being a mother, partner, sister, friend, and business founder into this new fashion venture. Born into an entrepreneurial family and educated in philosophy (BA) and art therapy (MA), she is the third generation to own and operate a business in Oregon. Kim holds the fundamental belief that we should all be seizing our opportunities to live by our own choices. In 1995 she started Campbell Salgado Studio, a well-regarded boutique photo studio in Sellwood-Moreland. After decades of crafting bespoke imagery, she has witnessed first hand the challenges and expectations society places on women — prescribing how they should look — and how this affects their self-esteem and confidence. Her powerful antidote is to create a clothing brand that embraces women in their current beautiful bodies. Making self-care and personal-empowerment her priorities, this native Oregonian loves to create gorgeous outdoor spaces for spending time with family and friends, practice yoga, shape new or upcycled fabric into clothing, and try new recipes from places where she’s traveled. Active in her community, she volunteers with her local business alliance and mentors future entrepreneurs and artists. As a fine art photographer, her latest body of work entitled ‘Enrobed’ tells a personal love story between her late mother and herself through her mother’s gifts of hand-made clothing. Dare Heart™ will resonate with women who value personal authenticity over societal expectations. By offering a product that lifts women up, she hopes Dare Heart™ inspires individuals to be courageous in big and small ways. Kim firmly believes in the collective power of women to turn ripples into waves.

Kim Campbell // Dare Heart

Shannon was born in Seoul and has lived in the PNW for most of her life. She has one daughter who just graduated high school. Shannon cofounded Ecdysiast in 2008.

Shannon was born in Seoul and has lived in the PNW for most of her life. She has one daughter who just graduated high school. Shannon cofounded Ecdysiast in 2008.

Shannon Gee // Ecdysiast

Alisia Ford is the Founder and CEO of Glory, a skincare and wellness brand for women of all hues. She is inspired to make skincare services more inclusive and reflect the diversity we see in our communities. Before starting Glory, Alisia, a trained attorney, led negotiations and managed license agreements for Nike and the dedicated advertising agency for Apple. Prior to that, she managed legal compliance for Mazda, worked for several law firms, and held various roles at some of the most premier sports, entertainment, and marketing organizations. Alisia is a graduate of USC-Marshall School of Business and Seattle University School of Law.

Alisia Ford is the Founder and CEO of Glory, a skincare and wellness brand for women of all hues. She is inspired to make skincare services more inclusive and reflect the diversity we see in our communities. Before starting Glory, Alisia, a trained attorney, led negotiations and managed license agreements for Nike and the dedicated advertising agency for Apple. Prior to that, she managed legal compliance for Mazda, worked for several law firms, and held various roles at some of the most premier sports, entertainment, and marketing organizations. Alisia is a graduate of USC-Marshall School of Business and Seattle University School of Law.

Alisia Ford // Glory

Shari, Founder of Heel Me Baby, brings a diverse group of skills and life experiences together to form this unique concept. She graduated from Emory University with a degree in Economics and has worked as a Project Engineer in the construction industry for the last five years, helping to construct from 82 story to 7 story buildings in both Miami, Florida and Portland, Oregon. Shari is a strong believer in positive thinking and entrepreneurship. After regularly watching retail trends, she decided to combine her love for shoes and fashion, with her Economics background and project engineering skill-set to found HMB. When Shari is not working you can find her on the dance floor with friends dancing to bachata and salsa; or decompressing in her garden watching the plants grow.

Shari, Founder of Heel Me Baby, brings a diverse group of skills and life experiences together to form this unique concept. She graduated from Emory University with a degree in Economics and has worked as a Project Engineer in the construction industry for the last five years, helping to construct from 82 story to 7 story buildings in both Miami, Florida and Portland, Oregon. Shari is a strong believer in positive thinking and entrepreneurship. After regularly watching retail trends, she decided to combine her love for shoes and fashion, with her Economics background and project engineering skill-set to found HMB. When Shari is not working you can find her on the dance floor with friends dancing to bachata and salsa; or decompressing in her garden watching the plants grow.

Shari Chin // Heel Me Baby

Dr. Katie Deming is a board-certified radiation oncologist and founder of MAKEMERRY. For years, Katie watched as my patients struggled to find bras that felt soft against their sensitive skin. Not finding them, Katie would alter their own bras to make them more comfortable during radiation. Unfortunately, these little hacks were ineffective and anything but sexy. So she decided to take the plunge—pun intended—and design the perfect bra. Katie’s passion project turned into six years of researching the best fabrics and designs, prototyping, patenting, wear testing, not sleeping, and ultimately, developing MAKEMERRY’s unique design. Although Katie never intended to design clothing, MAKEMERRY has become an extension of her own oncology practice and a gratifying way to impact not only her patients, but also women worldwide.

Dr. Katie Deming is a board-certified radiation oncologist and founder of MAKEMERRY. For years, Katie watched as my patients struggled to find bras that felt soft against their sensitive skin. Not finding them, Katie would alter their own bras to make them more comfortable during radiation. Unfortunately, these little hacks were ineffective and anything but sexy. So she decided to take the plunge—pun intended—and design the perfect bra. Katie’s passion project turned into six years of researching the best fabrics and designs, prototyping, patenting, wear testing, not sleeping, and ultimately, developing MAKEMERRY’s unique design. Although Katie never intended to design clothing, MAKEMERRY has become an extension of her own oncology practice and a gratifying way to impact not only her patients, but also women worldwide.

Katie Deming // MAKEMERRY

Vanessa Matson, Founder of Hey Babe, LLC is dedicated to overcoming the common misconception that eating an all plant-based diet is boring or challenging. She is also committed to creating real change in the world by producing plant-based food products that taste awesome, are easily accessible, and have a giveback component. Part passion project and part food innovation company, Hey Babe was founded on the belief that if there were just as many vegan options available in the marketplace, as their “traditional” counterparts, that a shift would happen, and this amazing plant-based lifestyle would become the norm (or at the very least, people may choose it more often). Which is a win for the environment and millions of farm animals!

Vanessa Matson, Founder of Hey Babe, LLC is dedicated to overcoming the common misconception that eating an all plant-based diet is boring or challenging. She is also committed to creating real change in the world by producing plant-based food products that taste awesome, are easily accessible, and have a giveback component. Part passion project and part food innovation company, Hey Babe was founded on the belief that if there were just as many vegan options available in the marketplace, as their “traditional” counterparts, that a shift would happen, and this amazing plant-based lifestyle would become the norm (or at the very least, people may choose it more often). Which is a win for the environment and millions of farm animals!

Vanessa Matson // Hey Babe

Having grown up in the lush Pacific Northwest as a flower farmer's daughter, plants were Julie's first love. She went on to study Film, Art and languages at Bard College and holds a degree in Philosophy from Portland State University. With a diverse work background that includes specialty grocery management and scientific research grants coordination, applying much of the resulting skill-set in carrying on the family business – and helping people succeed with plants - is a natural and exciting next step.

Having grown up in the lush Pacific Northwest as a flower farmer's daughter, plants were Julie's first love. She went on to study Film, Art and languages at Bard College and holds a degree in Philosophy from Portland State University. With a diverse work background that includes specialty grocery management and scientific research grants coordination, applying much of the resulting skill-set in carrying on the family business – and helping people succeed with plants - is a natural and exciting next step.

Julie Neilson // Neilson Orchids

Natalie is the Founder/Owner of Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC and grew up right here in the Pacific Northwest. The business was created with the notion of delivering a great service to companies and at the same time allowing our family the ability to balance life. Natalie contributes to the success of Pacific Perks by surrounding herself with the right people, doing what they say they are going to do and being committed to a balanced life.

Natalie is the Founder/Owner of Pacific Perks Coffee, LLC and grew up right here in the Pacific Northwest. The business was created with the notion of delivering a great service to companies and at the same time allowing our family the ability to balance life. Natalie contributes to the success of Pacific Perks by surrounding herself with the right people, doing what they say they are going to do and being committed to a balanced life.

Natalie Fairchild // Pacific Perks Coffee

Rebecca is the cofounder and CEO of Sweetbody Laboratories, Inc. A massage therapist by trade, Rebecca has spent the last decade or so building a successful private practice with her partner, Sweetbody's other cofounder, Debi Mann. Rebecca also has a BS in Business Admin/Logistics/Supply Chain, specifically logistics of information and where Marketing and Supply Chain Management intersect. Rebecca had 20+ years customer service experience and experience working in both large corporate and startup environments before she and Debi incorporated Sweetbody Laboratories.

Rebecca is the cofounder and CEO of Sweetbody Laboratories, Inc. A massage therapist by trade, Rebecca has spent the last decade or so building a successful private practice with her partner, Sweetbody's other cofounder, Debi Mann. Rebecca also has a BS in Business Admin/Logistics/Supply Chain, specifically logistics of information and where Marketing and Supply Chain Management intersect. Rebecca had 20+ years customer service experience and experience working in both large corporate and startup environments before she and Debi incorporated Sweetbody Laboratories.

Rebecca Knutson // Sweetbody Laboratories

In 2014, Cindy founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now her bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. Cindy teaches at two Portland colleges and visits private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the gospel of high-quality ingredients and time-honored technique. She gives people the confidence and knowledge to stir up a drink at home, experiment with tinctures or just more fully enjoy their food and beverage experiences.

In 2014, Cindy founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now her bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. Cindy teaches at two Portland colleges and visits private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the gospel of high-quality ingredients and time-honored technique. She gives people the confidence and knowledge to stir up a drink at home, experiment with tinctures or just more fully enjoy their food and beverage experiences.

Cindy Capparelli // Portland Bitters Project

As co-creator of Radical Pleasurist, Sophia is a Relationship & Intimacy Guide supporting courageous humans in having amazing relationships & intimacy with ease, joy, and pleasure. Sophia uses her passion and skills as a Yoga Instructor, trained therapist, master communicator, and community organizer to give her clients programs that completely re-program their nervous system, mind, body, and belief system. As a result of working with Sophia, you change your relationship with yourself and everyone around you so you feel free and courageous to be yourself and receive more love and joy. She has been creating events since 2014 and has changed the lives of 100s of people through her Radical Pleasure programs. [Heather will provide her biography as well]

As co-creator of Radical Pleasurist, Sophia is a Relationship & Intimacy Guide supporting courageous humans in having amazing relationships & intimacy with ease, joy, and pleasure. Sophia uses her passion and skills as a Yoga Instructor, trained therapist, master communicator, and community organizer to give her clients programs that completely re-program their nervous system, mind, body, and belief system. As a result of working with Sophia, you change your relationship with yourself and everyone around you so you feel free and courageous to be yourself and receive more love and joy. She has been creating events since 2014 and has changed the lives of 100s of people through her Radical Pleasure programs. [Heather will provide her biography as well]

Sophia Treyger // Radical Pleasurist

Hilary Shirk and Emily co-own Reco. They both work in marketing (Hilary is a marketing manager at adidas and Emily is the Business director at Happylucky). They excel in building strategic relationships and working to create and deliver the best possible product or service.

Hilary Shirk and Emily co-own Reco. They both work in marketing (Hilary is a marketing manager at adidas and Emily is the Business director at Happylucky). They excel in building strategic relationships and working to create and deliver the best possible product or service.

Emily Stutzman // RECO

Dr. Astrid J. Scholz is Managing Partner and CEO (“Chief Everything Officer”) of Sphaera, a system design and technology firm dedicated to co-creating global, distributed, democratic infrastructure for mobilizing data, innovations, and capital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Astrid was previously President of Ecotrust, a conservation-based development organization with $150M in AUM, where Sphaera was incubated. Astrid is a founding director of the XXcelerate Fund, a revolving loan fund and mentorship program created for and by women entrepreneurs that is piloting in her home state of Oregon, USA. She is also a founding director of Zebras Unite, a growing global community of founders, investors, and allies who are creating a more ethical, inclusive, collaborative, and sustainable approach to building businesses. Astrid holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Bristol, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Astrid J. Scholz is Managing Partner and CEO (“Chief Everything Officer”) of Sphaera, a system design and technology firm dedicated to co-creating global, distributed, democratic infrastructure for mobilizing data, innovations, and capital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Astrid was previously President of Ecotrust, a conservation-based development organization with $150M in AUM, where Sphaera was incubated. Astrid is a founding director of the XXcelerate Fund, a revolving loan fund and mentorship program created for and by women entrepreneurs that is piloting in her home state of Oregon, USA. She is also a founding director of Zebras Unite, a growing global community of founders, investors, and allies who are creating a more ethical, inclusive, collaborative, and sustainable approach to building businesses. Astrid holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Bristol, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Astrid Scholz // Sphaera Solutions

Debi is the Cofounder and President of Sweetbody Laboratories, Inc. A massage therapist by trade, Debi has spent the last decade or so building a successful private practice with her partner, Sweetbody's other cofounder, Rebecca Knutson. Debi also has a BS in Public Health, with a minor in Athletic Training. This education has aided Debi's massage skills in helping her clients stay active and reduce pain with massage. Sweetbody Laboratories was originally created to help our massage clients, and now we get to share it with everyone.

Debi is the Cofounder and President of Sweetbody Laboratories, Inc. A massage therapist by trade, Debi has spent the last decade or so building a successful private practice with her partner, Sweetbody's other cofounder, Rebecca Knutson. Debi also has a BS in Public Health, with a minor in Athletic Training. This education has aided Debi's massage skills in helping her clients stay active and reduce pain with massage. Sweetbody Laboratories was originally created to help our massage clients, and now we get to share it with everyone.


XXcelerator // COHORT 2

Bespoken Bureau connects audiences with ideas that matter. We represent a select roster of leaders, innovators, and rebels who will deliver the real talk your audience has been waiting for.

Bespoken Bureau connects audiences with ideas that matter. We represent a select roster of leaders, innovators, and rebels who will deliver the real talk your audience has been waiting for.

Amanda Dawson // Bespoken Bureau

Caregiven’s digital health platform guides families to the end-of-life support and services they need in order to spend less time overwhelmed with administrative tasks and more meaningful time with their loved-one.

Caregiven’s digital health platform guides families to the end-of-life support and services they need in order to spend less time overwhelmed with administrative tasks and more meaningful time with their loved-one.

Candice Smith // Caregiven 

Rebellious was founded with the principles that the client-agency relationship would be a true partnership, the work would be thoughtful, the standards would be high and the overall approach to PR would be BS-free. Rebellious PR has been going strong for almost three years under Evie’s thoughtful guidance. Prior to founding Rebellious, Evie worked at PR agencies in Portland and the Bay Area. She has worked with companies of every size – from Fortune 500 companies to edgy startups. There is nothing she can’t work her magic on. She has gotten clients coverage in just about every major publication from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Teen Vogue, Globe and Mail, The AV Club and much, much more.  Evie’s guiding principle is that everything starts and ends with the relationship. The relationship you have with your clients, the press, your team. At Rebellious Evie fosters safe, uplifting spaces for employees and do the dang work. She prides herself on having complete transparency and honesty with her team, clients and herself.  In her free time, Evie loves trying new things! From sports to food, and even new languages, she jumps in with both feet and a ton of optimism.

Rebellious was founded with the principles that the client-agency relationship would be a true partnership, the work would be thoughtful, the standards would be high and the overall approach to PR would be BS-free. Rebellious PR has been going strong for almost three years under Evie’s thoughtful guidance. Prior to founding Rebellious, Evie worked at PR agencies in Portland and the Bay Area. She has worked with companies of every size – from Fortune 500 companies to edgy startups. There is nothing she can’t work her magic on. She has gotten clients coverage in just about every major publication from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Teen Vogue, Globe and Mail, The AV Club and much, much more.

Evie’s guiding principle is that everything starts and ends with the relationship. The relationship you have with your clients, the press, your team. At Rebellious Evie fosters safe, uplifting spaces for employees and do the dang work. She prides herself on having complete transparency and honesty with her team, clients and herself.

In her free time, Evie loves trying new things! From sports to food, and even new languages, she jumps in with both feet and a ton of optimism.

Cook With What You Have (CWWYH) offers all the inspiration you need to enjoy delicious and nutritious food every day. The Seasonal Recipe Collection is a dynamic and intuitive digital platform that brings creativity and ease into the kitchen with recipes, tips and guidance to cook with what you have, saving time and money by not running to the store last minute. CWWYH centers community, culture, and pleasure around the table and the health and well-being that comes from those connections as well as from simple, delicious, seasonal food.  Katherine is a leader in the realm of food and well-being, focused on systemic and lasting change. An experienced teacher and presenter, her passion for food, community and overall health and nourishment is contagious. As the CEO of Cook With What You Have Katherine works in a variety of settings and types of clients to bring joy, ease and flexibility to people’s lives through a holistic approach to food and cooking.

Cook With What You Have (CWWYH) offers all the inspiration you need to enjoy delicious and nutritious food every day. The Seasonal Recipe Collection is a dynamic and intuitive digital platform that brings creativity and ease into the kitchen with recipes, tips and guidance to cook with what you have, saving time and money by not running to the store last minute. CWWYH centers community, culture, and pleasure around the table and the health and well-being that comes from those connections as well as from simple, delicious, seasonal food.

Katherine is a leader in the realm of food and well-being, focused on systemic and lasting change. An experienced teacher and presenter, her passion for food, community and overall health and nourishment is contagious. As the CEO of Cook With What You Have Katherine works in a variety of settings and types of clients to bring joy, ease and flexibility to people’s lives through a holistic approach to food and cooking.

Katherine Deumling // Cook With What You Have 

Kyra Bussanich is the pastry chef and entrepreneur behind Kyra’s Bake Shop located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Her bakery is exclusively gluten-free, winning awards and competitions—like the Food Network’s  Cupcake Wars —against traditional gluteny bakeries.  Kyra started her business after a debilitating autoimmune disease forced a choice: eliminate gluten and reduce the inflammation in her gut, or have surgery to remove portions of her intestines. For her, the choice was clear, though not easy. As a dedicated dessert lover, Kyra shed many tears over the prospect of only being able to eat the dry and tasteless gluten-free goodies that were available at the time. She determined to challenge the status quo, attending the Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program and figuring out how to apply classical French baking techniques to her extensive kitchen experimentation with alternative gluten-free flours.  The result: her award-winning bakery just outside of Portland, Oregon with more than 125 varieties of treats, including prize-winning cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, pies, and scones, and simple cafe fare, like housemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. Since she opened the bakery in 2009, she has gained notice from Huffington Post, USA Today, The Today Show, Food and Wine Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Shape Magazine, and more.  Currently she operates and develops all the creative ideas for her bakery, speaks at many national and entrepreneurial conferences, and continues to expand her business by adding new locations, putting together her franchise package, and consulting with local restaurants to develop and expand their gluten-free dessert menus.  Kyra’s favorite part of the job is playing with textures and flavors, and developing exotic-yet-approachable pastries that delight everyone who eat them.

Kyra Bussanich is the pastry chef and entrepreneur behind Kyra’s Bake Shop located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Her bakery is exclusively gluten-free, winning awards and competitions—like the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars—against traditional gluteny bakeries.

Kyra started her business after a debilitating autoimmune disease forced a choice: eliminate gluten and reduce the inflammation in her gut, or have surgery to remove portions of her intestines. For her, the choice was clear, though not easy. As a dedicated dessert lover, Kyra shed many tears over the prospect of only being able to eat the dry and tasteless gluten-free goodies that were available at the time. She determined to challenge the status quo, attending the Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program and figuring out how to apply classical French baking techniques to her extensive kitchen experimentation with alternative gluten-free flours.

The result: her award-winning bakery just outside of Portland, Oregon with more than 125 varieties of treats, including prize-winning cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, pies, and scones, and simple cafe fare, like housemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. Since she opened the bakery in 2009, she has gained notice from Huffington Post, USA Today, The Today Show, Food and Wine Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Shape Magazine, and more.

Currently she operates and develops all the creative ideas for her bakery, speaks at many national and entrepreneurial conferences, and continues to expand her business by adding new locations, putting together her franchise package, and consulting with local restaurants to develop and expand their gluten-free dessert menus.

Kyra’s favorite part of the job is playing with textures and flavors, and developing exotic-yet-approachable pastries that delight everyone who eat them.

Kyra Bussanich // Kyra's Bake Shop

An accomplished food professional, Lani has been working in the culinary field for over 20 years as an educator, chef, entrepreneur, author and culinary ethnographer. She was a tenured professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where she taught and mentored young chefs for 11 years. She has a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz and a MA from Harvard University, where she studied food as a marker of identity. Her career is punctuated by a deep and continued commitment to creating delicious and nutritious food while working on issues of sustainability and food ethics, equity and culture. She was co-leader for Slow Food Hudson Valley for many years and continues to have strong ties with professional affiliations committed to issues of sustainability, food access and preserving rural life and food cultures across the globe. She lives in Portland, OR. Lani has been creating, cooking and delighting palates with NOBULL varieties since 2011.

An accomplished food professional, Lani has been working in the culinary field for over 20 years as an educator, chef, entrepreneur, author and culinary ethnographer. She was a tenured professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where she taught and mentored young chefs for 11 years. She has a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz and a MA from Harvard University, where she studied food as a marker of identity.
Her career is punctuated by a deep and continued commitment to creating delicious and nutritious food while working on issues of sustainability and food ethics, equity and culture. She was co-leader for Slow Food Hudson Valley for many years and continues to have strong ties with professional affiliations committed to issues of sustainability, food access and preserving rural life and food cultures across the globe. She lives in Portland, OR. Lani has been creating, cooking and delighting palates with NOBULL varieties since 2011.

Lani Raider // NOBULL Specialty Foods

Lora and the Lora Dicarlo team are developing the next great sex toy. Lora has years of experience in healthcare, a special interest in female physiology, a passion for confronting that awkward conversation, and a dream of eradicating social and sexual stigmas. Their unique combination of healthcare expertise, top-notch engineering talent and capabilities, knowledge of the female erogenous zones, and passion for healthy, sex-positive interactions has previously been missing in the joy tech industry.  Their introductory product, Osé uses the latest robotic and biomimetic technology to create the first ever hands-free, realistic and effective blended orgasm device on the market. This is the first biomimetic robotic stimulator, intelligently designed with the vagina's physiology in mind and engineered by a team with a keen eye for design, quality, and beauty, and especially function. Their partnership with the talented engineers (many, women) in the Oregon State University College of Engineering Prototype Development Laboratory, has brought Oregon-based research and engineering expertise in mechanical engineering and robotics necessary to miniaturize and create the biomimetic motions required to pull this product together.

Lora and the Lora Dicarlo team are developing the next great sex toy. Lora has years of experience in healthcare, a special interest in female physiology, a passion for confronting that awkward conversation, and a dream of eradicating social and sexual stigmas. Their unique combination of healthcare expertise, top-notch engineering talent and capabilities, knowledge of the female erogenous zones, and passion for healthy, sex-positive interactions has previously been missing in the joy tech industry.

Their introductory product, Osé uses the latest robotic and biomimetic technology to create the first ever hands-free, realistic and effective blended orgasm device on the market. This is the first biomimetic robotic stimulator, intelligently designed with the vagina's physiology in mind and engineered by a team with a keen eye for design, quality, and beauty, and especially function. Their partnership with the talented engineers (many, women) in the Oregon State University College of Engineering Prototype Development Laboratory, has brought Oregon-based research and engineering expertise in mechanical engineering and robotics necessary to miniaturize and create the biomimetic motions required to pull this product together.

Lora Haddock // Lora DiCarlo

Miriam Vareldzis, founder/creative director of PALETTE NATURALS® has been intimately involved with fragrance development and natural perfumery from deep within the fragrance industry in New York City to the birthplace of the Indie & Niche Perfumery movement on the west coast of the USA.  With her newest venture, Palette Naturals®, a line of 100% natural perfumery blending accords, she is dedicated to bringing 100% natural perfumery and ingredient transparency to the world of scent & beauty formulation.

Miriam Vareldzis, founder/creative director of PALETTE NATURALS® has been intimately involved with fragrance development and natural perfumery from deep within the fragrance industry in New York City to the birthplace of the Indie & Niche Perfumery movement on the west coast of the USA.

With her newest venture, Palette Naturals®, a line of 100% natural perfumery blending accords, she is dedicated to bringing 100% natural perfumery and ingredient transparency to the world of scent & beauty formulation.

Miriam L Vareldzis // Palette Naturals

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Reva Barewal // Savorease

Since 2010, Scarlet Chamberlin Styling Co. has helped over 500 vibrant individuals uncover their signature style by shepherding them through the wardrobe transformation process. Scarlet can meet at a client's home, in her Portland studio, on a shopping trip, or at a photoshoot; she also offers online wardrobe management tools.       The studio is spacious and uplifting, the creative vibe is palpable. Located in a historic brick building in downtown Portland, the aesthetic is open, light, and modern with accents of warm copper and reclaimed wood. Scarlet curates limited quantities of her favorite finds offered by a handful of independent designers and collectors. It’s a one-of-a-kind venue to host events and style groups, jam with clients, or collaborate with photographers, designers, and other creatives.     Shunning ‘fast fashion’, we practice sustainable luxury at Scarlet Chamberlin Styling Co. We consider the entire clothing lifecycle by promoting ethically-made, quality items. Buying new isn’t the sole option: think quality consignment shops and our annual clothing exchange. Clever alteration may spare an item from the discard pile. Clients can buy directly from the source at our designer trunk shows, and to date, clients have purchased over $1 million in pieces from local designers and boutiques. We provide tools and teach skills to pamper apparel so it stays in mint condition as long as possible. And the items our clients release during their closet sorts? Organizations like Rose Haven and Dress for Success are grateful beneficiaries.

Since 2010, Scarlet Chamberlin Styling Co. has helped over 500 vibrant individuals uncover their signature style by shepherding them through the wardrobe transformation process. Scarlet can meet at a client's home, in her Portland studio, on a shopping trip, or at a photoshoot; she also offers online wardrobe management tools.


The studio is spacious and uplifting, the creative vibe is palpable. Located in a historic brick building in downtown Portland, the aesthetic is open, light, and modern with accents of warm copper and reclaimed wood. Scarlet curates limited quantities of her favorite finds offered by a handful of independent designers and collectors. It’s a one-of-a-kind venue to host events and style groups, jam with clients, or collaborate with photographers, designers, and other creatives.


Shunning ‘fast fashion’, we practice sustainable luxury at Scarlet Chamberlin Styling Co. We consider the entire clothing lifecycle by promoting ethically-made, quality items. Buying new isn’t the sole option: think quality consignment shops and our annual clothing exchange. Clever alteration may spare an item from the discard pile. Clients can buy directly from the source at our designer trunk shows, and to date, clients have purchased over $1 million in pieces from local designers and boutiques. We provide tools and teach skills to pamper apparel so it stays in mint condition as long as possible. And the items our clients release during their closet sorts? Organizations like Rose Haven and Dress for Success are grateful beneficiaries.

Scarlet Chamberlin // Scarlet Chamberlin Styling Co. 

InReach Solutions was founded to raise the capacity of social workers to take care of administrative tasks, to refocus their energies on the people and missions they serve.

InReach Solutions was founded to raise the capacity of social workers to take care of administrative tasks, to refocus their energies on the people and missions they serve.

Stefanie Zasyatkina // InReach Solutions

Walker Tracker helps organizations build wellness into their culture. They believe that wellbeing and community are mission critical for any organization and its people. Walker Tracker was one of the first corporate wellness challenge platforms to market and has over a decade of experience in corporate wellness initiatives working with Fortune 100 companies, small businesses, education systems, government agencies, health plans, insurance brokers, and communities.  Taylor Welsh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Walker Tracker. With over 10 years of background in wellness and health education, her mission is to inspire organizations to empower their members and their business to thrive. Beside her is a team of skilled professionals with a passion for wellness who drive their internal culture of fun, support, and incredibly hard work. “I’ve seen first hand what culture can do for (or to) a company and I couldn’t be more grateful to have this team to walk this journey with.”

Walker Tracker helps organizations build wellness into their culture. They believe that wellbeing and community are mission critical for any organization and its people. Walker Tracker was one of the first corporate wellness challenge platforms to market and has over a decade of experience in corporate wellness initiatives working with Fortune 100 companies, small businesses, education systems, government agencies, health plans, insurance brokers, and communities.

Taylor Welsh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Walker Tracker. With over 10 years of background in wellness and health education, her mission is to inspire organizations to empower their members and their business to thrive. Beside her is a team of skilled professionals with a passion for wellness who drive their internal culture of fun, support, and incredibly hard work. “I’ve seen first hand what culture can do for (or to) a company and I couldn’t be more grateful to have this team to walk this journey with.”

Taylor Welsh // Walker Tracker

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XXcelerator // COHORT 1

Amanda is a food adventurist, self-proclaimed anthropologist, humanitarian activist, bodybuilder, founder and inventor of VOXA POD™, with a background in sales and entrepreneurship.  VOXA POD™ is a thoughtfully innovated menstrual cup for active women. Menstrual cups are a healthier, more eco-responsible alternative to tampons that offer longer leak-free protection and ultimate comfort. With the profits from sales in the United States, VOXA POD™ will fuel its social initiative to help girls in developing countries stay in school after they start their period. We are the purveyors of period management that fits your lifestyle and changes the world in the process.

Amanda is a food adventurist, self-proclaimed anthropologist, humanitarian activist, bodybuilder, founder and inventor of VOXA POD™, with a background in sales and entrepreneurship.

VOXA POD™ is a thoughtfully innovated menstrual cup for active women. Menstrual cups are a healthier, more eco-responsible alternative to tampons that offer longer leak-free protection and ultimate comfort. With the profits from sales in the United States, VOXA POD™ will fuel its social initiative to help girls in developing countries stay in school after they start their period. We are the purveyors of period management that fits your lifestyle and changes the world in the process.

Amanda Wilson // VOXA POD™ 

Barbara Fisher is the CEO of Fisher Business Management. Fisher works to create a partnership with some of the fastest growing restaurants, law firms, and service business entrepreneurs in Portland. Fisher clients’ annual sales range from $250K to $20M. As a trusted partner, Fisher helps clients grow their businesses by maintaining their financial integrity, thus freeing both management and staff to focus on serving their patrons and clients, developing new products and services. Her current business challenges are centered around her global delivery model and developing her digital strategies. Barb hails from Portland, Oregon as a native. She was born on Mt. Tabor, and graduated from the University of Oregon. She completed her MBA in 2003, and had her first son shortly thereafter. She currently enjoys living in the city, raising 2 middle school aged sons, reading, power lifting and volunteering as a Rotarian.

Barbara Fisher is the CEO of Fisher Business Management. Fisher works to create a partnership with some of the fastest growing restaurants, law firms, and service business entrepreneurs in Portland. Fisher clients’ annual sales range from $250K to $20M. As a trusted partner, Fisher helps clients grow their businesses by maintaining their financial integrity, thus freeing both management and staff to focus on serving their patrons and clients, developing new products and services. Her current business challenges are centered around her global delivery model and developing her digital strategies. Barb hails from Portland, Oregon as a native. She was born on Mt. Tabor, and graduated from the University of Oregon. She completed her MBA in 2003, and had her first son shortly thereafter. She currently enjoys living in the city, raising 2 middle school aged sons, reading, power lifting and volunteering as a Rotarian.

Barbara Fisher // Fisher Business Management

Chaunci King founded Royalty Spirits in 2013 with the motivation of filling the gap in the market for flavored vodka tailored to women. This led to the debut of her first product, Miru 80 Proof Pear Vodka, in 2014.  Royalty Spirits recently launched Miru Classic Vodka and Rex Whiskey. Their spirits are made deep within the mountains of Oregon and purified in one of the finest distilleries in the Pacific Northwest.

Chaunci King founded Royalty Spirits in 2013 with the motivation of filling the gap in the market for flavored vodka tailored to women. This led to the debut of her first product, Miru 80 Proof Pear Vodka, in 2014.

Royalty Spirits recently launched Miru Classic Vodka and Rex Whiskey. Their spirits are made deep within the mountains of Oregon and purified in one of the finest distilleries in the Pacific Northwest.

Chaunci King // Royalty Spirits

Ground Up is a for-profit business intent on training disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious & nutritious nut butters! We take a holistic approach to empowerment, offering personal development services and mentoring during the workday. Our goal is for women to engage in creative self-expression with the hope of gaining confidence and realizing their full potential. Women will work with us for 6-9 months and then transition into full-time employment at Portland-area businesses.  Carolyn has been making and selling nut butters for years to friends and family, and has been perfecting her unique recipe. After developing a passion for nutrition and wellness through dealing with her own health issues, she began to notice a gap in the marketplace for nut butters made with simple ingredients, original flavorings, and without the addition of sugar, peanuts and other additives. Carolyn has a business degree from Babson. Her favorite Ground Up flavor is Lavender Honey—it's delicious swirled into oatmeal or added to morning smoothies!

Ground Up is a for-profit business intent on training disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious & nutritious nut butters! We take a holistic approach to empowerment, offering personal development services and mentoring during the workday. Our goal is for women to engage in creative self-expression with the hope of gaining confidence and realizing their full potential. Women will work with us for 6-9 months and then transition into full-time employment at Portland-area businesses.

Carolyn has been making and selling nut butters for years to friends and family, and has been perfecting her unique recipe. After developing a passion for nutrition and wellness through dealing with her own health issues, she began to notice a gap in the marketplace for nut butters made with simple ingredients, original flavorings, and without the addition of sugar, peanuts and other additives. Carolyn has a business degree from Babson. Her favorite Ground Up flavor is Lavender Honey—it's delicious swirled into oatmeal or added to morning smoothies!

Carolyn Cesario // Ground Up 

In December 2010, Chi Nguyen-Ventura set out to create a paradigm shift in an antiquated, carbon-heavy industry of automotive maintenance. AutoMedic, Inc. has been a labor of love for Chi. She has been at the helm over the last 8 years of this MWBE/ESB/DBE certified business striving to creating living wage jobs, bringing respect back to the front line, and seeking to empower the frontline staff with the principle of "lifting as we rise." Chi was a first-generation American who immigrated from Vietnam as a political refugee. She is a self-proclaimed "proud product of Portland Public Schools" and thankful for a Presidential Scholarship went on to receive her Honors Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University before her MBA with Honors from Willamette University-Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Aside from founding her startup, she also serves as a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University.

In December 2010, Chi Nguyen-Ventura set out to create a paradigm shift in an antiquated, carbon-heavy industry of automotive maintenance. AutoMedic, Inc. has been a labor of love for Chi. She has been at the helm over the last 8 years of this MWBE/ESB/DBE certified business striving to creating living wage jobs, bringing respect back to the front line, and seeking to empower the frontline staff with the principle of "lifting as we rise." Chi was a first-generation American who immigrated from Vietnam as a political refugee. She is a self-proclaimed "proud product of Portland Public Schools" and thankful for a Presidential Scholarship went on to receive her Honors Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University before her MBA with Honors from Willamette University-Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Aside from founding her startup, she also serves as a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University.

Chi Nguyen-Ventura // AutoMedic

Christa King is the CEO & Founder of Fitlandia. She’s also a recovered dieter. After reaching her highest weight of 192, she hit a wall and was determined to crack her own code for a making a healthier lifestyle change. Leaving a successful, 23-yr career in hospitality behind, she became a certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and nutritional therapist. By putting these pieces together, she saw what was truly missing in the diet and fitness industry: a holistic approach that starts with strengthening the mind. Her signature Mind Zoning® process helps people create new neural pathways in the brain to enable them to make a permanent, lifestyle change.

Christa King is the CEO & Founder of Fitlandia. She’s also a recovered dieter. After reaching her highest weight of 192, she hit a wall and was determined to crack her own code for a making a healthier lifestyle change. Leaving a successful, 23-yr career in hospitality behind, she became a certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and nutritional therapist. By putting these pieces together, she saw what was truly missing in the diet and fitness industry: a holistic approach that starts with strengthening the mind. Her signature Mind Zoning® process helps people create new neural pathways in the brain to enable them to make a permanent, lifestyle change.

Christa King // Fitlandia

They say I'm a dreamer, but I know I'm not the only one. I'm on a mission to inspire women all over the world to understand the value of building long term business relationships based on MOXIE values.  I'm a life enthusiast, spending my days serving as a trusted advisor & Realtor in Portland, OR. Looking for real estate advice? Even if you're not in Portland (wink wink) I have a HUGE global network of kickass Realtors. Reach out, I'll give you a quality introduction in your area.  I'm a connector & magic genie wish granter. I like to be in the spotlight but I shine it around on everyone who comes in my sandbox to play. Friend me on Facebook, let's find how we can inspire & help other.

They say I'm a dreamer, but I know I'm not the only one. I'm on a mission to inspire women all over the world to understand the value of building long term business relationships based on MOXIE values.

I'm a life enthusiast, spending my days serving as a trusted advisor & Realtor in Portland, OR. Looking for real estate advice? Even if you're not in Portland (wink wink) I have a HUGE global network of kickass Realtors. Reach out, I'll give you a quality introduction in your area.

I'm a connector & magic genie wish granter. I like to be in the spotlight but I shine it around on everyone who comes in my sandbox to play. Friend me on Facebook, let's find how we can inspire & help other.

Dill Ward // Women with Moxie

In 2015, Farah made the decision to leave a traditional career in consulting to wander off to Portland, OR to learn about coffee. In a land of meticulously curated coffee, she quickly found a lack of high quality chai to match. A little while later, she co-founded One Stripe Chai Co, a small-batch chai concentrate brewed and bottled in Southeast Portland. One Stripe is bold and spicy, using freshly ground organic spices, and the spice is perfectly balanced with local honey and palm sugar. Wholesale operations have been in place for two year and the company is growing into the retail space currently. One Stripe strives to provide a bold and spicy chai at home or on the go!

In 2015, Farah made the decision to leave a traditional career in consulting to wander off to Portland, OR to learn about coffee. In a land of meticulously curated coffee, she quickly found a lack of high quality chai to match. A little while later, she co-founded One Stripe Chai Co, a small-batch chai concentrate brewed and bottled in Southeast Portland. One Stripe is bold and spicy, using freshly ground organic spices, and the spice is perfectly balanced with local honey and palm sugar. Wholesale operations have been in place for two year and the company is growing into the retail space currently. One Stripe strives to provide a bold and spicy chai at home or on the go!

Farah Jesani // One Stripe Chai Co.

My name is Jennifer and I'm an SF native who now calls Portland home. I'm a daughter of immigrants - proud of my roots and celebrate two cultures. I'm equal parts right brain and left brain. With a background in interior design and retail operations and management this came in handy. I'm the curator and founder of Vía Raíz - a place where Mexican craftsmanship meets modern design. I work with highly skilled makers and innovative designers who are reinterpreting traditional Mexican craft - bridging the divide between ancestral craft and contemporary design. As a lifestyle brand, Vía Raíz offers the customer the ability to explore this new burgeoning culture and movement that is happening in Mexico. We offer something that many customers are looking for - thoughtful design, authenticity and transparency. We carefully curate a selection of home accessories, kitchenware, tabletop, books, jewelry, and so much more.

My name is Jennifer and I'm an SF native who now calls Portland home. I'm a daughter of immigrants - proud of my roots and celebrate two cultures. I'm equal parts right brain and left brain. With a background in interior design and retail operations and management this came in handy. I'm the curator and founder of Vía Raíz - a place where Mexican craftsmanship meets modern design. I work with highly skilled makers and innovative designers who are reinterpreting traditional Mexican craft - bridging the divide between ancestral craft and contemporary design. As a lifestyle brand, Vía Raíz offers the customer the ability to explore this new burgeoning culture and movement that is happening in Mexico. We offer something that many customers are looking for - thoughtful design, authenticity and transparency. We carefully curate a selection of home accessories, kitchenware, tabletop, books, jewelry, and so much more.

Jennifer Bolanos // Vía Raíz

I founded Roger That to solve problems I experienced sitting on the client side of the creative table many times over the years: quality of deliverables and delivery of service was inconsistent and it took way too long to get a creative project to completion. The Roger That Brand Sprint consistently delights our clients by solving problems of quality, service, and velocity. We deliver branded websites that give our clients instant credibility and attract the right customer. And, we deliver it in 3-6 weeks.  With a career that spans two decades, four continents and multiple industries I bring an unusual depth and breadth of experience to my work. I got started working for Fortune 50 and 500 companies in healthcare. Since then, I've gained hands-on experience in technology, food, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, media and journalism, nonprofit, international development, and more. I currently serve as an advisory board member with Oregon MESA and served as a board member for Friends of the Oregon Commission for Women.

I founded Roger That to solve problems I experienced sitting on the client side of the creative table many times over the years: quality of deliverables and delivery of service was inconsistent and it took way too long to get a creative project to completion. The Roger That Brand Sprint consistently delights our clients by solving problems of quality, service, and velocity. We deliver branded websites that give our clients instant credibility and attract the right customer. And, we deliver it in 3-6 weeks.

With a career that spans two decades, four continents and multiple industries I bring an unusual depth and breadth of experience to my work. I got started working for Fortune 50 and 500 companies in healthcare. Since then, I've gained hands-on experience in technology, food, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, media and journalism, nonprofit, international development, and more. I currently serve as an advisory board member with Oregon MESA and served as a board member for Friends of the Oregon Commission for Women.

Jennifer Ruwart // Roger That

Freeland Spirits is Portland’s new craft distillery. Freeland is named after my Meemaw (that’s what we call grandmas in Texas) Freeland, who never touched a drop of booze in her life but taught me that all good things come from scratch. And that women can be anything they want.  Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer. Freeland Spirits is one of very few women owned and run distilleries in history.  In December 2017, we are launching Freeland Spirits Gin, crafted by hand in small batches. A traditional copper pot still brings juniper and 13 other botanicals to life. Meanwhile, a state of the art vacuum still cajoles quieter flavors including fresh cucumber, honey, rosemary, mint and thyme. Yes, delicious in cocktails. But we suggest sipping it with just a cube of ice. Whiskey is coming. We can’t say when – that’s up to the whiskey.

Freeland Spirits is Portland’s new craft distillery. Freeland is named after my Meemaw (that’s what we call grandmas in Texas) Freeland, who never touched a drop of booze in her life but taught me that all good things come from scratch. And that women can be anything they want.

Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer. Freeland Spirits is one of very few women owned and run distilleries in history.

In December 2017, we are launching Freeland Spirits Gin, crafted by hand in small batches. A traditional copper pot still brings juniper and 13 other botanicals to life. Meanwhile, a state of the art vacuum still cajoles quieter flavors including fresh cucumber, honey, rosemary, mint and thyme. Yes, delicious in cocktails. But we suggest sipping it with just a cube of ice. Whiskey is coming. We can’t say when – that’s up to the whiskey.

Jill Kuehler // Freeland Spirits

Kateigh Williams is a cofounder and the CEO of Heritage Laboratories, an ingestible skincare brand providing holistic skin nutrition in the form of nutritional supplements. For over a decade, Williams has been building and launching premium and luxury brands in the fashion and lifestyle space in Los Angeles, New York and across Europe.

Heritage Laboratories is a skincare supplement company, initially targeting affluent Asian American women. We're inspired by the time-honored tradition of eating with health and beauty in mind, that's been customary for thousands of years in Asia. In celebration of this daily ritual, Heritage Laboratories is modernizing the tradition through a new form of ingestible skincare - created to give brighter, firmer and more hydrated skin - naturally, from the inside out. Having grown up between the US and Hong Kong, Williams is intimately familiar with the wants, needs and consumer behaviors of this target market. Understanding the psychology of her cultural preferences, media exposure and product usage, Heritage Laboratories is poised to scale into a global brand that commands both customer loyalty and future brand acquisition.

Kateigh Williams // Heritage Laboratories

What started as a creative outlet while earning her mechanical engineering degree is a now full-time venture for Portland native Kayin Talton Davis. Her business, Soapbox Theory, sells cards, tote bags, pillows, T-shirts, and much more, all adorned with Talton Davis' illustrations of Black community—art that she first started drawing in the margins of her class notes.  Talton Davis recalls that as she was growing up there were not a lot of people who looked like her in the books she read in school, and images in the media. So she began creating her own representations. That same passion to represent the under-represented started Talton Davis on the path to engineering. On a field trip in middle school Talton Davis met a woman who was a mechanical engineer designing children's prosthetics. She was immediately inspired. "I knew I wanted to create something that was positive, helpful and accessible to all."  Standing among her colorful creations she looks proud, accomplished, and at home. "It is incredibly fun seeing kids react to my artwork," she says. "The moment they say, 'he/she looks like me!' is when it is reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing."  Kayin is a 2017 winner of PitchBlack.

What started as a creative outlet while earning her mechanical engineering degree is a now full-time venture for Portland native Kayin Talton Davis. Her business, Soapbox Theory, sells cards, tote bags, pillows, T-shirts, and much more, all adorned with Talton Davis' illustrations of Black community—art that she first started drawing in the margins of her class notes.

Talton Davis recalls that as she was growing up there were not a lot of people who looked like her in the books she read in school, and images in the media. So she began creating her own representations. That same passion to represent the under-represented started Talton Davis on the path to engineering. On a field trip in middle school Talton Davis met a woman who was a mechanical engineer designing children's prosthetics. She was immediately inspired. "I knew I wanted to create something that was positive, helpful and accessible to all."

Standing among her colorful creations she looks proud, accomplished, and at home. "It is incredibly fun seeing kids react to my artwork," she says. "The moment they say, 'he/she looks like me!' is when it is reaffirmed that I am doing the right thing."

Kayin is a 2017 winner of PitchBlack.

Kayin Talton Davis // Soapbox Theory

Spela Cosmetics is a Portland, Oregon based company committed to creating high quality cosmetics in formulas that are vegan, cruelty free, and non-toxic. Spela launched in October 2016 with a line of matte liquid lipsticks, and has enjoyed widespread distribution in its first year of operations including partnerships with Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Free People. Spela is actively researching new products to expand their range while staying committed to the core principles that guide our company.  Maryam Behrouzi, Spela's Founder and CEO, first fell in love with cosmetics while in High School as part of the Makeup Crew that provided all makeup for drama and fashion productions. It was then that she first thought of creating a cosmetics line, but put it aside to pursue other goals. After several years working as an Attorney, Maryam decided to pursue her dream of starting a beauty label, but now with the guiding values she's developed of creating a high quality product that you can feel great about using.

Spela Cosmetics is a Portland, Oregon based company committed to creating high quality cosmetics in formulas that are vegan, cruelty free, and non-toxic. Spela launched in October 2016 with a line of matte liquid lipsticks, and has enjoyed widespread distribution in its first year of operations including partnerships with Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Free People. Spela is actively researching new products to expand their range while staying committed to the core principles that guide our company.

Maryam Behrouzi, Spela's Founder and CEO, first fell in love with cosmetics while in High School as part of the Makeup Crew that provided all makeup for drama and fashion productions. It was then that she first thought of creating a cosmetics line, but put it aside to pursue other goals. After several years working as an Attorney, Maryam decided to pursue her dream of starting a beauty label, but now with the guiding values she's developed of creating a high quality product that you can feel great about using.

Maryam Behrouzi // Spela Cosmetics

I have a varied and interesting past. I was born, raised and educated in the deep south, between Houston, New Orleans and Austin. I have degrees in engineering and architecture and had a career in product design. Ultimately I landed my dream job as a snowboard designer for K2. In 2005 I suffered a paralyzing injury. After some soul searching I decided to pursue another dream: having my own business. In late 2013 I started Lola’s. In the Fall of 2015 I quit my job and dedicated myself full time to the business. It is now Fall of 2017, and Lola’s is ready to scale!

I have a varied and interesting past. I was born, raised and educated in the deep south, between Houston, New Orleans and Austin. I have degrees in engineering and architecture and had a career in product design. Ultimately I landed my dream job as a snowboard designer for K2. In 2005 I suffered a paralyzing injury. After some soul searching I decided to pursue another dream: having my own business. In late 2013 I started Lola’s. In the Fall of 2015 I quit my job and dedicated myself full time to the business. It is now Fall of 2017, and Lola’s is ready to scale!

Molly Rogers // Lola's Fruit Shrubs

Monica Borrell has founded and led a variety of companies from gourmet foods to data warehousing software.  She is currently the CEO of Cardsmith. Sticky-notes have been used by teams for years for visual collaboration, communication and productivity. Cardsmith brings the Flexibility and Simplicity of Sticky-notes and whiteboards to Agile teams working in a remote capacity.

Monica Borrell has founded and led a variety of companies from gourmet foods to data warehousing software.

She is currently the CEO of Cardsmith. Sticky-notes have been used by teams for years for visual collaboration, communication and productivity. Cardsmith brings the Flexibility and Simplicity of Sticky-notes and whiteboards to Agile teams working in a remote capacity.

Monica Borrell // Cardsmith

Paola is a proven technology executive with more than 20 years of experience in leading organizations both at startups and established companies. She’s run everything from product teams at Intel developing first generation wireless and cloud solutions to startup dev teams in the wireless space. The seeds of the idea for Nouvola were planted when she was director of Software for Intel’s Data Center Group, where she worked on solving scalability issues for companies like Facebook.

Nouvola is leading innovation in web/mobile/API performance testing, offering a native cloud-based turnkey solution. Nouvola's flagship product, DiveCloud, readily scales to meet the needs of Fortune 1000 enterprises, and it's not hard to see why. To your customers, your site (or app) is the real-time embodiment of your brand. And in today's increasingly fast-paced, mobile world, speed is "Feature #1".

Paola Moretto // Nouvola

Happy Birthwear is founded and designed by Sarah Livingstone. Sarah married her skills as a professional fashion designer and doula to create apparel that provides functionality, support, comfort and style during labor and birth. While assisting in births as a doula, Sarah witnessed her clients were not getting their needs met with the traditional hospital gown, which was poorly designed for labor and birth. She believed women deserved better on this important day of their lives and created a new category of apparel, birthwear, to solve this problem. After many prototypes and testing, Happy Birthwear came to life and has prospered.

Happy Birthwear is founded and designed by Sarah Livingstone. Sarah married her skills as a professional fashion designer and doula to create apparel that provides functionality, support, comfort and style during labor and birth. While assisting in births as a doula, Sarah witnessed her clients were not getting their needs met with the traditional hospital gown, which was poorly designed for labor and birth. She believed women deserved better on this important day of their lives and created a new category of apparel, birthwear, to solve this problem. After many prototypes and testing, Happy Birthwear came to life and has prospered.

Sarah Livingstone // Happy Birthwear

Shannon is one of the Co-Founders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. and manages operations, supply chain, and R&D. She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and have grown the company from 3 stores and 3 products in May 2013 to over 2400 stores nationally and 11 products in Oct 2017. Shannon also holds Bachelors Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from UC San Diego and enjoys running 100 mile trail races.

Shannon is one of the Co-Founders of Red Duck Foods, Inc. and manages operations, supply chain, and R&D. She and two classmates started the company while earning their MBAs at the University of Oregon and have grown the company from 3 stores and 3 products in May 2013 to over 2400 stores nationally and 11 products in Oct 2017. Shannon also holds Bachelors Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from UC San Diego and enjoys running 100 mile trail races.

WOMBneuro.science inspires women to cultivate their talents and abilities for everyday creativity, every phase of their cycle. Founder Shara Raqs, a leading expert on creativity and menstrual cycles, designs WOMB's cognitive training programs in collaboration with a team of curious cycle trackers, neuroscience researchers and women's health specialists. Ms. Raqs has extensive experience in fine arts, performing arts, creative IT, product/brand management, research and technology start-up. Before founding WOMB, she mastered the art of mindfulness through body awareness as a professional dancer. And before dance, she led technology projects at startups and ad agencies for clients including AT&T and Adobe. Her insatiable research interests include patterns in nature, neurobiological origins of the Muse and peak performance phenomena like flow.

WOMBneuro.science inspires women to cultivate their talents and abilities for everyday creativity, every phase of their cycle. Founder Shara Raqs, a leading expert on creativity and menstrual cycles, designs WOMB's cognitive training programs in collaboration with a team of curious cycle trackers, neuroscience researchers and women's health specialists. Ms. Raqs has extensive experience in fine arts, performing arts, creative IT, product/brand management, research and technology start-up. Before founding WOMB, she mastered the art of mindfulness through body awareness as a professional dancer. And before dance, she led technology projects at startups and ad agencies for clients including AT&T and Adobe. Her insatiable research interests include patterns in nature, neurobiological origins of the Muse and peak performance phenomena like flow.

Shara Raqs // WOMB

Shannon Oliver // Red Duck Foods

Tech Talent Link was founded in 2014 by Susan Robinson from her passion for successfully connecting companies with excellent technology focused professionals. With a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Systems Management and an MBA, Susan started her career as a software developer working her way up to a Project Manager. Almost 20 years ago she entered the staffing world where she has enjoyed working ever since. Tech Talent Link’s utilizes Persistent Recruiting to identify qualified candidates and an 11 step Talent Acquisition process to ensure the process goes smoothly for both clients and candidates.

Tech Talent Link was founded in 2014 by Susan Robinson from her passion for successfully connecting companies with excellent technology focused professionals. With a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Systems Management and an MBA, Susan started her career as a software developer working her way up to a Project Manager. Almost 20 years ago she entered the staffing world where she has enjoyed working ever since. Tech Talent Link’s utilizes Persistent Recruiting to identify qualified candidates and an 11 step Talent Acquisition process to ensure the process goes smoothly for both clients and candidates.

Susan Robinson // Tech Talent Link

Talena has been working with non-profit organizations on fundraising strategy and events for 15 years, having raised millions of dollars for charities and their world-changing missions. She is passionate about philanthropy and designing tools to make it easier for businesses give meaningfully and strategically and to lessen the barriers to success and mutual communication across the giving lifecycle for charities and donors alike.  Mission Limelight provides a suite of solutions that help non-profits raise more money for their cause, and businesses drive greater success by dovetailing their philanthropic and marketing goals and telling the true story of how their giving has social impact. Mission Limelight recently launched their first solution online, the Mission Limelight Exchange, which helps non-profits raise more money by exchanging locally-sourced auction packages that fail to excite their local audiences, with other non-profits across the country. This powerful tool revamps fundraising auction lineups to build exponentially greater auction attendance, enthusiasm and fundraising capability. The Mission Limelight team recently presented at the Bend Venture Conference as a finalist in the Early Stage category, and successfully completed an entrepreneurship program through TiE Oregon.

Talena has been working with non-profit organizations on fundraising strategy and events for 15 years, having raised millions of dollars for charities and their world-changing missions. She is passionate about philanthropy and designing tools to make it easier for businesses give meaningfully and strategically and to lessen the barriers to success and mutual communication across the giving lifecycle for charities and donors alike.

Mission Limelight provides a suite of solutions that help non-profits raise more money for their cause, and businesses drive greater success by dovetailing their philanthropic and marketing goals and telling the true story of how their giving has social impact. Mission Limelight recently launched their first solution online, the Mission Limelight Exchange, which helps non-profits raise more money by exchanging locally-sourced auction packages that fail to excite their local audiences, with other non-profits across the country. This powerful tool revamps fundraising auction lineups to build exponentially greater auction attendance, enthusiasm and fundraising capability. The Mission Limelight team recently presented at the Bend Venture Conference as a finalist in the Early Stage category, and successfully completed an entrepreneurship program through TiE Oregon.

Talena Barker // Mission Limelight

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