#SVFWIT19  #SVFWomenTechFest 


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About the Women in Tech Festival

Five years strong – and we’re far from being done.
Welcome to the Fifth Anniversary of Silicon Valley Forum’s annual Women in Tech Festival!

Silicon Valley Forum’s Women in Tech Festival celebrates women in tech, STEM, and business careers who work to inspire, engage, and empower other women. Since the inaugural event in 2015, the Women in Tech Festival has encouraged women – and men who support the advancement of women – to join together for two full days of inspiring talks, startup pitches, thought-provoking discussions, and educational workshops. At the Women in Tech Festival, you’ll create lasting connections and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive and fun environment. Get my ticket

Two Great Ways to Take the Stage

The Women in Tech Festival isn’t just a networking event – it’s the story of our incredible community, both here in Silicon Valley and around the world. We’ve got two great ways to get involved:

Apply to pitch! We have just ten spots available for female-founded tech startups to pitch at Day One of the Festival – apply now to pitch!

Apply to speak or lead a workshop! The tech women network often runs on the strength of its hidden figures – if you’re a leader in your field, a powerful mentor, or you have an amazing story to tell, we want to meet you! Introduce yourself here.

#SVFWIT19: Fifth Anniversary


Video Talks

Watch all the talks from #SVFWIT18 under 'Videos'

Tanya Soman – The Importance of the Female Investor Perspective

Tanya Soman, Venture Partner at 500 Startups provides insights on what it means to be a female investor and why it is important to have more female investors.

Power Talk – Why Cultural Intelligence is Critical to Next-Gen Leadership

Yingying Li, Founder of Yingfluence is giving a power talk on ‘Why Cultural Intelligence is Critical to Next-Gen Leadership’ and what cultural

Female Founder Pitch – Caroline Lepron, Cookitoo

Caroline Lepron, Cofounder of Cookitoo. Cookitoo is an online marketplace where food professionals can list, search and book unused kitchen space in their area.

The Importance of Male Allies to Advance & Retain Women in Tech

Men play a significant role in improving conditions for women in technology, so enlisting men’s participation is vital for change efforts. This panel will

Female Founder Pitch – SunHee An, Lilly Cover

SunHee An, CEO & Founder of Lilly Cover. Lillycover is a healthcare platform that develops skincare device that help diagnose your skin.

Power Talk – Launch Your Business Through Equity Crowdfunding

Caroline Hofmann, COO, Republic is giving a power talk on ‘Launching Your Business Through Equity Crowdfunding’.

Female Founder Pitch – Megan Mokri, Byte Foods

Megan Mokri, CEO and Founder of Byte Foods. Byte is reinventing workplace eating through connected refrigerators, RFID technology and deliciously

Power Talk – The Changing Face of Venture Capital

Megan Holston-Alexander, Senior Associate at Unusual Ventures is giving a power talk on ‘The Changing Face of Venture Capital’

2018 Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Kristina Jones

Kristina Jones Co-Founder, Courtbuddy

Co-Founder, Courtbuddy

Tanya Soman

Tanya Soman Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Ooshma Garg

Ooshma Garg Founder & CEO, Gobble and Investment Partner, X Factor Ventures 

Jessica Naziri

Jessica Naziri Founder and CEO, TechSesh


Purnima Kochikar

Purnima Kochikar Director, Google Play, Apps and Games

Purnima has over 20 years of experience leading application development, marketing and technical-engineering management for startups and leading mobile companies.

Yun Freund

Yun Freund VP of Engineering, Equinix

VP of Software Engineering, GE Digital

Heather VanCura

Heather VanCura Director, JCP Program, Oracle

Director, Oracle

Denyse Cardozo

Denyse Cardozo CEO, Silicon Valley Forum

Denyse drives the goals and strategy for Silicon Valley Forum, with continued growth into international markets and innovation. She has coached hundreds of startups through the SVF pitch nights and programs.

Bill Reichert

Bill Reichert Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures

Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures

Shelly Kapoor-Collins

Shelly Kapoor-Collins Managing Partner, Shatter Fund

Managing Partner, Shatter Fund

Howie Diamond

Howie Diamond Managing Director, Ranch Ventures

Managing Director, Ranch Ventures

Sandra Lopez

Sandra Lopez VP, Intel Sports

VP, Intel Sports

Tracy Lawrence

Tracy Lawrence CEO and Cofounder, Chewse

Beena Ammanath

Beena Ammanath Founder & CEO, Humans for AI

Megan Holston-Alexander

Megan Holston-Alexander Venture Capital Senior Associate, Unusual Ventures; Blogger - A Black Girl in Venture

YingYing Li

YingYing Li Founder, Yingfluence

Maren Kate Donovan

Maren Kate Donovan Managing Partner, Recruit

Tim Wagner

Tim Wagner North America Ecosystem Lead, Accenture

Pat Milligan

Pat Milligan Leader of When Women Thrive and Multinational Clients, Mercer

Michael Redding

Michael Redding Managing Dir. Strategic Technology Innovation, Accenture

Tommy Lewis

Tommy Lewis Dir. of Technical Evangelism, Microsoft Commercial Software Engineering

Rashida Hodge

Rashida Hodge VP, Watson Embed and Strategic Partnerships

Caroline Hofmann

Caroline Hofmann COO, Republic

Christine Herron

Christine Herron Director, Intel Capital and Co-Lead, Intel Capital Diversity Fund

Yvonne Wassenaar

Yvonne Wassenaar CEO, Airware

Angie Coleman

Angie Coleman Director of Community, Lesbians Who Tech

Khalida Ali

Khalida Ali Senior Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Zendesk

Anar Simpson

Anar Simpson Global Ambassador, Technovation

Laila Shabir

Laila Shabir Founder & CEO, Girls Make Games

Lucy Danziger

Lucy Danziger CEO & Founder, Hintd

Melinda Briana Epler

Melinda Briana Epler Founder & CEO, Change Catalyst

Irene Sandler

Irene Sandler VP, Cognizant Accelerator

Melissa Tsang

Melissa Tsang Product Manager, Upgrade, Inc.

Crystal Huang

Crystal Huang Principal, GGV Capital

Jessica Shamash

Jessica Shamash Head of Creative Production, Fable Studio

Jennifer Elias

Jennifer Elias Reporter, Silicon Valley Business Journal

Xi-Er Dang

Xi-Er Dang Product Marketing Specialist, Silicon Valley Forum

Xi-Er is passionate about creating educative content for our online Startupedia initiative. She is a tech wizard who possesses the talent and passion for targeted messaging and nurturing a growing community with the goal of driving new business to the organization. Xi-Er has a deep fondness for food, photography, and salsa dancing. Yes, we all think she should be the next contestant on Dancing with the Stars!

Christine Alford

Christine Alford Director, Partner Experience & Startup Team, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft

Lo Toney

Lo Toney Managing Partner, Plexo Capital

Christie Pitts

Christie Pitts Investment Partner, Backstage Capital

Alison Haugan

Alison Haugan President and Co-Founder, OptiStreams, Inc

Chris Yeh

Chris Yeh General Partner, Wasabi Ventures Global

Chris has been building Internet businesses since 1995. He is a General Partner at Wasabi Ventures, a global venture fund, startup incubator, and consulting firm. Chris is an active angel investor and startup advisor.

Pitching Female Founders

Yumi A. Kimura

Yumi A. Kimura Co-Founder & CEO, Lead for Career

SunHee An

SunHee An CEO & Founder, Lilly Cover

Pree Walia

Pree Walia CEO & Co-Founder, Preemadonna

Anita Gardyne

Anita Gardyne CEO & Co-Founder, Oneva

Ravina Mutha

Ravina Mutha Cofounder, Enterprise Bot

Charu Sharma

Charu Sharma Founder & CEO,

Caroline Lepron

Caroline Lepron Cofounder, Cookitoo

Melissa Kargiannakis

Melissa Kargiannakis Founder and CEO, Skritswap

Chelsie Lee

Chelsie Lee Cofounder and CEO, Shipsi

Megan Mokri

Megan Mokri CEO and Founder, Byte Foods

2018 Agenda

Stay tuned for 2019 Festival!

Day One – April 12th, 2018

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Registration and networking

2:30 – 2:40 pm
Welcoming Remarks
Xi-er Dang, Product Marketing Specialist, Silicon Valley Forum
Denyse Cardozo, CEO, Silicon Valley Forum

2:40 – 2:55 pm
Opening Keynote – Tanya Soman, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

2:55 – 3:10 pm
Introduction of Judges:

Bill Reichert, Garage Technology Ventures (session 1 only)
Crystal Huang, GGV Capital
Irene Sandler, Cognizant Accelerator
Christie Pitts, Backstage Capital
Chris Yeh, Wasabi Ventures (session 2 only)
MC: Xi-Er Dang, Silicon Valley Forum

3:10 – 4:00 pm
Pitch Competition: Session One

4:00 – 4:40 pm
Panel: Mars & Venus: Investing in Diversity
Women and underrepresented minorities receive a tiny fraction of venture capital dollars. These investors will discuss how they’re lighting the way forward for more inclusive investing–and why it’s an essential element to kick-starting a stronger economy.

Howie Diamond, Alpha Bridge Ventures
Christine Herron, Intel Capital
Lo Toney, Managing Partner, Plexo Capital
Moderator: Michael Redding, Accenture

4:40 – 5:00 pm
Short Break

5:00 – 5:55 pm
Pitch Competition: Session Two

5:55 – 6:00 pm
Voting begins – head to and enter code SVFWIT18

6:00 – 6:20 pm
Closing Keynote
Kristina B. Jones, Founder & CEO, Court Buddy

6:20 – 6:30 pm
Announcement of Winning Company and Audience Favorite

6:30 – 7:25 pm
Networking & Cocktail Hour

7:30 pm
Conclusion – see you tomorrow!

Day Two – April 13th, 2018

8:30 – 9:30 AM 
Registration, Networking, Light Breakfast

9:30 – 9:40 AM
Welcoming Remarks

Denyse Cardozo, CEO, Silicon Valley Forum

9:40 – 10:05 AM
Opening Keynote
Jessica Naziri, Founder and CEO, TechSesh

10:05 – 10:45 AM
Panel: Climbing the Corporate Tech Ladder
It’s a long way to the top if you want to take control – and for women the process can be an embattled one. Our panel of inspiring women will share their unique stories.
Sandra Lopez, VP, Intel Sports
Yun Freund, VP Engineering, Equinix
Rashida Hodge, VP, Watson Embed and Strategic Partnerships, IBM
Yvonne Wassenaar, CEO, Airware
Moderator: Purnima Kochikar, Director, Google Play, Apps & Games

10:45 – 11:00 AM
Power Talk: Get the Life You Want!
Lucy Danziger, CEO and Founder, Hintd

11:00 – 11:15 AM
Power Talk: When Women Thrive: Driving Progress for Women in Tech
Pat Milligan, Leader of When Women Thrive and Multinational Clients, Mercer

11:15—11:30 AM
Power Talk: Why Cultural Intelligence is Critical to Next-Gen Leadership
Yingying Li, Founder, Yingfluence

11:30 – 12:15 PM
Panel: The Importance of Male Allies to Advance & Retain Women in Tech
Men play a significant role in improving conditions for women in technology, so enlisting men’s participation is vital for change efforts. This Panel will have an honest dialogue about experience, and discuss concrete steps forward.
Heather VanCura, Director, Oracle
Tommy Lewis, Director of Technical Evangelism, Microsoft
Tim Wagner, North American Ecosystem Lead, Accenture
Khalida Ali, Senior Mgr, Diversity and Inclusion, Zendesk
Moderator: Melinda Briana Epler, Founder and CEO, Change Catalyst

12:15 – 1:45 PM
Lunch, Workshops, Demo Hall, Brella Networking
Workshop Signups are at Registration—first come, first serve!

1:45—2:00 PM
Power Talk: Launch Your Business Through Equity Crowdfunding
Caroline Hofmann, COO, Republic

2:00 – 2:15 PM
Power Talk: The Changing Face of Venture Capital
Megan Holston-Alexander, VC, Unusual Ventures

2:15 – 2:30 PM
Power Talk: Being Human in the Age of Machines
Beena Ammanath, Founder and CEO, Human API

2:30 – 2:45 PM
Power Talk: Girls Make Games: Changing the World One Pixel at a Time
Laila Shabir, Founder and CEO, Girls Make Games

2:45 – 3:00 PM
Power Talk: Making Inclusivity & Diversity a Priority
Christine Alford, Dir. Of Partner Experience and Startup Team, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft

3:00 – 3:30 PM
Break: Brella Networking + Demo Hall

3:30 – 3:45 PM
Power Talk: The Magic of VR Storytelling
Jessica Shamash, Head of Creative Production, Fable Studio

3:45 – 4:00 PM
Power Talk: Feminine Capitalism: Women Are Changing the Way We Do Business
Tracy Lawrence, CEO and Cofounder, Chewse

4:00 – 4:15 PM
Power Talk: Beyond Glass Ceilings
Anar Simpson, Global Ambassador, Technovation

4:15 – 5:00 PM
Panel: Failing Up—Building Resilience Through Setbacks
Invaluable skills can be learned from setbacks. Our panelists will discuss their
experiences overcoming fear of failure, and how they built resilience.
Maren Kate Donovan, Managing Partner, Recruit
Angie Coleman, Director of Community, Lesbians Who Tech
Melissa Tsang, Product Manager, Upgrade
Alison Haugan, President and Cofounder, Optistreams Inc
Moderator: Jennifer Elias, Reporter, Silicon Valley Business Journal

5:00 – 5:30 PM
Closing Keynote
Ooshma Garg, Founder & CEO, Gobble and Investment Partner, X Factor Ventures

5:30 PM
Conclusion – see you again in 2019!


2019 VENUE

It all happens at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA!


Festival Partners

Cocktail Hour Sponsor

2019 Sponsorship Packages

Women in Tech Festival 2019 – Sponsorship Packages

Enter your details and we will email you with more info. Limited sponsorship packages available. 

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