“Used in routine vital-sign assessments, pulse oximeters determine a patient’s blood oxygen level by measuring light that travels through the finger’s skin. Studies have shown, however, that these devices can provide inaccurate readings in people with darker skin tones, leading to racial disparities in patient health. Leveraging Penn’s physics-informed neural networks technology, Advait Thaploo C25 W25, Parthiv Patel C25 W25, and Ujjayi Pamidigantam C25 W25 are developing a way for pulse oximeter readings to account for various skin colors. Equimeter won the university’s Y-Prize competition this year as well as the Venture Lab Startup Challenge’s Jacobson Social Impact Prize.”
“Chantee Butler WG20 was inspired to start her natural skin-care product line by her late sister-in-law, nicknamed Ney Ney, who started her own entrepreneurial skin-care journey in 2016 before passing away two years later. The name “Nayko” is an homage to Ney Ney and a nod to the brand’s “eco”-friendly mission. The company uses formulations that exclude water-based ingredients, eliminating the need for preservatives and synthetics. Nayko Naturals products range from creams to oils — including lines designed for men and expecting mothers — and are free of parabens, sulfates, fragrances, glycerin, and petrolatum.” Read our WAFFA interview with Chantee here.
“This comfort-forward shoe line sprang from Marisa Sharkey WG03 and Bianca Gates’s conviction that there had to be better footwear options for hosting dinner parties than casual slippers — or bare feet. Relying on their collective experience at companies such as Ross Stores, Bain and Company, and Facebook, the Birdies co-founders teamed up in 2015 to create a design that combines sleek fashion with long-lasting comfort. After their first pair of loafers took off, they expanded the line to include a wide variety of sneakers, sandals, flats, and slides. Sharkey and Gates have also led Birdies to become a Certified B Corporation, propelling purpose-driven efforts such as a mentorship program for women and girls and donations of more than 54,000 pairs of shoes.”
“Kristen Nwanyanwu M09 WG09 is bringing style to the eye-examination room. Nwanyanwu, a vitreoretinal surgeon and associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, founded Eyeful to address her dissatisfaction with both the look and the utility of the weathered case she previously used to hold her ophthalmic lenses. Now, Nwanyanwu is sharing her designs with eye-care providers far and wide. Eyeful currently offers two stylish cases, each made from vegan leather and equipped with features such as impact-resistant foam and an inside pocket for accessories like a cleaning cloth.” Read our WAFFA interview with Kristen here.
Congratulations to Caroline Strzalka C00 WG05 and Overplay who are the latest recipient of the Adobe Fund for Design. Overplay will also be a Bronze Sponsor at the Adobe Max conference, taking place this year in Los Angeles from October 10th – 12th. Learn more here
Loved this post about Wilglory Tanjong, G22 WG22 (photo on right). Wilglory is the 27-year-old Cameronian-American Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Anima Iris. It’s a fully bootstrapped luxury handbag company, stocked in stores like Nordstrom and Saks, that has been featured in the holy grail, Vogue Magazine!
WOW! Novoloop was just named a “Startup to Watch“ by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and SF Business Times. Co-Founded by Miranda Wang C16 and high school bestie Jeanny Hao, Novoloop is an emerging leader in plastic circularity, transforming post-consumer plastic waste into the world’s first chemically upcycled performance materials. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the venture-backed start-up has raised $25M to date and is building and scaling new technologies to reinvent the chemical value chain. Have you seen the incredible running shoe they created with ON?
Featured in Forbes as one of the ’10 Inspiring Founders’ is Lina Chan WG09, Founder and CEO of Parla, a startup launched in 2019 connecting women with experts in nutrition, fertility and mental health to receive holistic support in an empathetic and empowering way. Read our WAFFA interview with Lina here, and here’s a deeper dive with Lina talking about changing the conversation about fertility here.