Another set of female innovation leaders are making headlines as we move into another week of innovators to know.
This week's set of who's who include a startup founder trying to change the world, a passionate PhD with a story of failure to tell, and a biomedical engineer enhancing health tech in Houston.
Ana Carolina Rojas Bastidas, founder of Orolait
A Houston mom is working hard on her startup so that next summer, breastfeeding moms can swim in style and worry free. Courtesy of Orolait
On the surface, it may seem that Houston mom Ana Carolina Rojas Bastidas has a passion for fashion, as she's created and is fundraising for a new-mom specific line of swimwear. But really, she's on a mission to give breastfeeding women back their dignity with her startup, Orolait.
"I decided to build this company to challenge and change the way we depict one's breastfeeding journey," Bastidas says on the website. "I stand on the pillars of advocacy, education, and inclusion. You will see the sizing and advertising featuring all shapes, sizes, and shades because each of us is so different and that is what makes us so incredible and I am going to unapologetically celebrate that in the most ethical way I know how." Read the story.
Brittany Barreto, venture associate at Capital Factory
Brittany Barreto founded the first nationwide DNA-based dating app, and she shares her story of its unexpected, and unavoidable, downfall. Photo courtesy of Pheramor
After dedicating three long years to her startup that began as an idea in college, Brittney Barreto is saying goodbye to Pheramor. Barreto explains how her DNA-based dating app got pulled from the Apple app store following policy changes, and how it left her with no choice but to shutter the operation.
Now, Barreto has big plans for funding femtech, and is learning a lot in her new role at Capital Factory. She's already able to do more for other founders and create a bigger impact.
"I realized that over the past two years, I had already been ad hoc coaching and mentoring founders and loving it," Barreto says. "Now, I was doing it and getting paid for it, on a bigger scale, and with more resources. I knew it was the journey I wanted to continue down." Read the full story.
Emily Reiser, senior manager of innovation community engagement at TMC
From robots and accelerator programs to her favorite health tech startups, Emily Reiser of the TMC Innovation Institute joins the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo courtesy of Emily Reiser
Emily Reiser has known for most of her life that she's wanted to work in health tech — in some capacity. On the Houston Innovators Podcast, she explains how she combined her early interest in health care with her affinity with engineering inspired by her parents.
Now, she continues to check both those boxes at the Texas Medical Center's Innovation Institute, which has evolved a ton over the past year.
"In 2019, we had a lot of big changes around our team and our leadership," she says on the podcast. "That enabled us to take a bigger breath and a bigger pause to say, 'How are we really doing? And how could we be doing better?'" Read the full story and stream the podcast.