GIST TechConnect: Catalyzing Women-Led STEM Startups

When: Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2019 at 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT

English: English Watch Page

Spanish: Spanish Watch Page


Cultivating a thriving, equitable, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem across developing economies requires a robust and supportive ecosystem. This is especially true for women in STEM. Supporting women-led startups to commercialize their technologies helps catalyze innovation, spur economic growth, and support women’s economic self-empowerment. The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative is continuing its support for women in STEM in developing economies by hosting a GIST TechConnect expert panel on how to build, support, and scale women-led science and technology-based ventures. This edition of GIST Techconnect will take a close look at supporting women in STEM in the Middle East and South Central Asia. The GIST TechConnect program will air live on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 9 a.m. EDT on the GIST TechConnect webpage in English and Spanish. This GIST TechConnect will be in advance of the GIST APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition in La Serena, Chile, from September 29 to October 4. This competition will highlight leading women-led science and technology startups from across the 21 APEC economies.


Melissa Bradley
Managing Partner, 1863 Ventures

Melissa is Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. She also serves an advisor the New Voices Foundation and New Voices Fund, as well as the Halcyon Fund. Melissa is the former Co- Chair, National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was recently named one of The Most Entrepreneurial Women Investors in 2018.

Maria Ibanez
Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, Association of Women in Science

Maria has more than 20 years of communications experience leading efforts for public policy issues including family reunification, education, women’s rights, community development, and healthcare. Prior to joining AWIS, she served in several senior management positions in the public and private sector. She was also an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland, School of Journalism, and Trinity University's School of Communications.

Erin Kelley
Co-Director, STEM to Market, Association of Women in Science

Erin has degrees in international relations (BA, Mount Holyoke College; MA, Johns Hopkins University) and general management/corporate innovation (MBA, University of Virginia). With her unique interdisciplinary background, Erin has research, policy and programmatic expertise in innovation and commercialization; organizational and systemic change; entrepreneurship ecosystems; international development; design thinking and product/process development; and instructional design.

Tomás Harmon
Account Manager, Vanguard Communications

As an account manager at Vanguard Communications, Tomas works to help clients make a positive impact in their communities by developing communication strategies that support positive social change. Vanguard is a Hispanic woman-owned PR and social marketing firm that has been working for more than 30 years to open hearts and minds about issues and individuals, and realize a more inclusive and equitable world.

Promotional Materials:

ENGLISH Program Marketing Description (docx)

ENGLISH Banner Image (png)

ENGLISH Social Media Toolkit (docx)

SPANISH Program Description (doc)

Questions about this event? Reach out to Loren Hurst at [email protected]