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Vertue Lab & Women in Science PDX: Badass Women Entrepreneurs

March 30, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Badass women who have turned their science into successful business ventures and the funding resources that have supported them and others.

VertueLab and Women in Science PDX are celebrating the fifth year of Badass Women Entrepreneurs!

This annual event spotlights badass women with badass science startups. The event convenes movers and shakers with different types of businesses, different science backgrounds from low to high tech, and non-traditional funding and support expertise.

We’ll dive into their journeys, learn about their career path, challenges, triumphs, and the resources they couldn’t do without. We want to inspire and empower you to innovate, to brave the entrepreneur journey, and connect you with other women science-badasses, allies and local companies, partners, and mentors who can help launch an idea into the market.

More about the event …
In the first part of this event, our moderator, Kim Zou of ClimateTech VC, will lead us through the exploration of how these badass women have taken their innovative ideas, rooted in science and tech, from just an idea to a fully implemented business.

These badass women entrepreneurs will share:

Their journey and insights, including when their business or tech idea originated
Their first steps to the formation of their company
Early funding pathways including private investment and federal grants
Navigating partnership legalities
Valuable resources
Reflections on challenges they have overcome
During part two of this event, we will be joined by another panel of professionals who will elaborate on the startup funding pathways and resources mentioned by our badass women entrepreneurs, along with information very specific to their funding resources.

Then stick around for SPEED NETWORKING. This will be several 3-minute breakouts where you’ll get the chance to connect with panelists and attendees. This session is introvert-friendly ~ short and sweet. Long enough to make a connection, but often not long enough to get into too much depth. But that’s where you can follow up for a virtual coffee or whatnot. Be sure to exchange LinkedIn profile info!

You should come to the event if…
You’re an aspiring/current entrepreneur looking for inspiration, knowledge, and connections
You’re an investor interested in learning about innovative companies led by badass founders
You’re a professional or student looking to connect with entrepreneurs and build community
You’re a technologist/innovators interested in learning more about the funding resources available to grow your technology/business
You’re a service provider or are involved in support programs for startups/early innovators and want to connect with the guests and panelists

A note on inclusivity:
We use the words ‘women/woman’ in an expansive and inclusive way to include any persons that identify with the word.

We recognize that patriarchal systems of oppression have perpetrated disproportionate inequities on anyone who is not societally perceived as a cis-man.

In the entrepreneur, tech, and investment sectors it is our goal to create a safe and inclusive event and community where folks facing this systemic oppression can gain connections, share resources, and build relationships with others in this space.

We recognize that gender is a broad and beautiful spectrum and we aim to celebrate everyone on this spectrum. We invite allies and accomplices to join us.

This event will be held on a Zoom meeting, with closed captions available. If you need additional assistance or specific accommodations, we are happy to provide these. Please contact Cassidy at cassidy.johnston@vertuelab.org.

Questions: Please contact Cassidy at cassidy.johnston@vertuelab.org

Our Badass Moderator

Kim Zou – Energy Impact Partners | Climate Tech VC

Kim Zou is an investor at Energy Impact Partners, a $2.5bn venture capital firm investing in companies shaping the energy landscape of the future. She also writes Climate Tech VC, the leading newsletter on climate and innovation with 20K+ readers. Prior to joining EIP, Kim was part of JPMorgan’s Tech M&A investment banking team and graduated from Johns Hopkins University.

Entrepreneur Panelists

Wendy Owens – Hexas Biomass

Wendy Owens is the Founder and CEO of Hexas Biomass, a biomaterials company producing plant-based raw materials. She is a serial entrepreneur with experience across multiple industries. Hexas combines her background in materials engineering and biotechnology with a passion to save the Earth. Concurrently with past entrepreneurial endeavors, she spent 14 years as an executive-level appointed advisor to the US Secretary of Commerce and US Trade Representative. Ms. Owens is a published author on a variety of subjects and has a Master of Art degree from Tufts University.

Tanya Barham – Community Energy Labs

Tanya is the CEO of Community Energy Labs (CEL) a woman-owned and led energy technology company with a mission to enable affordable decarbonization of community buildings by 2030. CEL’s core AI-powered clean building control platform was a regional winner of CleanTech Open’s 2020 international accelerator, an overall winner in the 2020 Madrona Venture Labs Go Vertical challenge, a 2021 impel+ building innovator, EPRI Incubate Energy 2021 cohort member and 2021 US Department of Energy SBIR awardee.

Carlanda McKinney – Bodify

Carlanda is founder and CEO of Bodify; a platform that leverages computer vision and artificial intelligence to help online shoppers find the brands that will best fit their bodies. No newcomer to starting a business, she received her MBA focused in Entrepreneurship from UMKC and has started a number of tech enabled companies over the past decade. Carlanda has consistently been recognized for her thought leadership and ingenuity; being listed as one of Kansas City’s Top 10 Startups to Watch and 20 Innovators to Know. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, she understands the importance of seeing diverse representation across industries and in various roles. It is a personal goal of hers to ensure the next generation of founders are entering an equitable, low barrier ecosystem to create in.

Funding Experts

Shondra Washington – TBC-Capital

Shondra is an emerging fund manager. After working as a technology investment banker, she co-founded TBC-Capital, an education-first advisory and consulting firm, offering on-demand CFO, business development and strategy services for VC-backed companies and small businesses with $1M in revenue or more annually. Through her efforts her clients have raised over $7M in startup capital. She’s currently based in New York and focuses her work in consumer tech, CPG and marketplaces.

Leon Wolf – VertueLab

Leon assists Oregon tech companies to win grants from an annual bucket of $4B in non-dilutive, federal R&D dollars. He has helped over 100 companies and organizations to prepare SBIR/STTR and other proposals to USDA, NSF, NIH, EPA, and DOE, and has delivered dozens of training sessions on funding.

WIS PDX and VertueLab will be providing honorariums to our entrepreneurs to fulfill our commitment of honoring the time of women and those of other marginalized genders.

Register here and use code IMABADASS for a free ticket.


March 30, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


OR United States