Skip to main content

Women Startup Challenge
2017 VR and AI NYC

Grand Prize: Didimo
February 15, 2017 at Google in New York City
Didimo, a startup leading the creation of high-fidelity digital humans from a single photo in just seconds, won the $50,000 grand prize. The event was supported by Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and Fred and Joanne Wilson.

Women Who Tech’s fourth Women Startup Challenge showcased 10 of the most prominent women-led, virtual reality and artificial intelligence startups at the Women Startup Challenge VR and AI cohosted with Google in New York City on February 15, 2017.

The finalists were chosen from hundreds of applicants, all women-led startups in the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), or Virtual Reality (VR) sectors.

Grand Prize:


Pitching Founder: Veronica Orvalho

Didimo cofounder Veronica Orvalho

Didimo won the top prize of $50,000, courtesy of the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund and Fred & Joanne Wilson, and $15,000 in legal services from Paul Hastings. Didimo automatically creates a 3D virtual character starting from a single photo — and in about 2 minutes you have a lifelike avatar that can speak, move, and represent you in a 3D world.

Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris founder of Spirit AI

Second Place:

Spirit AI

Pitching Founder: Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris

Second place of $10,000 in legal services and three hours in consulting from 1843 Capital went to Spirit AI, which takes tools to craft more expressive characters, stories, and worlds in games and VR. They make digital interactions feel more human and accessible using the transformative power of AI.

Sam Frons Founder of Addicaid

Third Place:


Pitching Founder: Sam Frons

Third place of $10,000 in legal services went to Addicaid, a digital addiction wellness platform for individuals with substance/process disorders, friends/family coping with loved ones in care, a dashboard for treatment centers and insurance companies to facilitate care delivery in an organized, intelligent, cost-effective manner.


Grand Prize
Legal Services
Critical Startup Services

Women Startup Challenge 2017 VR and AI NYC Finalists

Sam Frons
Veronica Orvalho
Droice Labs
Tasha Nagamine
Lili Qiu
Gillian Morris
Intelligent Space
Dr. Christianna Taylor
Opaque Studios
Mariana Acuña
Spirit AI
Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris
Venti Technologies
Heidi Wyle
Jasjit Maggu

Meet the Jury