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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 Startup Challenge 2017 VR and AI NYC Finalists



Sam Frons
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.


Veronica Orvalho
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. Platform agnostic and compatible with all 3D environments, their technology can be used in games, social media, film, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Droice Labs

Tasha Nagamine
Artificial intelligence startup in the healthcare space. Droice uses cutting-edge machine learning to help hospitals achieve better patient outcomes. The company just launched its first pilot with one major hospital chain in Europe.


Lili Qiu

Haouli revolutionizes how users interact with the world through their high-precision, acoustic-based motion tracking technology. The technology enables users to easily interact with objects in VR, AR, smart appliances, games, drones, and much more.



Gillian Morris
An intelligent assistant that monitors flight and accommodation prices for trips you want to take, then alerts you when prices drop. Using a combination of machine learning, social and expert recommendations, Hitlist recreates the old school travel agent experience while saving you 50%+ on your bookings. Hitlist books over $2.5m worth of trips per month and was named one of TIME’s 50 Best Apps of 2016.

Intelligent Space

Dr. Christianna Taylor

Developing artificial intelligence for space applications, Intelligent Space leverages autonomous robotics to restructure space for satellite safety from orbital debris starting with a space towing system moving dead satellites to a graveyard zone.


Opaque Studios

Mariana Acuña

Opaque Studios builds VR-based tools for Hollywood studios, allowing content creators to produce feature films, TV shows, games and VR applications more efficiently than ever before. By combining Virtual Reality with Virtual Production, Opaque Studios allows directors to make better creative decisions and massively cut down the cost of a production.


Spirit AI

Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris
Takes tools to craft more expressive characters, stories, and worlds in games and VR. Spirit AI enables experiences in which players can communicate naturally with characters and crucially, be deeply understood and have unique conversations. With this technology, they’re also solving another important challenge: combating online harassment in multiplayer videogames. In short, they make digital interactions feel more human and accessible using the transformative power of AI.

Venti Technologies

Heidi Wyle

Self-driving vehicles are one of the great disruptive technologies of our lifetime and will transform everyday vehicles from cars to lawn mowers, wheelchairs, shopping carts, and golf carts. VentiRide provides inexpensive, personalized mobility-on-demand services. Venti is transforming mass mobility and improving the lives of tens of millions of seniors and mobility-constrained people by giving them self-determination and freedom.



Jasjit Maggu
Galaxy.AI has built an artificial intelligence driven patient prognosis engine. Our proprietary deep learning algorithms analyze medical imaging scans and digital health data to predict with high accuracy patient's disease emergency event and early hospitalizations. We provide the predictive insights to hospitals and health insurance companies to identify and manage their high-risk patient population, and adopt preventative care.