These Amazing Women Are Building!


Joining the Building team when we opened in June 2015, it was incredibly important for me to be a part of a community that valued women. Before Building, I was a part of the team at Springboard Enterprises, a non-profit that runs global accelerator programs for women-led businesses in technology and the life sciences. Working every day around so many accomplished women leading high-growth startups really challenged the stereotype of a tech company CEO.

Having women on the team in a tech company is not only empowering, it’s good for business. And in a tech ecosystem that is still maturing, like Miami, we have the opportunity to build diversity into the framework, promoting and encouraging success stories of diverse management teams from the ground up.

What better way to honor International Women’s Day today then to shout-out all of our amazing female Builders? We are so lucky to count these 26 incredible women as #buildingmembers. They also have some interesting 140-character-or-less thoughts, so we’ve linked their Twitter accounts for you to take a look and follow.

Female Founders @ Building

Mary Biggins, Co-Founder & CEO and Katie Ghelli, Co-Founder & COO; Mealpass. Mary and Katie are recent transplants to Miami from New York, where Mary co-founded Classpass and Katie most recently worked for ZocDoc. No strangers to the tech startup scene, the pair actually met in undergrad at Colby College. They chose to launch Mealpass in Miami this past January, quickly following with Boston, and are planning expansion to even more cities!

Mary Wolff, Co-Founder & CEO,; Co-Founder, The Silicon Tropic. Mary is from St. Louis originally and although her company is located there still, she spends much of her time in Miami after falling in love with the city when she attended UM Law. She also co-authors The Silicon Tropic, chronicling the ups, downs, movers, and shakers among the #MiamiTech. She’ll be pitching her see-through, touch-screen TV product at SXSW this Friday as part of the festival’s ReleaseIt competition.

Tanvi Vattikuti, Co-Founder & CEO, Veta Health. Tanvi left Endeavor in late 2015 after working at the corporate office in New York as well as helping launch the Miami program. Knowing she loved the startup life, she’s now health tech startup the two joined forces to develop a health tech software product to drive patient engagement and improve outcomes.

Lori Anne Wardi, Vice President Business Development, Neustar; Co-Founder, .CO. Lori Anne is one of the four co-founders of .CO Internet, the top-level domain originally for the country of Colombia, but which opened to a global audience of startups, innovators, and small businesses in 2010. Now, there are over 2 million .CO domains, and after the acquisition of .CO by Neustar in 2014, Lori Anne now has a broader role, and larger team, in several other top-level domain businesses for Neustar.

Even More Female Builders!

Christy Lopez, Community Manager, ClutchPrep. Christy manages social media and community for ClutchPrep, quickly becoming a rising star of the Miami B2C tech scene.

Naureen Rizvi, Operations & Community Associate, Startupbootcamp Health. Naureen is a Venture for America fellow who’s helping to lay the groundwork for a knock-out launch of Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami this September.

Valerie Cole, Operations Associate, Mealpass. Valerie helps keep the trains running on time as part of the Mealpass team. (We wouldn’t want any #hangry Builders!)

Sushi Chanrai, Membership Program Manager and Gretchen Erle, Consultant; .CO (Neustar). Sushi and Gretchen have worked with the .CO team from the beginning, and continue to work on the .CO and other top-level domains with .CO’s parent company, Neustar.

Alia Poonawala, Admissions & Community Engagement; Alida Gagliuffi, Operations and Growth; and Greyceli Marin, Intern; Ironhack. Alia, Alida, and Greyceli hold down the fort on Building’s third floor, where they build relationships with former, current, and future Ironhack students, as well as community and hiring partners, to help close the tech talent gap in South Florida and beyond.

Shobha Nikam, Head of Data Analytics; Carolina Gutierrez, Sales Manager; and Vania Minati, Account Strategist; Criteo LATAM. The ladies of Criteo’s Miami office spend their days spreading the word to the rest of LATAM about Criteo’s one-of-a-kind advertising technology software products.

Claudia Coral, Project Leader, PAREXEL International. Claudia uses technology in the life sciences world, to manage clinical trials and drug development for PAREXEL, headquarted in Boston.

Juliana Fonnegra, Manager, Zientte US. Juliana is an alumna of Babson’s WIN Lab in Boston, and manages the US territory for Zientte (including several products throughout Building!).

Oriana Cudemus, Branding Assistant Consultant, Panamera. Oriana has a passion for design and works hand-in-hand with the CEO to design and deploy first-class brands in technology and beyond.

Raquel Rodriguez, Controller and Jimena Montaldo, Investor Relations; STRAAT. These ladies hold down the finances for Building’s parent company, STRAAT.

Women Building… Building

One of the things I’m most proud of about our Building community, is that we start with diversity from inside the team. It’s a pleasure to work with each of these female colleagues on a daily basis!

Jennifer Lannon (that’s me!), Business Development; Linda Koritkoski, Marketing; Rosa Garcilazo, Operations; Amanda Calderon, Front Desk; Netali Shkori, Associate; Building.

What’s next?

We’re excited about what’s to come for women in #MiamiTech. The entrance and expansion of programs like the Babson WIN Lab, which focuses on women entrepreneurs exclusively, and 500 Startups, with two rockstar women (Bedy Yang and Susan Su) at the head of the Miami office, is certainly good news for female founders in South Florida. Both programs are supported by the Knight Foundation, which has announced diversity as one of its top priorities for the startup ecosystem in Miami in 2016. We’re already off to a great start, and can’t wait to see what comes next.

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