April 14, 2021

Congratulations from 2021 Draper Competition Supporter

Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to congratulate you for being a Semi-Finalist of the 2021 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. As fellow entrepreneurs, we are proud to witness the next generation of trailblazers develop innovative ideas to better power and improve our society.

We know first hand the value of expanding your network, increasing your visibility, and the opportunity for direct investment in your enterprise. We hope you all know that opportunities like the Draper Competition are just one of several initiatives that demonstrate that in Massachusetts, the people, places, and partnerships are in place to support you.

We have experienced this as awardees of the Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen)—a five year, more than $2 million commitment to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. The public-private partnership between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and sponsors Takeda, King Street Properties, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and Mintz, has deployed more than $1 million in funding for women entrepreneurs, paired with an executive coaching network providing 200-plus hours of coaching.

Since participating in MassNextGen, we have gone on to raise follow-on funding, grow our teams, and reach critical milestones for our ventures. Not long ago, we were in the same place as you, with a great idea and passion to bring it forward. Please know that as you continue to grow as an entrepreneur, it will be that passion quotient you have that will be a major driver of your success.

You have chosen a unique path to take a leap of faith as an innovator and founder. While this path will provide you with challenges, know that the opportunity in front of you is real for success, now and into the future.

Moreover, never forget you are not alone and that the Commonwealth is home to many that are eager to support you and help you grow and learn in your venture as they, like you, believe in encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship. This diversity better reflects the society we live in and correlates with substantially improved business performance.

Even with the challenges over the past year, it is our collective belief that women-led companies are still going strong. You are part of this strength. We believe in you, because we all share a common bond to innovate, lead, and shift the paradigm toward a diverse society with equal representation.

Always know the broader MassNextGen community is here as your peers, supporters, and partners.

Good luck. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Amy Ripka
CEO and Founder
Lucy Therapeutics
Azadeh Khanicheh
President and Founder
EnVision Endoscopy, Inc.
Camille Martin
CEO and Co-Founder
Carmela Mascio
President and Co-Founder
LivOnyx Inc.
Elizabeth O’Day
CEO and Founder
Olaris, Inc.
Ida Pavlichenko
CEO, President, and Co-Founder
PionEar Technologies
Joanna Stanicka
CEO and Founder
Axonis, Inc.
Laura Indolfi
CEO and Co-Founder
PanTher Therapeutics
Minmin Yen
CEO & Co-Founder
PhagePro, Inc.
Natalie Artzi
Nele van Dessel
CEO and Co-Founder
Ernest Pharmaceuticals
Yue Shao
President and Co-Founder
Buy Time Medical
Suzanne Mitchell
CEO and Founder
See Yourself Health
Vera Hoffman
CEO and Co-Founder
Reveal Pharmaceuticals, Inc
Virginia Burger
CEO and Co-Founder
New Equilibrium Biosciences

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