Women Business Leaders of Our World get candid. WCIR is a podcast dedicated to personal growth and mental health discussions with Women CEOs across the globe. If you’re a woman on a mission, this is the podcast you don’t want to miss!
Mariam Ispahani is the Founder and CEO of Sonali Bioplastics, a climate tech company solving the plastic pollution problem with plant based products which reduce carbon emissions leading to a healthier planet. Mariam is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded a few startups in the technology space and founded two startups in the renewable space. She is also a member of cohort 1 of Founder Pitch Week.
Stephanie Louis is the Co-Founder and CEO of SOTRO Innovations, a hair care technology company, launching a proprietary line of hair care tools designed to mimic a spa-like, professional salon experience in the comfort of one's home. Their flagship product is a patent-protected, first-of-its-kind collapsible micro mist hair steamer and hooded dryer combo that consolidates the ability to treat, moisturize and style hair all within one travel and storage-friendly machine. Stephanie won the grand prize in the hair tool category in Gabrielle Union's 2023 "Lift As We Climb" Grant Competition and she is also a member of cohort 1 of Founder Pitch Week.
Kelly Ann Winget
Kelly Ann Winget is an innovative, emerging manager in the private equity space, and the founder of Alternative Wealth Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm focused on blended portfolios of alternative assets. Hailing from a fifth-generation oil and gas family, Kelly's upbringing exposed her to diverse groups early on. From working at a car wash at 15 to managing valet teams, radiology offices, demolition crews, tanning salons, and bounce houses, Kelly consistently sought out challenges that expanded her horizons. Her experience in blue-collar roles and male-dominated sectors uniquely equips her to empathize with others' experiences. As a savvy business consultant, Kelly effectively secured capital for startups, oil and gas firms, manufacturing ventures, and real estate. With nearly $1 billion raised for family offices through modest investments, she witnessed exclusive access to wealth-generating opportunities and resolved to democratize such access. Founded in 2020, Alternative Wealth Partners aims to democratize investments and financial education. Kelly's sharp intellect and dedication drive her to redirect funds from financial frivolity to impactful ventures. Her approachability and open-mindedness set her apart, fostering meaningful conversations and informed decision-making. As the force behind AWP, Kelly is committed to enhancing financial understanding. AWP offers diverse funds, from fully varied private equity to tax-advantaged energy and real estate investments. With two successful funds managed and a third launching soon, Kelly challenges norms, showing success through genuine connections and diverse portfolios. Beyond profits, Kelly empowers investors to influence their communities. Her revolutionary investment approach has garnered a dedicated following from all walks of life. She's an inspiration to aspiring investors, an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and a beacon of authenticity in a complex financial world.
Cheryl Contee is CEO at The Impact Seat Foundation, where she leads early stage portfolio companies to success, provides resources for underrepresented founders, and helps build a new investment paradigm. In addition to her role at the TISF, Cheryl is the Founder and Chair of Do Big Things, a mission-based digital marketing agency. She was also the National Board Chair for Netroots Nation, the co-founder of Attentive.ly, and a New Media Ventures board member. In 2023, Cheryl is launching the re-edition of her Amazon best-selling book, Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success.
Melissa Bradley is a General Partner at 1863 Ventures. Serial entrepreneur, investor, professor and researcher. Expertise in (impact) investing, technology, financial services, (social) entrepreneurship, venture capital, social responsibility and media. Significant start-up experience, successful investments facilitated for start-up and emerging companies, extensive board leadership and engagement and aspirational golfer.
Arlan Hamilton, founder at Backstage Capital and HireRunner.co, is a serial entrepreneur, author, and prolific speaker.
She founded Backstage Capital in 2015 to invest in founders who are people of color, women and/or LGBTQ. Since its founding, Backstage has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups led by underestimated founders. Arlan is also the founder of HireRunner.co, a startup that connects outstanding employee talent with inclusive companies.
Arlan published her book, “It’s About Damn Time,” in 2020, detailing her journey from homelessness to venture capital trailblazer. Arlan also hosts the popular podcast “Your First Million”, and in 2018, was the first non-celebrity Black woman to grace the cover of Fast Company magazine. Arlan's latest book, "Your First Million: Why You Don't Have To Be Born Into A Legacy Of Wealth To Leave One Behind" is available for preorder and will be out on January 2nd, 2024.
Arlan is a big proponent of paying it forward and supporting other underestimated people in the tech industry and beyond. She’s a limited partner in 27 funds led by emerging, underestimated managers, and she and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, have established scholarship programs for Black students at Oxford University, HBCU Dillard University, and Harvard Law.
Her warmth and ease make conversation a pleasure as she helps women CEOs overcome their challenges for greater success!
Making It Real!
As a female CEO myself, sometimes I wonder what’s really going on in the lives of other top CEO’s. Marisa has done a fantastic job of opening up the doorway to candid conversations in her interviews. The truth is that we are all human and sometimes our greatest strengths are revealed when we not only share our victories, but are also open to share our most pressing challenges. Way to go Marisa!
I’m really enjoying listing to the “how to” of these successful women. Thanks Marisa for hosting such a fantastic podcast!