List of Diverse Founders in VR, AR, and emerging technology

Updated: 8/18/18

Through my work with the Women in XR Fund, I keep my eyes open for companies in emerging tech (VR, AR, AI, etc) with founders and executives who identify as women, PoC, LGBTQIA, and traditionally underrepresented groups.

Anyone who doesn’t look like the typical Silicon Valley CEO, *cough cough*, if you know what I mean:

Based on study from Harvard Business Review. Source

The Reason Behind This

Back in July 2017, I made a call on Twitter and the Women in VR/AR Facebook (which is a great resource and I highly encourage you join!) for names of women founders in the VR/AR industry.

I got way more responses than I expected, which is a Very Good Thing. There are tons of startups in the emerging tech scene led by diverse teams, most of which I didn’t know about. But I want to know about them, and I think it’s important we all do.

So I’m making a list to keep track for years to come. Originally I was going to store this in a personal Google Doc, but decided to share it with all y’all since it’s important for our industry to see a different kind of leadership; one that inspires traditionally underrepresented groups in tech to become leaders themselves.

This list is a great resource if you want to:

  • Find diverse speakers for events
  • Apply to companies with diverse leadership
  • Fund companies with diverse leadership
  • Connect with stellar leaders in the emerging tech scene
  • Follow these companies and support them along the way!
Source

Below is a list of companies with at least one founder that identifies with women, PoC, or LGBTQIA.

Keep in mind that this list is:

  • Incomplete. I’m sure I’m missing companies, so please let me know who I should add by emailing me at hoertheva@gmail.com
  • Primarily women. I’d love to broaden that to diverse founders of all kinds.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Source

Companies led by diverse founders in VR, AR, and emerging tech:

30 Ninjas

Julina Tatlock (Founder & CEO)

A VR Journey

Cecile Eskenazi (Founder)

Alchemie

Julia Winter (Founder)

All These Worlds

Jackie Morie (Founder & Chief Scientist)

All VR Education

Alicia Canellas (Founder)

ARAD

Spandana Govindgari (Founder)

Artefact VR

Julie Driver (Founder)

Astire Games

MJ Johns (Founder & Director)

Axis Images

Janie Fitzgerald (Founder)

Baobab Studios

Maureen Fan (Co-Founder and CEO)

Beast, Inc.

Vivian Tan (Co-Founder & Chief Beast)

Bedhouse Games

Meredith Wilson (Founder)

Bevel

Simon Manning, Maret Thatcher, Logan Smith (Co-Founders)

Binomial

Stephanie Hurlburt (Founder & Owner)

Blaze VR/AR

Sherrie “Shero” Robertson

Boulevard

Elizabeth Reede (Co-Founder & CEO)

Bthere.io

Amy Nichols (Founder & CEO)

Bushi-Go, Inc.

Kimberly Unger (Co-Founder & CEO)

Campfire Union

Rachael Hosein (Co-Founder & CCO)

CaptainVR

Dana-Maria Faneker (Founder & CEO)

castAR (Note: Shut down in June)

Jeri Ellsworth (Co-Founder)

CATS are not PEAS

Alex Rühl (Founder)

Change Your Life Travels VR

Bekah Wright (Founder)

Charley Bear Productions

Angela Cohen (Founder)

CoMotion Labs (University of Washington)

Elizabeth Scallon (Associate Director)

The Cousins Company

Sara Moss (Co-Founder & CEO)

Datavized

Debra Anderson (Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer)

Digital Jam Ltd

Tanya Laird (Founder)

Digital Raign

Alison Raby (Co-Founder)

Discovr Labs

Gemma Busoni (Co-Founder & COO), Josh Maldonado (Co-Founder & CEO)

Dream Logic

Lindsay Saunders (Co-Founder)

Dynamoid

Laura Lynn Gonzalez (Founder)

Emblematic

Nonny de la Peña (Founder & CEO)

Embodied Labs

Carrie Shaw (Co-Founder & CEO)

Embodied Reality

Crystal Beasley (Founder)

Empact Labs

Arin Pitcher (Co-Founder)

Espii Studios

Sadah Espii Proctor (Founder)

Experimental Foundation

Ieva Stelingyte (Founder)

EVRealities

Erika Barraza (Founder & CEO)

The Extended Mind

Jessica Outlaw (Founder)

foundry10

Lisa Castaneda (Co-Founder & CEO)

fearless360º

Sandy Cioffi (Co-Founder & Executive Director), Gretchen Burger (Co-Founder)

FLOAT

Kate Parsons (Co-Founder)

Forward Reality (VR With A Purpose)

Sherri Cuono (Co-Founder & CEO)

Friends with Holograms

Cortney Harding (Founder)

Funomena

Robin Hunicke (Co-Founder)

Futurus

Annie Eaton (Co-Founder & CEO)

Future of Fun

Katherine Kylila Rice

Future Lighthouse

Nicolás Alcalá (Founder & CEO)

Future Sight AR

Lori-Lee Emshey (Co-Founder)

Haptic Media

Asha Easton (Co-Founder & CEO)

healthiAR

Kristi Hansen Onkka (Founder)

Human Interact

Sophie Wright (Co-Founder & COO)

Humense

Amber Cordeaux (Co-Founder)

Hyphen-Labs

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal (Co-Founders)

Imersiv360

Melanie Landry (Co-Founder)

Immersive Square

Jing Dai (Founder)

In One Minute

Elle Toussi (Founder)

Laughing Buddha Games

Suni Girish (Co-Founder & CEO)

LevelUp Camp

Joowon Kim (Co-Founder)

Light Lodges

Evo Heyning (Founder & CEO)

Living Popups

Cheryl Bayer (Founder & CEO)

LMichelleMedia

L. Michelle Salvant (Founder & President)

Lucid Dreams Productions

Celine Tricart (Founder)

LucidWeb

Leen Seegers (Co-Founder)

Luxloop

Mandy Mandelstein (Co-Founder)

Mach1 Studios

Jacqueline Bosnjak (Co-Founder & CEO)

Maggie Lane Productions

Maggie Lane (Founder)

Mechanical Dreams

Lacey Leavitt (Co-Founder)

Medmovie

Kim Combs Gersony (Co-Founder)

Metamorphix Studios

Dr. Melissa Selinger (Co-Founder & CEO)

Mettle

Nancy Eperjesy (Co-Founder)

Mirsha Media 360°

Kosha Hussain (Founder & CEO)

Moatboat

Katrika Morris (Co-Founder)

MOD Productions

Michela Ledwidge (Founder & CEO)

MomentXR

Helen Situ (Co-Founder & CEO)

Nektr

Jami Sue Becker (Co-Founder)

Neon

Deepa Mann-Kler (Founder & CEO)

NeuroRehab VR

Veena Somareddy (Co-Founder & President)

NewPathVR

Lisa Padilla (Founder & CEO)

New Reality Arts

Jodi Schiller (Founder)

Noctvrnal

Helena McGill, Anna Wozniewicz (Co-Founders)

NowHere Media

Gayatri Parameswaran (Co-Founder)

Obsess

Neha Singh (Founder & CEO)

One Caring Team

Sonya Kim (Founder & CEO)

Ossic

Joy Lyons (Founder & CTO)

Otherworld Interactive

Robyn Gray (Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer)

Pixel Ripped

Ana Ribeiro (Co-Founder)

radical.io

Briana Sim (Co-Founder)

ReCreate

Evelyn Chew (Co-Founder & CEO)

Relativity VR

Kelly Snowden (Co-Founder)

River Studios

Dulce Baerga (CEO)

Robocognito

Staishy Siem (Co-Founder & CEO)

RYOT

Molly Swenson (Co-Founder)

Scatter

Yasmin Elayat (Co-Founder & Creative Director)

School of Machines

Rachel Uwa (Founder)

SH//FT

Jenn Duong, Julie Young (Co-Founders)

SIXR

Diana Fairbank (Co-Founder)

Snobal

Ann Nolan (Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer)

Spectral Illusions

Ellen “Kerry” McCarn-Ostir (Co-Owner)

SRVIVE Studios

Faviana Vangelius (Founder & CEO)

Stargate Media

Renate Fossum (Co-Founder)

StoryUp XR

Sarah Hill (Founder & CEO)

SunnysideVR

Emma Mankey Hidem (Founder & CEO)

Superswell VR

Skye Mayring (Co-Founder)

SVRF

Sophia Dominguez (Co-Founder & CEO)

Temple Gates

Theresa Duringer (Co-Founder & CEO)

Tomorrow Today Labs

Adrienne Hunter (Founder)

Tribe of Good

Taryn Southern (Founder)

uGenWorld

Jeannie Voirin-Gerde, Troy Hewitt (Co-Founders)

Unfold

Luciana Carvalho Se, Amandine Flachs (Co-Founders)

UTURN (NativeVR)

Nathalie Mathe (Founder & Creative Director)

Vantage Point

Morgan Mercer (Founder)

Verge of Brilliance

Dr. Evie Powell (Founder & President)

Vertical Robot

Tatiana Delgado (Co-Founder)

Virtual Method

Carli Johnston (Co-Founder & CXO)

Virtual Reality Pop

Helen Situ (Founder)

Virtual Umbrella

Samantha Kingston (Co-Founder & Client Director)

VisionLab 360

Becky Lane (Founder)

VIU.SPACE

Polley Wong (Founder)

Vividly

Gunita Kuļikovska (Founder & CEO)

VirtualSpeech

Sophie Thompson (Co-Founder)

Vizor

Anna Rosa Lappalainen (Co-Founder & COO)

Virtual Village

Vera Grablechner (Founder & CEO)

VNTANA

Ashley Crowder (Co-Founder & CEO)

VoyagerVR

Jessica Villarreal (Co-Founder)

VRLab

Iva Leon (Co-Founder)

VRNet

Anastasiia Zahorodniuk (Founder & COO)

VRTube

Ela Darling (Co-Founder)

VR Playhouse

Christina Heller (Co-Founder & CEO)

VRTIGINOUS

Adriana Vecchioli (Founder & CTO)

Wireframe Immersive

Claire McGarry (Studio Director)

Women in XR

Martina Welkhoff, Malia Probst, Abby Albright (Partners)

WonderTek Labs

Kim Voynar (Co-Founder & Chief Imaginator)

XEODesign

Nicole Lazzaro (Founder)

Xesto.io

Sophie Howe (Co-Founder & CEO)

XR Alliance

Vanessa Radd (Co-Founder)


Thank you to all those above who contributed to this list!

If you have someone to add, or if you spot a mistake/want to be removed, please comment on this post or email me at hoertheva@gmail.com. I’m looking for companies within the fields of emerging tech: VR, AR, AI, neural interfaces, oh my. I will update as often as I can