Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized’ Category

aLoo is our March Amber Grant Recipient

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Last week announced our March finalists and now we’re happy to finally introduce you to our March Qualification Grant winner, Aarti Mehta , Founder of aLoo.

Read our interview with Aarti below to learn more about her and how she came up with the idea for aLoo

Aarti Mehta MD

WN: For those who don’t know what aLoo is, would you mind telling us a bit about your business?
AM: aLoo is a patent pending device that prevents backwash from re-entering the infant bottle during feeding. The product is a one-way valve and reservoir that can be placed in the cap of the baby bottle when preparing for feeding. As I started bottle feeding, I realized that my daughter’s saliva would flow back into the bottle and felt guilty saving the remaining liquid to reuse knowing that the milk may contain bacteria from her backwash. This was quite a dilemma for me because it was challenging to produce ample breast milk AND I was scheduled to return to work soon. I was determined to use every drop of this liquid gold and it was this realization made me want to find a solution.

WN: Can the nipple & Cap be used with any bottle?
AM: I quickly learned that there are so many innovative bottles on the market and parents/babies have their favorite brand. Knowing that there are challenges transition from breast to bottle, we did not want to exclude anyone merely because of bottle brand loyalty. Our initial goal is to make the device compatible across multiple bottle brands. Currently, our device is compatible with Philips Avent and we are planning to create more sizes that will work well with other brands (Dr. Brown’s, Medela, Tommee Tippee and Playtex) soon.

WN: I see your aLoo is in the testing phase. Do you an expected time-frame of when you hope to release your product to the public?
AM: Yes, we have a working prototype! We produced a prototype that fits Philips Avent and have had a microbiological lab test the device to see if it works. I am happy to say that they confirmed our device prevents over 99% of the bacteria from flowing back into the bottle! We have been sharing the device with consumers for initial feedback and are launching a Kickstarter campaign soon to raise funds to manufacture aLoo on a larger scale. If our campaign is successful, we should be able to start selling aLoo this summer!

WN: Do you plan to sell your product exclusively online or do you hope to sell to other retail stores?
AM: The ultimate goal will be to offer our product in retail stores (BuyBuy Baby, Babies R Us, Target) and be included in expecting parents’ baby registries. However, initially we will focus on solely offering aLoo online through our website: and possibly through Amazon.

WN: Do you have any advice for other aspiring mompreneurs?
AM: This is the advice my business partner gave me (this is exactly why he is my business partner!) “Make sure that the product or service you are offering is something you believe in.” It takes a lot of determination and hard work to develop an idea into reality. Do not be afraid to share your idea with others and ask for help. I was amazed by how many people were willing to provide their guidance and help me navigate through the challenges of starting a business. For me, it was helpful to network and talk to other entrepreneurs to share struggles and learn from each other. I was overwhelmed at how helpful the community has been and realized there are many resources that make launching a business more efficient than it was many years ago!

If you’d like to vote for Aarti to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

And thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

We’ve announced our $1,500 Amber Grant winner!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Last year we came up with a new way to give back grants to the WomensNet community. This allowed us to continue awarding monthly Grants of $500, as selected by our WomensNet judges. But it also gave us the opportunity to award an additional $1,000 grant to one of our 12 monthly winners, called The Amber Grant.

Not too long ago we narrowed down our Amber Grant finalists to three great companies; NAJMTEK, GloveStix, and Yellow Scope. Choosing between these three women and their companies was extremely tough but after much debate we have finally chosen our second annual Amber Grant Winner.

Congrats Krista Woods, founder of GloveStix!

Krista Woods

Watch Krista’s video to learn more about GloveStix & how her product helps clear up the smelly situation most people have in their mud rooms.


As always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

Stay tuned: We will be announcing January’s Qualification Grant finalists very soon!

Our 2016 Amber Grant Finalists

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

After much debate amongst our Advisory board we’ve narrowed down our Amber Grant Finalists to Three. Congrats to NAJMTEK, GloveStix, and Yellow Scope! Please read to learn more about these inspiring women and their businesses.



Applicant: Sophie Ennadi – Visit NAJMTEK’s website here.

When Sophie’s daughter was six years old she was diagnosed with dyslexia. With Sophie’s strong background in engineering alongside 12 years of experience in product development she saw this as an opportunity. She wanted to create an adaptive and innovative learning tool for dyslexic people, to help them learn, read, and work without having dyslexia in the way. This is how the Ubook was created.

The UBook is the first all-in-one multi-touch laptop, an interactive technology that includes the first ever neurological “sign alphabet”, and assistive apps, especially designed for people having dyslexia to help them learn, work, and communicate with others without having dyslexia in the way.

Glove Stix


Applicant: Krista Woods – Visit GloveStix’s website here.

Have you ever caught a whiff of old sports gear? It smells awful. The smell is caused by bacteria that lives in the humid air of your sports gear. And every time you sweat… that odor increases. Most types of gloves and shoes are primarily made of leather making them virtually impossible to clean without compromising the shape or comfort to the athlete. Enter, GloveStix. GloveStix, are a patent pending odor management system for smelly sports gear. When placed into gloves or shoes after practice or games they absorb harmful moisture, eliminate odors and inhibit 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria growth in about 24 hrs.

Yellow Scope


Applicant: Marcie Colledge & Kelly McCollum – Visit Yellow Scope’s website here.

Yellow Scope was founded in 2014 by scientists and moms, Marcie Colledge and Kelly McCollum. Marcie and Kelly met in 2008 at their children’s elementary school as volunteers running the school’s STEM programs, including Family Science Nights and the Science Fair. Their “aha moment” was realizing how well they work together and how passionate they both are about science, girls, and education. Over the years, this grew into an idea to build a company that would help young girls fall in love with science. Thus Yellow Scope was born! At Yellow Scope, they make rigorous, creative (and fun!) science kits for girls. Each kit is lovingly assembled by hand in Portland, Oregon.

We will be announcing our second annual Amber Grant winner very soon – Stay Tuned!

Voting has already begun for our next Amber Grant on our voting page. So please stop by there and read about our newest qualification grant winners.

2016 September Amber Grant Finalists

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Shauna Lee Young

Many people don’t think their own water is safe to drink, so they spend money on bottled water, which can cost up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water. Or they buy filtration solutions that may not address their particular problem. Even then, there is little to no visibility in water safety issues which may be all around your home. Water suppliers do a lot to remove pollutants, but there is also a lot they cannot do.

Enter AquaXi, a company that helps families by testing samples of their water to determine if its safe to drink. They then share the test results with you and others through a map on their website (never revealing the exact location of your home.) If your water test fails for any reason they’ll work with you to help resolve the issue at hand.

Kyra’s Shea Medleys
Kyra Nicole Young

Kyra’s Shea Medleys is a natural and multipurpose hair and skincare line based in Los Angeles, CA. They handcraft every product in LA, to bring you hand-whipped, certified vegan and cruelty-free, heavenly-scented, and nutrient-rich line of Shea Butter Creams. All of their products promote healthy living for women, men, children, and seniors as well as all hair and skin types.


Alexandra Kline

TrackPacer is a patent-pending real-time pacing system for runners, meaning runners no longer need to look at their watch and check the splits written on their arm while you’re trying to run. Instead, they can just chase a light.

TrackPace is an LED strip along the inner perimeter of a running track that you can program on your phone to sequentially light up at your target pace. Then, all a runner has to do is chase the light and not give pacing another thought. It is the same concept as the super imposed world record line on televised running events – except the athlete can see the record line they are chasing.


Grace Xiao

Kynplex enables scientific companies and institutions to feature updates on a single site. This means that anyone can see a customized feed of scientific updates like research discoveries and new technologies. Kynplex uses this information to identify and suggest effective partnerships so that more research ideas can become life-saving drugs and treatments.


My Hoopla in a Box
Chisesi August- Brooks

My Hoopla in a Box is a party supplier service for a low cost parties in one box. These occasions can be anything such as a super bowl party, birthday party, weddings, baby showers & more!


Congrats to our September Qualification Grant Finalists and as always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

Stay tuned: We will be announcing the winner Soon!

July 2016 Qualification Grant Finalists

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Sophie Ennadi

Najmtek is currently working on an adaptive and innovative learning tool for dyslexic people, to help them learn, read, and work without having dyslexia in the way. The name of the device is called the Ubook, and it is an all-in-one multi-touch, multi-language fully customizable laptop with a dual screen keyboard. While the Ubook’s incredible features go far beyond this (the Ubook also provides applications with its dual screen component for almost any industry: medicine, education, business, architecture, etc.), Sophie’s personal experience having a daughter with dyslexia is what prompted her to pursue this project.

girls at work
Girls at Work, Inc.
Elaine Hamel

Girls at Work is a not-for-profit that provides girls with a safe and supportive environment to step out of their comfort zones and to build with other girls. Not only do they discover how capable they are, they also discover how exciting it is to work as part of a team toward a common goal.

Nativ Wings Catering
Native Wings of Health
Lila Boone

Lila lives in a rural, low income country town in North Eastern North Carolina. In that area, due to generational traditions, the families eat very unhealthy. (Enormous amount of Pork, Fried Foods, still cooking with Lard & really bad cooking practices). Both adults AND children have an Alarming high rate of Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, etc.

This is why Lila started the company, Native Wings of Health, to open doors and teach members of the community that healthier options are Affordable and delicious.

ABCD Capital LLC
Aarti Mehta

Uniflo was created by a first-time mom and physician, Aarti. She wanted to feed her child breast milk as it was important to her and her husband. Unfortunately, it was difficult to determine how much her baby would drink during each feeding. After each feeding there was significant unconsumed liquid remaining in the bottle. But because of the baby’s back wash reentering the bottle, they were concerned about reusing the liquid and had to discard the remaining milk.

It’s difficult for many moms to produce excessive quantities of breastmilk and using formula can be very expensive. So after searching for potential solutions Aarti decided to create a device on her own, (called Uniflo) that would prevent backwash from reentering the bottle and as a result keeping the remaining liquid unused. Allowing her to feel more comfortable reusing the liquid, and in the process, saving significant effort and money. At that point her Uniflo Technology was born!

Diaper Diva Designs
Laura Toto

Laura’s journey began when her third child turned one and discovered her new found ability to get naked on her own. She couldn’t have been less interested in potty training and it became quite a “game”. For two months her child thwarted her every effort to keep her clothed and diapered. Nap after nap, bedtime after bedtime, Laura would walk into her room to find her kids diaper in a corner, clothes in another, along with an indescribable mess to clean up. With Laura’s sanity wearing thin she searched online. She found a few suggestions but nothing worked.

After some time Laura got the idea to cut the feet off of old pajamas, put them on her backwards and voila! It worked like a charm. After some tweaking to the outfit the Naked No More onesie was born.

Explorer Chick Adventure Co
Nicki Bruckmann

Explorer Chick Adventure Co is a travel company exclusively for women founded by Nicki Bruckmann. Her travel company plans to take women on epic adventures, in incredible parts of the world so women can live new experiences and discover new strengths while surrounded by a community of equally adventurous women.

Congrats to our July Qualification Grant Finalists and as always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

Stay tuned: We will be announcing the winner next week!

Yellow Scope is Our June Qualification Grant Recipient

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

After revealing our June Qualification Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to announce our qualification grant winner. Congrats Marcie Colledge, co-founder of Yellow Scope.

Read on to learn all about Marcie and her business.

Yellowscope logo
Marcie Colledge
Yellow Scope

WN: For those who don’t know what Yellow Scope is, could you tell us a little bit about your business and how you and your co-founder met?

SM: Yellow Scope is a Portland-based company, founded by scientists and moms, Kelly McCollum and Marcie Colledge. We started Yellow Scope because we think girls deserve better in the toy aisle – where rigorous chemistry and physics kits are marketed to boys, and pseudoscience spa and beauty kits are marketed to girls. Girls internalize messages that science is for boys and over time they lose confidence in their scientific abilities. In 4th grade most girls say they like science, but by 8th grade, the numbers drop dramatically. This trend continues beyond school – while women make up half of the total work force, they make up only a quarter of the jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

This is a shame because we need more trained workers in these fields. STEM jobs are important:

  • STEM jobs are solving the world’s most pressing problems.
  • In the US, STEM jobs are growing at a three times the rate of non-STEM jobs.
  • On average, careers in STEM fields pay 33% more than other fields.
  • The wage gap between men and women is less in STEM jobs.

We started Yellow Scope with the goal of closing the gender gap in science. Our mission is to keep girls excited about science, build their confidence, and help them to see themselves as scientists. At Yellow Scope, we make a different kind of science kit – one that takes girls seriously.

We are the perfect team to start this company! We’re both trained scientists. Marcie has a PhD in neuroscience and over 20 years of experience designing and running experiments at the lab bench. She ran her own research lab as tenure track professor. Kelly has a Master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics and ran large biomedical research studies for over a decade. She also taught middle school science.

We first met in 2009 at our daughters’ elementary school, where we volunteered together for six years running the Family Science program. In these sessions, we designed exciting and engaging hands-on science experiments for kids and their families around different science topics – microscopy, genetics, computer programming, electricity and magnetism, forensic science and more. While volunteering together, we realized our shared passion for science and education. And, as moms of girls, we also were determined to do something to encourage more girls to be excited about science. Thus, Yellow Scope was born!

WN:Do you test each experiment with your daughters first?
SM: Yes, we test everything with our daughters early on. Kelly also has a son who loves testing experiments. Luckily our children enjoy science! We also run focus group sessions with our kids’ friends, at local toy stores, and with local Girl Scout troops.

WN:Have you thought about selling your products to other teachers to use in class?
SM:We have thought about selling our products to teachers and would be delighted to have them in classrooms. Our “magic sauce” is our ability to take complex science concepts and distill out the most important components. We then design numerous experiments around these essential concepts. This approach builds mastery by helping kids develop a deeper understanding of fundamental science principles. We also teach kids how to apply the scientific method and how to design their own experiments. The content in our kits aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and would be a great resource to teachers wanting to add more experimental science into their classrooms – particularly before middle school when the rigor of science tends to pick up and many kids start to fall behind and/or lose interest in the “hard” sciences.

One idea we’ve discussed is developing a special package just for groups. Each package would include ten lab notebooks and five sets of lab equipment. If kids work in pairs, each box would work for ten students.

WN:What are your long-term goals in terms of expanding your business?
SM:Our plan is to develop a whole line of science kits across different subjects – chemistry, physics, biology, environmental science, food science, neuroscience, and more. We plan to expand geographically throughout the United States and Canada. We’re currently in about 70 stores in the U.S. and will soon be in a chain of bookstores in Canada called Indigo.

WN:What’s your advice for other women entrepreneurs out there?
SM:Find a good co-founder! Starting a business is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. There are lots of up days and also some down days – sort of like riding a roller coaster. We have different areas of expertise, we support each other, and we laugh (a lot!). The whole start-up process would be more stressful and a lot less enjoyable if we were doing it on our own.

Learn More about Marcie and Kelly in here video here:


And if you’d like to vote for Marcie and Kelly to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for them here.

Thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.