On March 2nd, Women In Cloud Accelerator was launched with the Class of 2018 participants.

We congratulate and extend a warm welcome to the following companies who were qualified and attended the immersion session:

  • Clever Databases
  • Stylyze Inc.
  • Plantmatch, LLC
  • RightSciences
  • Daysaver
  • Agile Impact Group
  • Bitlume Inc
  • Computing Kids LLC
  • genneve
  • Automaton Marketing Inc.
  • Red Sky
  • Visual Media Group, DBA

The Women in Cloud, an organization dedicated to fostering women-led businesses to leverage cloud solutions and services to inspire their success and growth, launches their new Accelerator Lab.  The Lab is an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led companies to start and build their businesses with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft distribution channels.

“Super excited to accelerate our business and learn more about how we can learn from the Cloud and improve our business proposition, and I hope to get more clients,” said Amelia Neighbors, from Clever Databases.

The Accelerator Program has proven methodologies, resources, and tools to grow a business in the Cloud.  What is “Cloud”? According to Microsoft, “cloud is the delivery of computing services-servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more-over the internet, the cloud”. What is it about Cloud computing and why is it so popular? The Women in Cloud Accelerator Lab, answers these questions and coaches women-led businesses, who want to accelerate their B2B solutions using Cloud Computing. The Accelerator Lab includes a 1-day workshop, targeting coaching, free migration to Azure, up to “100 hours of interactive training to discuss strategy, lead generation, co-selling, deal negotiation and pitch preparation”, and much more.

Feedback from the participants of 2018 Class:

“When successful women come together great things happen. Red Sky is thrilled to be part of Women in Cloud Accelerator program sponsored by Microsoft, HPE and hosted by Meylah. This is the missing link for our growth and boost in revenue leveraging the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and secret sauce of the mentors. This is a huge opportunity for us to build our cloud business and utilize the support of these great partners along this exciting journey.” Sharon A. Davison, Ph.D. CEO Red Sky

“For the first time, I can see tangible ways to leverage the expansive networks of Microsoft and HPE to take my business to a B2B audience. They’re helping me visualize what a go-to-market cloud partnership looks like to grow my business.” Jill Angelo, CEO of genneve

“The journey to building a business in the cloud requires both a willingness to learn new ways of thinking about our business and a deeper understanding of the opportunities available.” Rebecca Ralston, CEO of Agile Impact Group


Gretchen O’Hara, VP Go-To-Market Strategy, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft, and one of the driving forces and founders of Women in Cloud, declares,  “We are deeply committed from Microsoft on this initiative, one of the things I am very excited to announce, is I have been working personally to get a Microsoft Executive assigned to each and every one of you as a mentor and advisor of this incubator, and I have been able to accomplish that.”

To learn more about Women in Cloud and the Accelerator Lab, go to www.WomeninCloud.com

When we started our journey with Women in Cloud last year,  we knew we wanted to ignite a conversation and drive action around diversity and inclusion.  We had a sense that a rising tide was coming and our timing was right for “less talk, more action,” but I’m not sure we could have predicted the amazing momentum in the national consciousness around these issues that have emerged in the last handful of months.

Perhaps I should not admit that I tuned in last week to the Oscars primarily to see the beautiful gowns.  I did. But I also listened with the hope that Hollywood would bring focus to the conversation around diversity in their industry.  I was not disappointed. When Frances McDormand asked all female nominees to stand up, I leaned forward in anticipation of what my gut told me would be a special moment.  Stand up she told the women, be recognized.  But then she went on to tell the powerful men and women in the room to support those standing by taking action — don’t just chat tonight at a party she admonished, but take real action and invite these women who stand to a meeting, give them access to opportunity.

I had what I’m now going to think of as my “Frances McDormand” moment  (sadly, without the fabulous gown) at the recent Women in Cloud Summit.  I looked around the room of almost 400  business leaders and amazing emerging talent and I asked them to figuratively stand up and take an action — make a pledge to give women access.  Access to mentorship, access to resources or tools, or access to programs and funding — there are so many ways to contribute.

We named this call to action the “100 Cloud Commitments” and our goal was to get the leaders in the room and those in our broader network to take 100 actions in 2018.  One hundred actions that create access for women entrepreneurs in Washington.

So how did we do? I’m happy to say we have great momentum with more than 50 committed actions to date from individuals pledging their own time to companies of all sizes committing resources for internal and external initiatives.  Here is a sample of some of the amazing commitments we’ve seen so far:

  • Microsoft and HPE jointly funded a 6 month accelerator program for 15 women-led companies to grow their ability to sell into the channel.
  • “I would mentor women to lead, to find their voice and claim a seat at the table,” said one leader who volunteered as a Women in Cloud mentor.
  • Gretchen O’Hara has been actively promoting the Women in Cloud efforts with leadership within the UN and local state initiatives
  • VC Gillian Muessig announced the $100M Sybilla Masters Fund to invest in women-led start-ups. The fund is named after an inventor whose corn milling device was the first invention to receive a patent in the American colonial era.
  • Multiple women have signed up to be technical mentors in leading-edge cloud technologies such as containers, Kubernetes and Docker.
  • Carrie Francey, VP at HPE, signed up to lead an “opportunity circle,” a networking program where women come together to help others achieve their business goals.
  • Michele Keeffe, the veteran entrepreneur and technology marketer, pledged to connect women in technology to the people, leaders, jobs, and companies that will move them closer to their dreams.

I also took a pledge that day.  With a college-age daughter, my interests lie in advising and helping young women carve their career path into tech, particularly into product-oriented roles and I’m mentoring several young women who are starting their career.

So, are you ready to stand up?  We can help. Let us connect you to one of the many women who raised their hand as part of the Women in Cloud Mentor Network. Or, do you have a pledge of your own ready to put into action? Are you ready to support women with access to opportunities? We invite you to help the community hit our 100 Cloud Commitments goal. Reach out to Wendy White here.

Want to hear more about 100 Cloud Commitments?  Check back regularly as we’ll be announcing more each month.

Simply Inspired. Amazed.

From all of us on the founding team, we felt like we really did soar. We hoped that we helped all of you to soar too. For myself, in moderating the event, a few words kept coming to mind. That I was simply inspired by all the great women and our male allies in the room. I was amazed at how this not only came together but by all of you in the room – from our speakers, sponsors, champions, volunteers, and participants. It may have taken all of us a few days to really take it in; it did for me.

What few words would you use to describe your experience?

If you couldn’t make the Summit or want to relive it again, check out some great highlights from Geek Wireand the wonderful summary from Jeff Shuey, a community blogger. Or We also captured as many great photos as we could. Browse through our library but also send us your own photos too and we can share them out.

We Want Your Feedback.

Without it, it’s harder to learn, grow and make changes for the better. If you attended the event, make your voice heard and take just a few minutes to complete our survey to give us some feedback. It’s not anonymous on purpose – make your voice heard. All of us at Women in Cloud take feedback with an open mind and welcoming spirit – just as you experienced during the Summit.

What’s Next?

More than one event, Women in Cloud is the start of an initiative and some call it a movement. We are living true to our core mission of driving Female Tech Entrepreneurship to access customers and investments through enterprise distribution channels to grow their business. Moreover, it is our deep intent to drive broad learning, partnerships and mentoring for women in cloud computing.

We have unique programs for each of you to participate in and contribute to, whether you came to the Summit or not. We want you, and as many women as possible, to take the 100 Cloud Commitment Pledge. Create a tribe to help women in cloud computing.

Here are opportunities that we discussed at the Summit to help get you started and share with your colleagues:

  • The Cloud Accelerator – We are open.  If you are an entrepreneur who needs access to Microsoft and HPE distribution engines to grow your business, please consider applying to the Accelerator. If you want to be a mentor to help women-led business in the Accelerator, express your interest here and we will follow up with you. 
  • Opportunity Circles – We heard you. There is a need for mentorship circles that advance opportunities and learning moments for women personally, for the career, technical, and business advancement. Please consider and in conjunction with some great community partners, we will launch the circles shortly. In the meantime, sign up our to keep up to date on all the news and events. 
  • Investor/Sponsor Opportunities – We need you.  Whether you are an Angel, VC, or individual investor. Consider helping sponsor women-led businesses in cloud computing. We will be soon providing details on the Sybilla Masters Fund and are working with local funding organizations to bring more opportunities. You can also look to directly sponsor, partner or host Women in Cloud programs and upcoming events.


Many of you already have your own ideas about great opportunities – share them with us. We want to help you realize them as best as we can. Thank you to you and to everyone who helped make this initiative and the inaugural Summit possible. We will leave you with this, which were among the best phrases we heard that morning:

“Make your voice heard, claim your space and act.”

Every story has a beginning, here’s ours.


Thank you for being at the Women In Cloud Summit. This is your chance to network with 300+ potential partners.

Women In Cloud Summit celebrates the female entrepreneurs in the tech world; a source of inspiration and support that connects and empowers women leaders and entrepreneurs, helping them to realize their potential and reach new growth through leading cloud industry, community, and government partners.

Through the summit, we aim to bring together many more powerful business leaders and entrepreneurs, to inspire and get inspired, connect with each other, and get their businesses moving to the cloud! Our prestigious speakers will take you through the ups and downs of being leaders, mentors, and entrepreneurs. We promise you will walk away with new insights, completely charged up, and highly motivated to go out there and make a change.

The Summit attendees include people from various domains; from graduate students to marketing and technology professionals, from entrepreneurs to mentors to C-Level executives.

So, put on your thinking hats, dress your best, and walk in with confidence, join the movement to unlock opportunities for yourself, your friends and your community.


The IgniteWA team has been tracking along with the entire industry the Top Tech Issues to address in 2018. But we like to see these as tremendous opportunities that hide behind every perceived issue. It’s about having the right perspective and letting that lens focus on the solution.

  1. CYBERSECURITY: From WannaCry to Breaches to a Digital Geneva Convention, businesses of all sizes need to become super vigilant to update continuity plans, look at DR and make security policies part of everyday business life. How do you get educated and engage with the right partners to be secure and focus less on threats and more on your business? For security vendors/partners how can you grow your offering and push your IP into new needed areas to help better serve to exist and attract new customers?
  2. IMMIGRATION: From the travel ban, DACA and the green card backlog, having access to the pool of global talent your business needs to sustain, and grow is paramount. How are you supporting your current global workforce right here in the US and what your employee continuity plan is part of this?
  3. TECHNOLOGY FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES: Ensuring a fair shot for everyone and serving under-connected communities opens new doors of business and partnership.
  4. DIVERSITY AND TECH: A watershed year for women and minorities in business. You need to ensure your business thrives from a diverse workforce and that pushes your thinking and approach.
  5. PRIVACY AND SURVEILLANCE: Understanding how your business adapts to changing regulations and how to best provide for your customer’s protection is no longer a nice to have it’s a must do.
  6. AI AND ITS ROLE IN SOCIETY: The future of technology
  7. SUSTAINABILITY AND THE PARIS ACCORD: The U.S. government pulled out, but the tech sector stayed in. Plan on how your business will contribute to protecting the environment and benefit from greener and more eco-friendly business opportunities.
  8. NET NEUTRALITY: It’s not over yet and what is your plan to assure you can reach all your intended customers both current and future – how will your business go forward.
  9. CODING IN SCHOOLS: A decisive year in a decade-long movement and yet we as a nation have a deficiency in science, technology, and innovation. Identify what your business brings to bear to take advantage of these gaps and support cloud and technology acceleration.
  10. GLOBALIZATION OF THE IT SECTOR: It’s a new world

As we advance in 2018, IgniteWA will focus are focused on 4 core areas to advance digital equity and inclusion:

  • TECHNOLOGY FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES: Collaborating with all strategic partners to drive digital imperative bill and innovative solutions to provide digital access to all WA rural communities. #digitalimperative
  • DIVERSITY AND TECH: Launching #WomenInCloud initiative to advance women leaders and entrepreneurship in cloud computing
  • AI AND ITS ROLE IN SOCIETY: In collaboration with our strategic partners, we will develop and launch AI focused education and readiness programs for WA business owners.
  • NET NEUTRALITY: Creating groundswell movement to bring all communities together to provide collective voice and solutions to address Net Neutrality challenges.
  • PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: Develop digital ready programs via public-private partnerships to advance digital inclusion.

Interested to tackle these opportunities with us? Then become part of the IgniteWA community, start here.