Women are at the forefront of change! The recent US Election results clearly state that it is time for women to take the lead and influence change. With the landscape changing Women in technology are leading the industry to initiate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity conversations.

Women in Cloud is a community of women from technology who are at the forefront of driving change by creating access to opportunities and resources to empower female-technology entrepreneurs to economically impact the world.  This effort is being recognized by Insight Success Magazine.

Insight Success Magazine launched the “Top 10 Most Influential Women in Cloud 2020” edition, commemorating women leaders and executives from the technology industry in the US. We are very excited to announce the “Top 10 Most Influential Women in Cloud 2020” from the Women in Cloud community.

Gretchen is working towards Microsoft’s US acceleration of its Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, and Sustainability initiative to become carbon negative by 2030. Gretchen is a 25+ year tech industry veteran with vast experience in commercial, public sector, industry, and partner sales and marketing. 

Senator Patty was first appointed to the House of Representatives in September of 2015 and won her first election to retain the seat the following year. In January 2017, Patty was again unanimously appointed by the King County Council to fill the vacant Senate seat in the 48th Legislative District and was selected by her colleagues to chair the new Senate Housing Stability and Affordability Committee.

Gavriella is currently revolutionizing the Partnership Channel at Microsoft. As corporate vice president for the One Commercial Partner business, Gavriella Schuster leads the Microsoft partner business strategy, across all commercial partners. She has extensive experience in sales, marketing, product management, and partner development, with a strong track record of managing customers, partners, and teams.

  • Christine Puccio | Vice President | Global Cloud Alliance & GTM Program | F5 Network

Christine is a seasoned leader in the technology industry and a champion for diversity and inclusion. Over the past 25 years, Christine has led high-performing sales teams and has built strategic partnerships for Fortune 500 companies such as F5, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin.

Karen Fassio leads the strategy for digital marketing engagement that serves the global Microsoft Partner Ecosystem.  She has held multiple marketing roles over her 21 years at Microsoft including her work in global technical readiness, licensing, sales excellence, audience, and channel marketing. 

Chaitra Vedullapalli is recognized as an Influential Business Leader with a passion to enable digital equity and access to achieve economic prosperity in our communities. Using the power of AI, Cloud, and IoT, Vedullapalli Is fiercely committed to empowering business owners to access the digital economy.

Renee oversees AppSmart’s strategy, sales, marketing, service delivery, and business development. A thought-leader in the technology industry for more than 25 years, and a channel veteran, Renée is a driving force behind propelling AppSmart and its partners’ next phase of growth through digital services.

Lani brings over 20 years’ experience in the technology industry as a technology executive. Lani currently serves as Vice President of Channel Sales at Microsoft Corporation. Her team supports our customers’ digital transformation efforts by accelerating co-selling partnerships with the Microsoft partner ecosystem representing a $40B business.

  • Kimberly Smith | Global Vice President | Cloud Innovation Services | IBM

Throughout her career, Kimberly has launched products and services for a multitude of technology platforms, industries, and sectors leading at organizations such as The Bank of New York, Microsoft, Adobe, Capgemini, and IBM as well advised thousands of startups toward profitable businesses. With over 30 years of global experience as a Fortune 500 executive, Kimberly Smith has pioneered cloud and digital innovation.

Gina is a Managing Director with Accenture, the world’s largest consulting firm. In her current role, she manages a team designing complex solutions to solve business challenges for her Fortune 1000 clients. Over her 25 year career, she has global powerhouses like IBM, where she ran sales for their North America Customer Care Practice, Genpact – where she ran their Hi-tech sector globally, EDS, and Leo Burnett.

We congratulate our leaders for their continued effort to build a sustainable and inclusive technology industry.

It is a special day to celebrate female leaders and entrepreneurs in technology! Today, Gavriella Schuster was awarded the ATHENA Global Leadership Award, previously bestowed upon icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Condoleezza Rice, and Christina Koch, just to name a few. One among us broke the “glass ceiling” and is carving a path for women in the technology industry and we could not be more excited about this.

Gavriella Schuster is the Corporate Vice President of One Commercial Partner at Microsoft. Over the last 24 years, she has held 14 roles across six disciplines – Operations, Marketing, Sales, Training, Enterprise Services, Licensing, Product Management to now leading Partnerships at Microsoft. While her professional accolades are remarkable, she is constantly trying to bring her personal mission to make the technology industry an accessible space for women to explore. Gavriella guides communities like Women in Cloud, and The WIT Network to ensure women are given a seat at the highest table in the industry.

“My inspiration to incorporate and advocate inclusivity, equality and equity in technology was my daughter. It was a simple dream, to be her role model. However, as time went by, my journey was not just about her, but thousands of women who I realized were held at bay despite their capabilities. Today, I am honored that what started as a personal mission is my ingrained passion which impacts women around the world” said Gavriella, while receiving her award at a virtual ceremony.

We at Women in Cloud are honored to have Gavriella Schuster as our executive and founding sponsor, a mentor and a team member. On this day, we celebrate Gavriella and all her achievements and are proud that she represents our community and millions of women from the technology industry across the globe.

“The times are crucial and it calls upon all of us to #BeTheChange. I request everybody to step up, take on challenges, drive inclusive conversations and be the change in our society,” Schuster added in her closing statement.

On the powerful note, we urge you to join us to congratulate Gavriella and join our movement to be the change today!

Read more about, Gavriella Schuster’s incredible contribution to the tech industry here.

Women in Cloud (WiC) has partnered with IdeaGen to further the 2030 United Nations’ global goals through the identification of AI-based solutions by launching #AISolutions2030 Solution Design Contest. In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development proposing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN’s mission is to employ technology and build a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity of the planet.

Leveraging the UN Knowledge Repository, WIC and Ideagen are bringing some of the sharpest technologists and greatest business minds together to produce AI Solutions idea to contribute to UN SDGs.

After receiving 65+ applications by women-led innovators to showcase their solution, the following 10 semi-finalists have been shortlisted for the interview round;

Semi-finalists include:

  • The Scientific Data Engine (SDE) (led by Donna Conroy, Founder/CEO) will end and prevent global pandemics/epidemics by expediting the delivery of safe and effective scientific innovations (drugs, vaccines and diagnostics) and optimizing patient care using disease-specific, real-time clinical data powered by AI. (Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being)
  • VideoWiki (led by Nataliia Rzhevska, CIO, PhD in Pedagogy) is a simple tool for teachers to create teaching content without any advance knowledge of a tool or code – “Video Wikipedia for Learners and Creators” (Goal 4: Quality Education)
  • Share Cart (led by Madhuri Vegaraju, Software Architect) has the end goal to ensure every home has enough food to feed their family every day with dignity; because, sharing is caring.(Goal 2: Zero Hunger)
  • Seguro Project (led by Melissa Bush, Product Designer) is utilizing AI technologies to support domestic violence organizations in broadening their reach and depth in aiding as many women as possible to transition from domestic violence victim to survivor. (Goal 5: Gender Equality)
  • An Intelligent Drone-port (led by Daamini Visaalaakshi, BIE- Insouring2) is an infrastructure with Swarm of autonomous Drones and UAVs for community services with rapid response to any situation safeguarding communities. (Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure)
  • Anonymous Interviewer (led by Erica Jackson, BI/Analytics) offers gender neutral interviews – “meet” your candidates anonymously and ask spontaneous questions in real time. (Goal 5: Gender Equality)
  • E-commerce which provides a marketing and raw material assistance for small scale industries world wide (led by Reshma Shetty, Manager) will provide a marketing and raw material assistance for small scale industries world wide and increase the access of small-scale industrial. (Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure)
  • Kids Household Chores (led by Kruthika M Kanavi, Programmer Analyst) is a gaming app which aims at children learning as well as imbibing a new norm in the daily routine which is free of any gender stereotypes. (Goal 5: Gender Equality)
  • Smart Detection of Road Hazards using AI for Sustainable Cities (led by Gunjan Vaishnav, EO&T – BICIPL IT ENG SYSTEMS) provides automatic detection of road hazards to save precious lives (Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities)
  • Mobile app to reduce food waste and carbon emissions (led by Leah Kim, AUTOMATION & FABRICATION) plans to transform our cities to be sustainable using cloud/AI computing to reduce residential food waste and consequently the greenhouse gas emissions. (Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities)

At the closed interview session, teams will have the opportunity to present and pitch their solution ideas to a team of esteemed interviewers from Women in Cloud, Ideagen, Microsoft, and Qumulo. Solution ideas will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The solution uniquely solves a UN Sustainable Development Goal
  • The solution is original and innovative in approach to solve the selected UN Sustainable Development Goal
  • There is a market opportunity and revenue stream potential

Top 3 finalists will be selected on August 31 and will receive special honors such as an interview on IdeagenTV, a feature at IdeaGen’s 17 Days of Sustainability (September 17 – October 9), and a special award. 

#AISolutions2030 Solution Design Contest is presented in partnership with Microsoft, Ideagen, Boeing, and Meylah.

Women in Cloud is announcing the following finalists for the #CloudInnovateHERxDigital Pitch Challenge, and we are proud to present their solutions

Special congratulations to our 7 finalists that will be pitching their solutions on Friday, September 4 as they compete for the chance to win $5,000 in cash and cloud credits. Click here to see video teasers from the finalists!

  • UNpkl empowers customers to own and control their network data and puts network security on auto-pilot.
  • Captain’s Care takes the hassle out of boat ownership and gives you a trouble-free day on the water. We offer a variety of options to suit every need for marine maintenance and care. We fill the need for the owner operator that does not require a full-time captain or who needs expertise and assistance with marine services needed for their vessel.
  • The Scientific Data Engine (SDE) is a drug development platform that expedites delivery of safe and effective scientific innovations (drugs, vaccines & diagnostics) using disease specific, real-time clinical data powered by AI.
  • RevWork Platform has the intention to change the face of learning forever by providing actionable learning content that can be practiced around day to day events.
  • illuxi Intelligence is a cloud based, hosting and content delivering platform. We also produce, advise and support clients using our business intelligence tools for their content delivery.
  • Proverbs Events and Conferencing – Event managers and event marketers seek better, integrated tools that give us the right data we need to deliver meaningful, engaging events. “Integrated” is the keyword here as it’s not just about the event itself, it’s about tying the event into the brand experience all year round to build trust, loyalty and excitement. In 2020, there’s been a growing appetite for aggregated analytics dashboards. These dashboards pull data from multiple sources such as CRM’s, registration solutions, marketing platforms and social media.
  • iWeb IUMS has created a unique student universe that provides students, professors and administrators an amazing academic experience through a comprehensive digitized educational application provided on a FREEMIUM model that brings banks, fintech, edtech and several other student service players on a common platform.

With this pitch challenge, we wanted to go one step forward as we did in the last #CloudInnovateHERxDigital and give our audience a chance to choose their favorite solution among the lot. We are very happy to announce that, of the above finalists, the audience will get to vote for a solution they believe is revolutionary during the #CloudInnovateHERxDigital Pitch Challenge on Friday, September 4, 2020. As an added benefit, all attendees will have the chance to participate in up to one hour of open networking in the virtual lounge! Click here to register to attend and have your chance to vote. Use Code WIC2020 to access sponsored tickets!

The #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge which was designed to help women tech entrepreneurs across global markets develop, showcase and win enterprise customers. This competition was designed to provide economic access and industry visibility to women tech entrepreneurs while also giving them an opportunity to present technologies that create a sustainable impact in today’s world.

The digital pitch challenge event will kick off with a special keynote by Seema Chopra, Global Technical Leader of Boeing on “Innovating Tech Solutions in a Turbulent Landscape”. Following that, our distinguished panel of judges will listen to each 3 minute pitch and ask questions to learn more about each solution before voting for the overall winner.

Our virtual pitch challenge is breaking the geographical barrier during the COVID-19 era while incorporating new-age technology like Remo. Remo is designed with a focus on large events to be hosted online with a special focus on community networking capabilities at small “roundtables”. The event is supported by Microsoft, M12 – Microsoft’s Venture FundGlobal Affairs CanadaThe Boeing CompanyMeylah and Remo.

This pitch challenge gives opportunities for women around the world to showcase their cloud solutions to industry leaders and cloud experts. Women in Cloud’s mission is to help bridge the access gap through this pitch challenge and help women technology entrepreneurs reach their goal and contribute to economic growth.

Earlier this year Women in Cloud joined the EQUALS Global Partnership, which brings together more than 90 stakeholders including, governments, private sector, United Nation entities, academia and not-for-profit organizations to accelerate efforts towards bridging the gender digital divide and fostering gender equality in the digital age.

Last week, we were happy to announce that our very own Co-founder and President, Chaitra Vedullapalli joined forces with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to deliver a SheTrades Invest course webinar in support of EQUALS. 

Earlier this year Women in Cloud joined the EQUALS Global Partnership, which brings together more than 90 stakeholders including, governments, private sector, United Nation entities, academia and not-for-profit organizations to accelerate efforts towards bridging the gender digital divide and fostering gender equality in the digital age.

The SheTrades Invest course is a 5-part webinar series designed by ITC’s SheTrades Initiative to help women entrepreneurs succeed in the technology sector by improving their access to finance. The SheTrades initiative aims to connect 3 million women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to international markets by 2021. The initiative offers a blueprint of seven global actions to unlock markets for women as well as a web and mobile app for women entrepreneurs to connect to buyers, investors, and new markets.

On 23 June 2020, Chaitra Vedullapalli presented the fifth and final webinar in the course on the topic of, ‘How to get ready for corporate contracts: The art of winning & keeping enterprise customers’. Chaitra as the Co-founder of Meylah Corporation has had her ups and downs in the tech industry in terms of securing customers and contracts during her initial days and was well placed to share her learnings with course participants during the live 1.5-hour interactive webinar.

There are also other course webinars including , ‘Identifying the right financial instruments for your technology company’ co-hosted by Dr. Gitanjali Swamy, Managing Partner at IoTask & Representative to the EQUALS Leadership Coalition that can be accessed via the EQUALS website here.

The SheTrades Invest course on access to finance is very timely as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that MSMEs face a financing gap of approximately $5.2 trillion dollars annually. According to the World Bank, women led enterprises receive only 3 percent of all venture capital funding. The SheTrades invest course aims to close this gap by equipping women entrepreneurs with the skills, tools and knowledge to meet the needs of investors and securing financing. 

Women in Cloud as a community is striving through the collaborative efforts of our partners and members. In this regard, we are extremely honored to contribute to the SheTrades Invest course webinar and the efforts of EQUALS Global Partnership and the International Trade Centre. Furthermore, to watch a recording of Chaitra’s session and access other webinars in support of EQUALS,  please visit:  https://www.equals.org/leadership-webinar.