Capital Factory’s First Virtual ‘Women  in Tech’ Summit Highlights Diversity and Inclusion

Fort Worth's Neuro Rehab VR, pitched by Veena Somareddy, won in a startup competition that rounded out the day.

The event, originally intended as a hosted event in Dallas, was 5+ hours of inspiration and information. It's available to watch on YouTube.

Capital Factory’s 2020 “Women in Tech” summit packed in information and inspiration on Tuesday. Kicked off by CEO Josh Baer, the streamed event included a keynote chat with Mary Grove, who previously served as Director of Google for Startups and Investment Partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and plenty of interaction. The event also hosted multiple panels on topics such as “Alternative Ways to Secure Funding” and  “Culture of Perception: Leaders, Employees, and Culture Makers.” 

The summit was aimed at women leaders, entrepreneurs, and other allies in tech who support or invest in diversity and inclusion. While the primary focus was on Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the summit attracted folks from all over the U.S., organizers said. 

Women in Tech Startup Competition

Fort Worth-based Neuro Rehab VR won the Women in Tech virtual pitch competition, which rounded out the day. Six startups, including three from Dallas-Fort Worth, competed for the legal and consulting service prizes. 

Veena Somareddy, who co-launched Neuro Rehab VR in 2017 with Bruce Conti, said the physical and cognitive therapy startup provides a turnkey solution for clinics and their patients with its virtual reality technology. Somareddy, in an earlier interview with Dallas Innovates, said she wants to help people who have had strokes or traumatic brain injuries overcome their limitations with engaging and motivating VR/AR therapy. 

Since the startup’s beginnings, the team has designed and created VR exercises that can be used alongside doctors and therapists that are targeted to their patient demographics. Beyond traumatic brain injuries and strokes, those also can include spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and more. The immersive experience of Neuro Rehab VR’s training exercises can use more of a patient’s senses and brainpower to help aid neurological physical therapy recovery.

Now, the company is looking at telehealth and other home health expansions, said Somareddy, who was featured in Dallas Innovates’ “26 Innovators to Watch” in 2019.

Judges for the pitch competition were True Wealth Ventures’ Sara Brand, Notley Ventures’ Lawton Cummings, Baker Botts’ Natalie Gonzales, and Amazon Web Services’ Sandy Carter.

Competing startups include:

  • SalesBoost, a Plano-based sales training platform founded in 2016.
  • MeBeBot, an Austin-based virtual assistant founded in 2018.
  • SOTAOG, a Houston-based cloud platform for process control and field monitoring devices founded in 2017.
  • Neuro Rehab VR, a Fort Worth-based AR/VR physical and cognitive therapy startup co-founded in 2017.
  • SimiDigi, a Dallas-based AR/VR workforce training and development startup that uses 3D gamification founded in 2015.
  • Skin ProBiotics, a Katy-based beauty and wellness startup founded in 2017.

Startup information is provided by the companies. 

The Agenda

Here a highlights from the day’s lineup, per Capital Factory.

  • Lightning Chat: Major General Tracy R. Norris (Texas Military Department), moderated by Joshua Baer (Capital Factory)
  • Keynote Chat: Mary Grove (Silicon North Stars), moderated by Mellie Price (Capital Factory)
  • Panel: Alternative Ways to Secure Funding Panel + Q&A with Kim Folsom (Founders First Capital Partners), Brooke Robbins (Republic), Laura Baldwin (Golden Seeds), Noëlle Tuss (Long Capture), moderated by Jill Klinvex (Capital Factory)
  • Panel: Culture of Perception: Leaders, Employees and Culture Makers Panel + Q&A with Yesenia Reyes (Accenture), Mandy Price (Kanarys), and Candi Coe (Aceable).
  • Session: Practicing Self-Care in Times of Crisis, led by Ali Cupito (Accenture)

Where to Watch

Originally planned as a hosted event in Dallas, the summit was 5+ hours of goodness. And lucky for you, it’s also available to watch on YouTube. Pro tip: Turn on the chat replay for a bounty of extra resources and contacts.

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