DC Startup Week 2020 DC Startup Week 2020
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The (Post-COVID) Effect: Growth In The Midst of Chaos

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Anil Hemrajani
Startup Sidekick, Founder
Anil Hemrajani is the founder of Startup Sidekick, an online community dedicated to making tech startups successful. Anil is a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits, a former coder and a software executive with experience in product development using emerging technologies, at startups and Fortune 500 companies. Anil is also a published author of books and articles and has spoken at events worldwide.
David Simnick
Soapbox, Co-Founder and CEO

Dave Simnick is the CEO and co-founder of SoapBox Soaps, a company whose mission is empower customers with the ability to change the world through everyday, quality purchases. SoapBox products are currently shelved in tens of thousands of stores across the United States and beyond.

As an Eagle Scout, Dave’s dream was to found for-profit companies with a social mission at their core. Since then, he has worked as either an intern or consultant to USAID, the U.S. Army, Michelle Rhee, the U.S. Senate, and was a Teach for America educator in Northern Philadelphia.

Dave’s got a house full of notebooks; he doesn’t like to let ideas get away from him. Give him any concept, and Dave will start tinkering with it. He’s worked on various sides of the startup industry: helping companies expand, getting the ball rolling with funding and publicity, making connections, and putting ideas together from the ground up.

Janna Westbrook
Provider Pool, CEO

After a personal struggle with nurse burnout and talent acquisition challenges, Janna wanted to create an online labor marketplace connecting hospitals to nurses, on-demand. Janna then led Provider Pool from idea stage to revenue generation in less than 6 months, securing investors, customers and top talent along the way.

Aside from entrepreneurship, Janna teaches clinical skills to practical nursing students, paints acrylic portraits and sings/plays keyboard in a band.

Motto: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it!”

Ronit Avni
Localized, Inc., Founder & CEO

Ronit Avni is a tech and media entrepreneur and Peabody award-winning producer. She is founder and CEO of Localized, a talent tech platform that connects university students and recent graduates from emerging markets to industry experts and employers looking for top talent. Ronit was twice named a “New DC Power Woman in Tech”. Previously, Ronit founded the media organization Just Vision. She has won dozens of media prizes including the Puma Creative Impact Award, and her team’s work was featured in nearly every major news outlet and viewed by tens of millions of people on TV, online and in influential settings from TED to the United Nations.

Named a Young Global Leader through the World Economic Forum and a Halcyon Fellow, Ronit sits on the jury of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 & Change Competition and the Global Teacher Prize.

Born and raised in Montreal, Ronit began her career at WITNESS.org, which advises activists and technology companies on the ethical and strategic uses of video and digital technology for social impact. She co-edited the book, “Video for Change.”

Ronit has been recognized with a variety of honors, including the Trailblazer Award from the National Council for Research on Women.