Women Entrepreneurship for Social Good
Danya Sherman is an entrepreneur passionate about combining human rights and technology innovation to create lasting, sustainable, social change. She is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and inventor of KnoNap, a cocktail napkin that is capable of detecting the presence of illicit drugs in a beverage. Through KnoNap, Sherman works to empower college and dating aged individuals to always be in the know of what they are consuming. Sherman has participated in distinguished entrepreneurial fellowship programs, including Halcyon House, Future Founders, Kairos, and Target. She has featured as Washington Life’s Technology 25 Innovators and Disruptors, DC Inno’s 25 Under 25 Brightest Young Innovators, Cafe 100 Change-Maker, Impact Award’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year USA Finalist, Toyota’s Mother of Invention, among Washington Life’s Technology Hall of Fame, and Forbes Class of 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Kate is the Senior Director for Economic Opportunity and Empowerment, stewarding business-led coalitions to advance economic opportunities and equality for marginalized communities. In April, Kate spearheaded the Save Small Business Fund, an $8M grant initiative providing relief to small businesses impacted by Covid-19.
Previously, Kate led regional social impact efforts at Lyft, where she created and scaled philanthropic initiatives across the United States and Canada. In partnership with leading nonprofits, she rapidly incubated ideas into cornerstone programs like the Lyft Grocery Access Program and Lyft Community Grants.
Kate has extensive entrepreneurship experience having spent time as a startup founder and ecosystem convener. Before serving as SEED SPOT’s Director of Entrepreneur Initiatives, where she galvanized a community of investors and mentors around early stage founders, she was the founder and CEO of Heartful.ly, a category-forging charitable wedding registry.
Early in her career, Kate managed global health communications and public diplomacy portfolios for the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania and Senegal. She received her B.A. in Political Science and African Studies from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.