For International Women’s Day, we want to acknowledge and celebrate the women Founders and entrepreneurs in our ecosystem that are making big moves, elevating the startup ecosystem in our region, and creating unique and innovative solutions. It is always inspiring to work alongside several intelligent, passionate and strong women, that continue to help the startup ecosystem grow and thrive. Many of the women featured are mentoring and engaging with young women that are emerging in the tech ecosystem in Atlantic Canada, and we hope to keep that conversation going.

Sara Fedullo, Co-Founder + COO, HOLLO Medical

Sara Fedullo is Co-Founder and CEO of HOLLO Medical. Originally from Italy, she moved to Canada seven years ago. Since then, her background in Chemical and Process Engineering, in addition to her passion and expertise in 3D printing technologies, led her towards the exciting path of establishing a startup company. HOLLO Medical is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was created with the intent of easing the burden of respiratory illness on inhaler users. They have done this by reinventing the traditionally bulky valved holding chamber, used by millions of patients globally, into a pocket sized device.

“This experience has taught me that entrepreneurship requires hard work. But when challenges arise, it is important to remember that to be an entrepreneur is to show the world your passion. With a nudge in the right direction, everyone is capable of that. Consider this a gentle nudge from me to you.” – Sara Fedullo

Chantal Brine, CEO, EnPoint

Chantal is a builder of people – and by extension, businesses and communities. Her interest in the psychology behind human interaction brought her to Saint Mary’s University from Bermuda, where she focused on Psychology, Business, and Human Resources. Following university, she made Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada home, and began supporting leaders in the private and public sectors as a general consultant. This work led to her role with North American technology company, Unique Solutions Design Ltd., where she led the development and execution of their human capital strategy for four years as the company tripled in size. After reconnecting with her own passion of helping others develop confidence to build careers that they love, she started EnPoint, with a mission to support one million people in building meaningful careers. EnPoint helps organizations in doing just that – through mentorship software, program design, and mentor/mentee training.  

“Mentorship is personal to me; it was a mentor that helped me realize I had this fire to create something inside of me and that I could.  Building a company with a mission as big as ours is excitingly challenging, yet deeply rewarding. I’d have it no other way!” – Chantal Brine

Christine Goudie, Co-Founder + CEO, Granville Biomedical

Photo credit: Maurice Fitzgerald / techNL

Hailing from St. John’s NL, Christine is a product design entrepreneur with in-depth experience spanning medical device design, healthcare training simulation, 3D printing and rapid prototyping, clinical trial research, marketing, and programming. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Granville Biomedical Inc. – a Canadian health tech company specializing in the design of pelvic health anatomical models to enhance clinical practice, and prioritize patient care. Since 2019, Granville’s models have been distributed across 10 countries for the purpose of accurately teaching and demonstrating various women’s health procedures. In 2020, Granville expanded its product line with the launch of the patent-pending Granville Swab designed for COVID-19 testing. Currently, the team continues its medical device’s research and development efforts with the design and validation of a novel pharmacogenetics swab to be manufactured in Canada to foster domestic supply chains.

“To me, entrepreneurship is a purpose-driven journey. There are highs and lows along the way but the most rewarding aspect is bringing ideas to life through collaborative research and development. As an entrepreneur, I’m passionate about designing products that advance healthcare by improving an individual’s quality of life.” – Christine Goudie

Mandy Woodland, Co-Founder, Amp Health

Mandy is the former Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Bounce Health Innovation, Vice-Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Innovation and Business Investment Corporation, and a trustee of the Canadian Museum of Nature. She’s studied and worked in biology, medical research, law and now tech, and has curated a career that allows her to use all those experiences jointly. She’s passionate about housing and health, and volunteers with two affordable housing initiatives. With a B.Sc. (Biology) from Memorial University, LL.B. from Dalhousie University, and a Masters of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University, Mandy applies her education and work experience to improve healthcare and advocate for science. She is a past winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Innovation) from the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE), former Chair of TechNL (NATI), a Rotary award winner for community contribution, and was a fellow of the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University. She lives in St. John’s, NL with her golden retriever, Wade Boggs.

“What we have in Atlantic Canada is pretty special – the support of our regional tech ecosystem is unique. Amp Health just graduated from the Founder Institute, Silicon Valley, and my fellow alumni regularly comment on the great opportunities we have here – and I know we’re just getting started on what we can achieve to drive social and economic growth in the region.” – Mandy Woodland

Rafaela Andrade, CEO, Myomar Molecular

Dr. Rafaela Andrade is the CEO of Myomar Molecular. She came to Canada from Brazil a decade ago to complete graduate studies at Dalhousie University. She has a PhD in molecular biology and received many prestigious awards, including Student of the Year. On the last year of her PhD studies, she became a mother, and started to grow a passion for health and wellness. In April 2021, she co-founded Myomar to innovate the diagnostic of muscle atrophy. Since then, her team has raised federal and provincial funding to advance Myomar’s technology. In her free time, you can often find her exploring the local trails with her family or at crossfit.

“Being an entrepreneur is like working with clay. You start with a vision, clay, and nothing else; then you work very hard, you turn and shape your clay. You face many challenges, but you keep being consistent until you turn your clay into matter.” – Rafaela Andrade

Melissa MacMaster, CEO, Food for Thought Software Solutions

Melissa’s professional background is diverse. With over seven years of involvement in Atlantic Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and startup community, she has been a part of several successful ventures. Food For Thought Software Solutions helps Canadian children access nutritious food through food initiative programs while reducing the stigma around food insecurity. Their mission is to keep vulnerable children fed while ensuring that their company maintains high social responsibility wherever they do business. 

“Entrepreneurship has always been part of my DNA, I love figuring out the solution to a problem. With Food For Thought, I had an ‘aha’ moment, that gut realization that no one has disrupted this industry before. We were the first to market with a software that automates the logistics and enables thousands of children to receive a healthy, nutritious lunch at school.” – Melissa MacMaster

Rima AI Shikh, Founder + CEO, Begin AI

Rima is a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits, and she is an experienced data scientist and engineer. She has a track record of designing and building scalable technologies for businesses of all sizes, from startups to fortune 100 enterprises.

Rima is passionate about developing inclusive technologies that support economies at scale and helping everyone receive access to AI-enabled products. This passion led her to establish Begin AI, which offers a lightweight, fast and scalable SDK to implement advanced machine-learning based personalization experiences, with little to no setup.

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