Springboard’s Alumnae Stories

Read our alumnae success stories and their perspectives on breaking into their respective industries as women-led companies.

Melanie Perkins

Canva Co-Founder & CEO, Melanie Perkins is an Alumna of Springboard’s SBE Australia 2013 Innovation cohort. Perkins vision to develop an online design and publishing tool positions her as one of the youngest female CEOs of a tech start-up valued over $1 billion. Canva is armed with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. The easy to use platform is used across global companies and startups alike. Based in Sydney, Australia Canva has 60+ million monthly active users in 190 countries.
In 2021, Canva raised $200 million at a $40 billion valuation, making it the world’s fifth-most valuable private startup.
Springboard is proud to call Melanie an Alumna of Springboard because of her continued vision to empower the world of design.


Robin Chase

Robin Chase is the Founder and CEO of Zipcar, the largest car sharing company in the world. Robin is an Alumna of Springboard’s New England Innovation cohort in 2000.

Robin co-founded Zipcar in 2000 and co-wrote its first business plan after hearing about a car-sharing venture in Europe. Zipcar disrupted the transportation industry by allowing customers to book cars on demand by the hour or day. Zipcar went public in 2011 and was later acquired by Avis Budget Group in 2013.

We are proud of Robin’s continued dedication to transportation innovation and her thought leadership across transportation, entrepreneurship, and technology innovation.

Constant Contact

Gail Goodman

Gail Goodman is the former Chairman, President, and CEO of Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT), and is a prestigious Alumna from Springboard’s 2000 New England Innovation cohort. Gail startedConstant Contact (then Roving Software) which enables users to engage email marketing campaigns and nurture customer relationships.

In her 16-year tenure as CEO, Gail led the company to a successful IPO in 2007. She left the company shortly after its acquisition by Endurance in 2016 for $1.1 billion. She continues to be an innovator and we are proud of Gail’s continued commitment to making a better world through inclusive entrepreneurship.

The RealReal

Julie Wainwright

E-Commerce pioneer, Julie Wainwright is the founder and CEO of The RealReal (NASDAQ: REAL). Julie is an Alumna of Springboard’s All Things Media 2008 Innovation Cohort and the recepient of Springboard’s 2016 Northstar Award. The Real Real is an online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods. The company uses a rigorous authentication process to provide a safe and reliable platform for consumers to buy and sell their luxury items.

As a sustainable company, The RealReal gives new life to pieces by brands such as Gucci to Cartier by providing accessible consignment to shoppers 60 countries across the globe. The RealReal went public in 2019 with a $2.3 billion valuation.

We are proud of the work Julie is doing to disrupt the fashion industry through the continued innovation at The RealReal.


Elisabet de los Pinot

Aura Biosciences (NASDAQ: AURA) founder Elisabet de los Pinos, PhD is an Alumna of Springboard’s Life Sciences Innovation 2012 cohort. Her vision to develop a VDC technology platform to treat cancer tumors has positioned Aura as a market leader in the urologic and ocular oncology space.

Aura is working to establish a new standard of care through a new class of oncology targeted therapies that deliver meaningful therapeutic benefit to a range of cancer indications with high unmet need. They are driven by a passion and commitment to science and especially the patients battling cancer who are relying on these new therapies. Aura went public in 2021.

We are proud of our Springboard Alumna Elisabet de los Pinos and her courageous and innovative work.

Marrone Bio Innovations

Pamela Marrone

ArgaQuest founder and CEO, Pamela Marrone is an Alumna of Springboard’s Silicon Valley 2004 Innovation cohort. She founded ArgaQuest in 1995 with the purpose to develop environementally friendly products for pest management. heir green products control a broad spectrum of pests and diseases and offer farmers integrated pest management programs to minimize development of resistance and maximize crop yields.

In Pamela’s 11-year tenure as CEO, she raised over $60 million in venture capital. AgraQuest was sold to Bayer for $425 million plus $75 million in milestone payments in 2012.

We at Springboard champion Pamela’s continued innovation in the food & agriculture industry.

Ondine Biomedical

Carolyn Cross

Carolyn Cross is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ondine Biomedical Inc. (LON: OBI), a Vancouver-based medical devices company. Carolyn is an Alumna of Springboard’s Life Science innovation cohort where she presented Odine in 2017.

Ondine is a life sciences company that focuses on the development of photodisinfection-based therapies to provide solutions to drug-resistant infections. They are focused on developing and commercializing novel antimicrobial therapies that address significant patient needs, are environmentally safe, provide substantial public health benefits, are easy to deploy, and cost a fraction of the infections they target. Ondine made its debut on the London Stock Exchange in December 2021.

Springboard is proud to call Carolyn an Alumna for her continued work in women’s empowerment and innovation.


Julia Cheek

Julia Cheek is the Founder and CEO of EverlyWell and an Alumna of Springboard’s Tech Innovation Hub 2016 cohort.

EverlyWell is a digital health company poised to disrupt the 25 billion dollar lab testing industry by providing consumers with at-home lab tests that include insightful, easy-to-understand results. EverlyWell was founded in 2015 to provide consumers access to at-home lab tests that include insightful, easy-to-understand results. As of 2021, EverlyWell had raised $325 million in funding and has a post-money valuation in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.

Julia continues to break barriers, and we are proud to call her a Springboard Alumna.


Michelle Longmire

Dr. Michelle Longmire is the Co-Founder and CEO of Medable and is a notable Alumna from Springboard’s Digital Health 2017 innovation cohort. She co-founded Medable with a vision to open research to the world through a decentralized clinical trial platform proven to help get effective therapies to patients faster.

Medable uses a cloud-based approach to making participation in clinical trials more consumer-friendly and more equitable. The company is privately held and based in Palo Alto, California. Medable has raised $521 million in funding with a $2.1 billion valuation.

Dr. Longmire’s passion for medicine and the human experience makes Springboard proud to call her an Alumna.


Kathleen Chien

Kathleen Chien is an Alumna of Springboard’s Silicon Valley 2000 innovation cohort. She is the Co-Founder, COO, and Acting CFO of 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS) a leading human resource solutions provider in China.

51job was founded in 1998 and offers a broad array of services in recruitment solutions, training and assessment, and HR tools and outsourcing services. 51job serves hundreds of thousands of domestic and multinational corporate clients through 26 offices in Hong Kong and Mainland China. In September 2004, 51job successfully completed its IPO on NASDAQ and in 2022 51job became a privately held company after completing a merger with Garnet Faith Limited.

Kathleen is a pioneer and we are proud to call her an Alumna of Springboard.


Sheila Mikhail

Sheila Mikhail, CEO & Co-Founder of AskBio, is an Alumna of Springboard’s New England 2004 innovation cohort and was a Northstar Honoree as part of Springboard’s 2019 Winners’ Circle Dinner. Sheila co-founded AskBio in 2001 with the unwavering belief that gene therapies could cure disease and change the world. AskBio’s therapeutic focus on neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases now has clinical trials underway for Pompe disease, Parkinson’s disease, and congestive heart failure. AskBio became a wholly-owned, independently operated, subsidiary of Bayer AG in late 2020 as a cornerstone of its newly formed Cell & Gene Therapy (CGT) platform. Sheila continues to set a high bar in gene therapy and Springboard is proud of her accomplishments and evolutionary changes in the healthcare industry.

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