Cracking The Code

GoogleA panel of judges will select three winning prototypes (and one honorable mention), awarding four teams cash prizes to develop innovative apps tackling the obstacles women face in the digital news startup industry. Solutions may address a range of challenges including but not limited to access to seed funding, gender bias in the pitching process, network building, mentorship needs, and scaling up.

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Jeremy Caplan


Jeremy Caplan is director of education for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He teaches courses on entrepreneurial journalism, digital journalism, reporting and writing, and business fundamentals. Prior to teaching, Caplan wrote for Time magazine on business, technology and cultural trends. He was a Wiegers Fellow at Columbia Business School, where he completed his MBA, and a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School. Caplan holds a degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Before joining Time, he worked for The Paris Review, Yahoo! Internet Life, and Newsweek.

LaToya Drake


LaToya Drake is a spokesperson and media/marketing manager at Google. She is a tech-savvy industry insider who provides television and radio commentary on news, social media and pop culture trends across the Web. She has appeared on a wide range of national and local programs including The TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, CNBC, CNN American Morning, HLN, FOX News, ABC News and Good Day New York. She previously worked with Waggener Edstrom as an account manager for Microsoft, managing national broadcast, consumer product launches and marketing integrations for Windows, Windows Phone and Surface. Prior to Waggener Edstrom she worked as a communications strategist and on-air spokesperson at AOL. She managed PR for brands including the Huffington Post, MapQuest and AOL.com. Drake is also an adjunct at NYU where she teaches PR 2.0: Using Social Media Channels to Engage Customers and their Communities. She earned her MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University and her BS in Communications and Political Science from Florida State University.

Julian Moncada


Julian Moncada is an analyst at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Moncada joined from Prudential Capital Group, where he focused on investments surrounding the senior debt, mezzanine and private equity markets. He is also an avid entrepreneur, starting multiple businesses throughout high school and college. Most recently, Moncada began developing mobile applications and released his first app in the App Store in July. Moncada is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Rosemary Okello Orlale


Rosemary Okello Orlale is a communication specialist and expert on media, gender and communication for development. She is the program officer for the Ford Foundation Eastern African office on Advancing Public Service Media Initiative, which promotes the public media sphere as a platform to give voice and visibility to the marginalized, and to add diverse perspectives to everyday struggles for social change while transforming alternative media into a critical and cohesive voice of civil society. Orlale has more than 20 years of experience and expertise in gender and development communication within the mainstream media, government, private sector, UN organizations and in NGOs in Africa.

Lisa Stone


Lisa Stone is SheKnows Media’s Chief Community Officer – a position she assumed when the company acquired BlogHer Inc., which she co-founded in 2005. As CEO, Stone grew BlogHer from a grassroots conference to a cross-platform media company reaching 100 million unique visitors monthly and powered by a proprietary technology platform. In 2013, she received a Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs award and was listed in Fast Company’s The 1000 Most Creative People in Business. Stone was the first Internet journalist awarded a Harvard University Nieman Fellowship in 2002, and her work continues to appear in publications like The New York Times, LATimes.com and The Huffington Post.

Chrys Wu


Over the course of an intrepid career, Chrys Wu has been a journalist, strategist, coder and startup consigliere. Her expertise in news, technology and behavior has been sought after by established and startup technology businesses, media companies and foundations. She is founding organizer of Hacks/Hackers, an international movement that explores the intersection of journalism, design and technology, and a board member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. She has also created and co-founded initiatives for women who code, including NYC Ruby Women and the Write/Speak/Code conference for women engineers. By day, she is Developer Advocate at The New York Times, where she leads internal and public-facing projects with The New York Times Developers.