These go-getters are building empires in New York and beyond

There are countless hidden figures in and around New York that are changing the landscape for female entrepreneurs.

In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a look at four of them and their top career advice.

dancing queen

An Afro Latina teacherproducer, performer and entrepreneur, Karisma Jay, 35, is the founder and executive artistic director of Brooklyn AbunDance Academy of Arts and AbunDance Studios, a 2,000 square foot community art installation and event space.

The academy is a 10-year-old non-profit organization that empowers and inspires black and brown youth with artistic training in dance, theater and music.

“A typical day consists of a workout to maintain my health and sanity, teaching a West African dance after school or teaching [a cultural course] at a university,” she said. “Then I open my studios for a community dance or aerial yoga class or rent the space to a local organization for their own workshop.”

Currently, the organization serves hundreds of students, from toddlers to octogenarians.

Karisma Jay is the founder of Brooklyn and the executive artistic director of the nonprofit AbunDance Academy of the Arts.
AbunDance Academy

Karisma Jay.
Jay’s organization serves hundreds of students, from toddlers to octogenarians.
AbunDance Academy

Trick : “Fill the need, feed the niche. One of the innovative paths we’ve chosen to take that our competitors haven’t taken is creating dance content for our social media platforms,” Jay said. “Social media dance videos and content creation have improved our visibility, engagement and turned into more customers.”

Hospitality expert

Erika London, 36, isn’t letting two kids and another on the way slow her down in the city that never sleeps. In fact, the CEO and co-founder of the New York-based hotel group Simple place sees his “restaurants or new businesses as another baby”.

London started it hospitality career in a bar during his freshman year at NYU. She immediately fell in love with “the entrepreneurial magic of conceptualizing an idea and then having the power to bring it to life.”

Over the past two decades, London has owned and operated beloved New York nightlife spots like SideBAR and Hudson Terrace and produced events and festivals.

Today, she is a partner at Simple Venue, the parent company of the world’s first hotel room-turned-restaurant concept. Suite of sushiand the concept of vegan omakase, Omakaseamong other companies.

“We’re taking underutilized real estate space and curating it with unique food and beverage concepts,” London said of the company, which has eight locations in the tri-state area with more in the works. and 130 employees.

In a male-dominated industry, most of his corporate team are women. She is also delighted to launch Trust Baea new venture that empowers female chefs.

Erika London.
“We’re taking underused real estate space and curating it with unique food and beverage concepts,” says Erika London of her hotel group Simple Venue.
Helene Le Van Photography

Trick“Be honest with yourself while identifying your personal strengths and weaknesses. Often the biggest obstacle women face is themselves,” London said.

Ease the pain

Elizabeth Burstein, 34, of Hartsdale, NY, as CEO and co-founder of Neura Healtha virtual neurology clinic, was inspired to create the Series A-funded startup in light of her own chronic pain.

During the pandemic, Burstein sat on a six-month waiting list to see a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, elucidating for her the difficulties of access to specialists and quality of care for people with chronic neurological diseases. Founded in 2020, Neura Health now serves chronic headache and migraine patients in the tri-state area.

“While more than 70 million Americans suffer from headaches such as migraine, there are only about 21,000 neurologists and 700 headache specialists in the United States,” Burstein said, noting that patients typically experience the same months of waiting to see a doctor.

Neura, meanwhile, connects patients to a board-certified neurologist within 48 hours and allows patients to track their symptoms and receive personalized care plans.

“The built-in tracker takes care from reactive to proactive, meaning the patient’s care team contacts immediately if a headache [aren’t improving]said Burstein, a Stanford alum who deservedly majored in computer science and philosophy.

Burstein’s day can involve anything from coffee with a hospital executive to having lunch with his employees on the roof of their company’s Manhattan office building.

“One of my favorite things about being a founder and CEO of a startup is that I learn and grow in many different aspects of the business,” she said.

Elizabeth Burstein.
Elizabeth Burstein was inspired to create Neura Health in light of her own chronic pain.
Neura Health

Trick : At Stanford, Burstein struggled to decide his future career path.

“Without a clear idea of ​​my ‘why’, I spent time in internships and jobs that didn’t bring me the sense of purpose and joy that I have now,” she said. . “Take the time to find that out for yourself. What problems do you really care about solving in the world? It will help you overcome many challenges and push you to do your best.

Manage germs

Like Burstein, Priyanka Jain, 28, another Stanford graduate, was motivated by her own health issues to effect positive change.

“After experiencing my own mysterious health issues, I started to do my own research,” said the Manhattan CEO and co-founder of Evecreated in 2020. “I discovered that women were not required to do clinical research in the United States until 1993 and that we are diagnosed on average four years later than men for more than 700 diseases.

Building on her experience building algorithms both at Stanford and at an AI startup, Jain now works “to close the gender gap in health by uncovering and harnessing neglected female biomarkers, to start with the vaginal microbiome”.

Priyanka Jain.
Priyanka Jain is working to close the gender health gap in clinical research in the United States.
Courtesy of Envy

As Jain explained, vaginal discomfort is one of the top reasons women seek health advice, and more than 90% of these cases can be attributed to imbalances in the vaginal microbiome.

“Research has uncovered groundbreaking links [to] infertility, STIs, premature births, gynecological cancers and more,” she said. As a result, Evvy unveiled the first at-home vaginal microbiome test.

Jain spends his hours working with Evvy’s internal teams, external partners, investors and advisors; iterate over algorithms; optimize supply chain logistics and more.

Trick“Make yourself easy to help,” she says.

Another pearl? “Contact us with specific requests such as ‘Hey, I’d like to connect with X people in your network, and I’ve included a forward-ready email below. “That way others can help you with just one click,” Jain said.

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