Introducing the Her Big Idea Fund

When Haley Hoffman Smith published Her Big Idea, a book empowering female entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas, she knew there had to be another way to help beyond just the motivation to go after their big idea. The book itself was inspired by the statistic that in 2017, only 2 percent of venture capital spending went to female founders. Beyond the VC world, entrepreneurship can be inherently exclusive because of income inequalities. 

The Her Big Idea Fund seeks to eliminate the financial barrier to starting a big idea. This year, two $500 grants will be awarded to female-identifying founders of all ages and backgrounds. Alongside the grants, Hoffman Smith will offer a year of mentorship to help with the startup building process.

After hundreds of applicants, five finalists have since been named and it is time for the 2020 Her Big Idea Fund Board and the general community to vote for the two women who will win. The fund strives to not only break financial boundaries to pursue a big idea, but provide a community that will support these young women through their personal journeys — so, if you see an idea you can help with, please don’t hesitate to let us know so we can connect you to our finalists!

Email with questions at and


Meet the Finalists

“Inspired by my own experiences, love for wigs, and pursuit to see all women look beautiful WigNation was born. WigNation serves as a personal consultant for women purchasing wigs by utilizing Artificial Intelligence and facial recognition technology.  Meanwhile, wig vendors get the visibility and traction needed to build a successful business. 
Get excited because we launch Fall 2020!”

I am Dana Biechele-Speziale, a PhD student in chemistry and chemical biology at Brown University and proud co-founder of SiliStor! Inspired by mothers, SiliStor is modernizing the way moms pump and store their breast milk. SiliStor is a functionally designed breast milk storage system with space-saving, reusable, food-safe bottles, a storage unit that ensures the oldest milk is easily accessible, and adapters that enable direct attachment of bottles to a breast pump and to a feeding nipple. This system allows for simple pumping, storing and feeding and eliminates the need for milk transfers in between. The unique shape maximizes storage space, and, unlike plastic, our material does not leach harsh chemicals! 

“We started Marlow after learning that we were far from the only ones who experienced anxiety and discomfort when inserting a tampon. There are more than 2 billion individuals that menstruate, many of whom experience insertion pain due to medical conditions, vaginal dryness, first-time use, or general discomfort and anxiety. We are building the ultimate reproductive health brand, starting with the first-ever lubricated tampon to ease insertion. We are a team of marketers, strategists, and leaders who are determined to transform the menstrual product industry to give billions of women better choices.”

 “I started Laurl to help companies take care of their biggest assets—their people. My background working in civil rights gave me insight into hundreds of companies’ approaches to resolving employee concerns, like unfair treatment and harassment. I’ve dreamed of creating a scalable solution to help companies manage their investigation and resolution process to reach more timely outcomes, streamline HR productivity, and restore trust within their teams. I’m developing Laurl, a software solution to help companies stay on track and on time when resolving employee concerns— like peer issues or harassment— with automated workflows, dashboard and helpful nudges and reminders that keep compliance and culture in mind.”

“I am Swetha Tandri, and my big idea is Melodies for Math, an initiative which explains various math concepts through short, compelling original songs. The goal of this project is to foster a strong foundation in math and make it more relatable. Since its inception 4 months ago, M4M released 22 original songs relating to algebra and calculus which impacted 17 students directly and received 600+ viewers from Canada to the Philippines. In the future, we hope to release song series explaining math for ALL grade levels as well as develop a community where STEM and Arts can freely intersect. I am super passionate about reducing gaps in educational inequity and making STEM opportunities more accessible.” 

Help Turn These Big Ideas Into a Reality

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