news briefs header 1
news briefs header 1
News Briefs

News Briefs: Dec. 12: Microsoft Venture Fund Awards $4 Million, Women In Real Estate Initiative Launches


Capitol Music Group

Amber Grimes (PRNewsfoto/Capitol Music Group)

Highly-regarded music industry executive and entrepreneur Amber Grimes has been named to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Global Creative for Capitol Music Group (CMG), it was announced today by Chairman & CEO Steve Barnettto whom Grimes will report.   In her new position, Grimes will be integrally involved in formulating and executing the company’s global streaming strategy.  She will also draw upon her diverse experiences to lead the company’s Innovation Team and Ten content creation department and will play an important role in building and expanding CMG’s industry-leading roles in these areas.  Grimes will be based in Hollywood, California in the company’s iconic Capitol Records Tower.

Grimes said, “Capitol is at the forefront of developing truly exciting new talent, and they do so by supporting their artists’ vision and never being afraid to push boundaries.  I’m honored to be expanding my relationship to work more directly with this incredible roster of artists, as well as CMG’s incredible labels and teams, and I thank Steve Barnett and Lucian Grainge for creating this unique and forward-thinking role for me.  I’m thrilled to be bringing my streaming experience, passion for artists and disruptive mindset into the Tower.”

Amber Grimes comes to CMG from Spotify, having arrived there in 2017 as the first creative hire in Atlanta and being named to the newly-created position of Senior Manager of Urban Independent.  In that post, Grimes was charged with bridging the gap between Spotify and the independent hip-hop community.

National Press Club President

Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak, health policy correspondent for NPR, was elected the 112th president of the National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, on Dec. 7, 2018.

A three-time George Polk Award-winner over the course of her lengthy career in both print and broadcast journalism, Kodjak will officially assume the duties of the presidency on Jan. 11, 2019.

Kodjak, in her acceptance speech before her fellow members in the Club’s Truman Lounge, pledged to uphold the work of her predecessors in advocating for press freedom worldwide:

“My goal as president is to see the club become a central player in the fight for the future of quality, fact-based journalism here in the US and fight for the freedom of our colleagues around the world.”

A lofty mission, Kodjak continued, made more achievable through collaboration and fellowship: “Journalists today are under a huge amount of pressure.  There are economic challenges – but even more difficult are the attacks on our credibility and character. And by habit, we tend to stay in our lanes – we work for the Post, AP or CNN and we compete. We belong to our own groups – WHCA, IRE or NABJ. But the National Press Club is a place where we break those walls down and gather – maybe over a beer — enjoy each other’s company, and help each other become better journalists.”


M12 and VC partners award $4 million

On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. venture fund M12, in partnership with EQT Ventures and SVB Financial Group, announced the two winners of the Female Founders Competition: Acerta and Mental Canvas. The companies and their founders, Greta Cutulenco (CEO and co-founder, Acerta) and Julie Dorsey (founder and chief scientist, Mental Canvas) beat out several hundred applicants to receive $2 million each in venture funding, along with access to technology resources and more to help progress the future of their businesses.

Earlier this year, M12 and its partners kicked off the global event in a bid to not only find and fund innovative female entrepreneurs, but also to spotlight the funding gap that exists and the need for more equitable distribution of capital. Hundreds of startups across North AmericaEurope and Israelapplied, providing a glimpse into the potential opportunity and untapped talent in the market.

“Our goal for this competition was to clear a path to funding for more women entrepreneurs,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development, Microsoft. “We were thrilled by the response we received and feel confident that we’ll see great returns on our two newest additions to our portfolio, but we also know there’s much more work to do. We plan to continue exploring other ways to close the funding gap using the lessons we learned from this competition: There’s no shortage of women entrepreneurs building for the enterprise, there’s more than one way to source an investment, and networking is essential to women founders’ growth and success.”

Waterloo, Ontario-based Acerta, founded by CEO Greta Cutulenco, provides an AI platform that ensures vehicle systems’ quality and reliability throughout a vehicle’s lifecycle.

New York-based Mental Canvas, founded by chief scientist Julie Dorsey, reimagines sketching for the digital age by augmenting it with spatial strokes, 3-D navigation and free-form animations, all drawn with the ease of pencil and paper.


WIRE (Women In Real Estate)

Velocity Mortgage Capital has announced the launch of its WIRE (Women in Real Estate) initiative designed to encourage more women to participate in real estate investment.

The company introduced the program at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) Conference in Las Vegas with the help of Nicole Curtis, star of the long-running hit HGTV and DIY Network show Rehab Addict. Curtis, a successful real estate investor in her own right, says, “I’ve made more money in real estate than I have from being a TV star.”

Curtis continued, “women aren’t going to risk their farm to get ahead and that’s why I don’t they think they get into real estate. I often hear things like ‘my kids are still in school’ and I tell them to start small – don’t buy a Gucci purse, set money aside for real estate investing. Real estate is a business, and being in business involves risk.  My advice to women – ‘toughen up buttercup.’ By this I mean, figure it out, find the right lender, make it happen.”


SHE Beverage Company

On the cusp of IPO, SHE Beverage Company makes incredible advancements. Financial experts predict capital growth as it qualifies, and potentially goes directly to NASDAQ. With 4 locations including its corporate offices, 2 warehouses a brewery and manufacturing site. The SHE Brand is also currently building on 100 Acres and acquiring additional space for manufacturing.

CEO and master brander Lupe Rose has set the tone for the future success of SHE Beverage Company, working with celebrities, athletes, local ballparks, arenas, and NASCAR. “SHE Beverage Company is setting the tone for its staying power and the ability to play hard ball with other brands,” says Rose. Rose understands the visibility and growth that will catapult the SHE Brand into the next nationally recognized brand.

SHE Beverage Company has a catalog of other beverages set to be released within the next 12 months and has acquired several companies: Legends Entertainment and Technology acquired from NBA star Tony Farmer and Lamond Murray, rebranded as “Viridian Entertainment, Film & Technology”. Following is a short list of other acquisitions:

  • Elite Green Solutions Cannabis Company, rebranded as “The Pink Leaf”
  • Mink Bath Bombs; a Cannabis & CBD based manufacturer of bathing goods


Top Woman in Cloud Innovation 

Global Mobility Management (GMM) company Topia today announced its CEO and founder Brynne Kennedy has been named one of CloudNOW’s 2018 Top Women Entrepreneurs in Cloud Innovation. The awards, sponsored by Facebook, Intel and Google, recognize the outstanding achievements of women founders who are breaking new ground in cloud and emerging technologies.

“I’m extremely honored to be recognized among this elite group of women who are truly setting an outstanding example for the next generation of female technology leaders,” Kennedy said. “Together, we’re demonstrating that gender barriers are being shattered every day and with the right approach, a strong vision and dedication, there’s nothing standing in your way.”

Kennedy, who founded Topia (formerly MOVE Guides) as the world’s first talent mobility, cloud-based solution to help companies efficiently manage worldwide employee relocation, has since led the company through two strategic acquisitions and raised over $90M in capital.

Check for errors 160x600 1

©Innovation Women LLC 2022

Innovation Women ® is a registered trademark of Innovation Women LLC