WE Global Studios is first and foremost a community of thought leaders whose mission is your success. As a full-stack startup Innovation Studio and Platform run by and for women entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to succeed, which is why we focus on architecting a solid business foundation from day one that will deliver you traction.
If this model is new to you, a Startup Studio serves as a co-founder for entrepreneurs and provide critical services, advice, and expertise to guide them toward building a successful scalable business at the earliest stages.
WE Global Studios is the first full-stack Innovation Studio dedicated solely to helping women entrepreneurs build their empires.
The development and design of WE Global Studios, was inspired by the Hollywood Studio Model. Instead of making deals with talent to develop, produce and distribute movies and series, we make deals with founders, and their teams to produce companies. We've adapted the Hollywood-style production process to funnel
founders through a sequential series of building stages. This culminates in the completion of a product or service, with traction and the capacity to scale the business.
We are operational experts who nurture female talent and their companies through a very unique and tailor-made process, because we've been there and understand the startup ecosystem pain points they face and how to navigate and around them.
Our operational expertise has taught us that it’s all in the execution and in the details. Therefore, within our platform we created a one of a kind 360° startup ecosystem just for you, to insure you have at your fingertips all that you need to create a successful corporation or small business.
In addition, our collective intelligence community, the educational upskilling of our intensive 5-track curriculum, our tech innovation lab, product-market fit obsession, and our partners make us stand out. We deliver training and a real edge to women entrepreneurs that is unique to our Hollywood roots because we know how to develop and build great IP, brands and companies. We are driven by providing value to you and your investors as you build, launch and to create or scale a company, or small business.
WE Global Studios innovates internally and partners with founders externally to build great companies. Our platform serves as a pipeline to the Studio.
The program offers an elite mentor and operational advisor network, as well as matchmaking services to key enterprise beta and channel partners to validate product/market fit and go market strategy.
WE Global is dedicated to creating, launching and leading successful startups through an intensive co-creation program that leverages community education, operational expertise, enterprise partnerships, strategists, capital advisors and representation to drive meaningful traction and deliver high revenue streams at the Pre-Seed to Series A stage.
Get to know
Founder & CEO
Fernanda Carapinha is a serial media/tech entrepreneur, former senior entertainment executive, executive producer and writer, with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment / technology business.
Fernanda’s deep experience and insight both in the creative entertainment/media business of content development, production, distribution, and promotion, as well as in the data science/software business, has afforded her a unique perspective that has enabled her to be ahead of the curve in the convergence of the entertainment and technology industries.
Fernanda received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Master’s Degree with honors from Pepperdine University. She is also the chairperson of the Women In Tech Alliance for the California Technology Council.
Finance & Venture
Leighanne Neville is a startup CFO and CPA with 30 years of experience advising founders and scaling high profile startups. She is currently a startup CFO and Market Growth Lead for Countsy, a division of RGP, Inc.
She partners with founders to raise capital, develop financial projections and KPIs, liaison with investors and Boards, and lead the finance function to scale infrastructure for rapid growth.
She has worked in a wide range of industries, ranging from consumer product, software, SaaS, IoT, e-commerce.
Prior to RGP, she headed up the finance team at True & Co and multiple other venture-backed startups. Leighanne started her career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers as a Manager in the Emerging Technology Practice.
Legal & Strategic Planning
Stephanie Granato is a corporate attorney and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience advising growing companies, entrepreneurs and investors. She partners with clients to launch and scale their new ventures and acts as an outsourced general counsel for companies in industries including technology, media, events, e-commerce and sustainability.
Stephanie is a cofounder and COO of Creative Technologies Inc., a government contractor that conceives, designs and delivers novel, immersive, cognitive simulation solutions. Before founding Granato Law Office, she practiced corporate law in New York with an international law firm in the corporate transactional group, and in Los Angeles with a boutique corporate firm. Stephanie is a Yale Law School graduate and is admitted to the bar in California, New York, Washington, D.C. and Connecticut.
Head of Technology
Fumbi Chima is the Global Chief Information Officer of Adidas. She is an accomplished senior executive with extensive experience leading digital transformations within established, global corporations across multi-industries.
Fumbi focuses on driving business outcomes through the use of technology and digital solutions. She has deep experience in leading organizational change, global transformational programs and inspiring organizations to embrace a new future
Prior to joining Adidas in 2019, Fumbi has been the transformational CIO for several global organizations, she was most recently the CIO of Fox Network Group; CIO at Burberry Corporation, CIO of Walmart Stores Inc. Asia business operations, and CIO of American Express’ Global Corporate Technologies.
Operations & Marketing
Kim Manna has over 20 years experience in consumer products, brand management, development, licensing, retail, e-commerce and marketing. She has held leading roles as CEO, President and SVP for lifestyle and entertainment brand consumer products.
Kim served as the CEO of Panama Jack for over 15 years. Prior to her tenure at Panama Jack, Kim held the the role of SVP and similar roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Saban Entertainment and Warner Bros.
Kim earned her B.B.A., Finance and Marketing, from the University of Miami Herbert School of Business.
She completed the Executive Program for Consumer Marketing Strategies at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business and Columbia Business School Executive Education in Digital Marketing.
Exponential Tech & Intl.
Lucia Gallardo is a Honduran serial entrepreneur building socially impactful emerging technology solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems as Founder & CEO of Emerge.
Emerge's portfolio includes projects in digital identification, global food supply chain, information accuracy, health and financial inclusion, and more.
For its work, Emerge has been nominated for the 2018 Global SDG Awards and Newsweek’s 2019 Blockchain Impact Awards. It was listed as one of Hatch's 20 Most Impactful Startups in the World.
Lucia is also pioneering a progressive, impact-focused platform ecology as the Managing Partner of Penta Network's Impact Ecosystem.
Meet Our Team
Co-Chair Platform Council
Eve Psalti is the Head of Strategic Platforms for Google Cloud responsible for the Canada, US, and Latin America regions.
She is working with enterprise customers across industries to help them grow their businesses through digital transformation initiatives, optimizing their operations and delighting their customers through seamless digital experiences all powered by cloud technologies and API platforms.
Prior to joining Google, Eve held business development, sales and marketing leadership positions for 17 years at Microsoft and startups across the US and Europe.
She’s passionate about ed-tech initiatives and enabling under-represented communities to have access to leadership and career growth opportunities through STEM.
Co-Chair Capital Council
Sara Qazi is a seasoned senior finance and entertainment professional with an entrepreneurial bent and penchant for building businesses. She is currently the First Vice President and Director of the Global Sports & Entertainment division of Morgan Stanley, specializing in strategic financial consulting for the media, music and film entertainment industries.
Sara’s 22 years in the capital markets spanned the prestigious firm of Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, where she worked with large institutional clients, hedge funds, legendary technology investors and founding C-suite.
Sara established her private client practice focused on social impact investments for the media and entertainment industry at UBS, which she later expanded at Morgan Stanley.
Potentialist - FairyGodmother.
Joanna Bloor believes that it’s time for us humans to rethink how we take on the modern working world.
The what, where, when, and how of work is changing, a shift that technology and business have embraced yet people haven’t.
Joanna’s on a mission to help us prepare for the big leap into the working future. To identify and articulate our human value and our place in the next chapter of the working world.
And while we’re at it, have a great time in the process. “Imagine our careers were more like an adventure than a climb?” A perpetual career adventurer and self-described “startup junkie,” Joanna spent her early career scaling and building brands like Ticketmaster, Cars.com,
OpenTable, and Pandora. Known for building teams, infrastructure, and revenue strategies through their moments of accelerating growth and rapid change, Joanna did so in environments where there were no rulebooks, no career paths, no precedents of how things “should” be done.
Kirsten Curtis is a board member, advisor, and consultant, dedicating her time and energy to helping companies scale. She serves on the board of directors at Pure Plus, a company focused on creating healthy candies.
She advises and consults with several other companies, with specialties in operations and supply chain management.
For many years, Kirsten worked as a Principle in the Valor Operations Group. Her responsibilities included interim executive management, supply chain improvements, lean implementations, project management, business process improvement, and supporting portfolio companies in a variety of growth initiatives across industries as diverse as consumer goods, restaurants, and cybersecurity.
Sally Drexler is a Partner in Odgers Berndtson’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Consumer, Technology, and Digital Practices.
She has over 19 years of international experience in executive search specializing in consumer digital, retail, as well as media and entertainment.
She has extensive experience in recruiting Board Members, C-Suite Executives, and Innovation Leaders.
Sally is a member of the Exceptional Women Awardees Foundation’s (EWA) Cohort of Women Leaders for 2020. She is an involved member of Step-Up Women’s Network, a national not-for-profit organization that mentors and works with high school girls in underserved communities, and an inaugural member of Allbright USA, a network and community connecting women in business.
Stefanie Marx is a Co-founder of an AdTech startup that modernizes ethical personal data use.
As its head of marketing, she utilizes her entertainment background to create innovative marketing campaigns and positive user-experiences on the (UI/UX) product side.
Stefanie brings 7+ years of work experience at the intersection of Entertainment and Tech, specializing in creative strategy, content development and product marketing.
After graduating from Tufts University with a B.A. in Child Psychology and Communications, she entered the media industry with a focus on the digital space and tv/film development.
She is the producer of innovative, eye-catching viral videos, capturing 50M+ views.
Co-Chair Platform Council
Alma Derricks is an accomplished marketing executive and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience empowering both emerging and established businesses to capitalize on shifts in technology, competition, and consumer preferences.
Known for her shrewd cultural insights and engaging bedside manner, she is the Founder and Managing Partner of REV, a brand management company that empowers accomplished creators, artists, and organizations to craft a distinctive brand story and transform expertise into authoritative and profitable new business ventures.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University and is a past president of the Stanford National Black Alumni Association (SNBAA) board.
She also holds an MBA from Georgetown University where she was both an NBC Fellow and Dean’s Scholar.
Co-Chair Capital Council
Delilah Panio is Vice President of Capital Formation for Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) based in Southern California.
In this role, Delilah advises U.S. companies on the opportunity to list and raise capital on Canada’s premier equity markets.
She is a frequent speaker and pitch competition judge and coach, and was recently named in the “2019 Top 100 People in Finance” Magazine.
Previously, Delilah spent 10 years at TSX and TSXV in business development and strategy.
She has advised many companies
on the going public process and provides an understanding of private and public financing options in Canada and the United States.
As Vice President of Operations for Ball Aerospace, Paula Burns is responsible for Facilities, Information Technology Services, Manufacturing and Test Operations, Mission and Process Analytics, and Supply Chain Management.
Most recently, Burns served as the senior director for Ball’s ITS strategic support unit, where she was responsible for setting the strategic direction, architecture, infrastructure and governance of the company’s ITS enterprise. Previously, Burns served as the deputy general manager of Ball’s Tactical Solutions (TS) strategic business unit, where she led operational growth strategies to meet the needs of this rapidly growing business.
Prior to joining Ball, Burns was a management consultant focused on IT infrastructure and risk mitigation. She managed several IT development projects and played a key role in business strategy and development at a major telecommunications company, as well as several startups. Burns served as a Naval aviator, combat support pilot.
Candi Dalipe is the founder of FundamentaXF, a strategic advisory and search/recruitment firm with a mission to partner with clients to solve their most pressing business challenges around talent acquisition and leadership development.
Candi currently works with select venture-backed, private equity portfolio companies and major public companies in N. America and Europe.
She serves as a coach, a trusted advisor, and a strategic partner to the firm's clients, recruiting talented leaders across varied sectors as they build transformative executive teams to help them adapt to the obstacles they are not structured to withstand during certain stages of growth.
Suzy Feldman is the Senior Vice President of Worldwide TV Marketing at Lionsgate.
She oversees consumer and trade marketing, creative services, PR & publicity, trade shows and events, and social media.
Suzy is responsible for all marketing efforts for the domestic, international and digital sales teams.
Lionsgate is a global content leader that reaches next-generation audiences around the world through films, television series, digital products, and linear and over-the-top platforms.
Suzy has a track record of more than 20 years in the entertainment industry working in positions in marketing, sales, publicity and social media.
Margot Shapiro is currently a Managing Partner at Spiral Sun Ventures, investing in early-stage CPG companies that promote a healthier lifestyle, particularly in the food, beverage and personal care sectors.
She uses a broad resource network and collaborative partnerships with visionary founders to help accelerate the growth of young companies on a path to success.
Margot is a seasoned investment professional with 20+ years in private equity and venture capital.
She started her career in the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs, then worked in private equity. In 2010 Margot co-founded a venture fund that invested solely in female-led companies.
She loves being involved in mentorship and is passionate about empowering female entrepreneurs and working to expand roles for women in venture capital.
Chair Executive Council
Juliet Scott-Croxford serves as CEO for media brand Worth, responsible for leading its transformation from a print magazine to a content platform that focuses on 'Worth beyond Wealth' and inspires and informs an affluent, influential and successful community of individuals to be their best selves and create a more equal and inclusive economy.
She hosts a number of Worth Live events along with the Women and Worth podcast.
Prior to Worth, Juliet joined the Guardian’s executive committee in 2015 and as chief delivery officer was responsible for the strategic implementation of the global three year turnaround plan and subsequent transformation and growth for the Guardian’s US operation, relocating to New York in 2016.
Juliet began her career as a management consultant, learning to code at IBM Business Consulting Services, before focusing on business strategy and organizational change across a variety of business sectors.
Nisa Amolis is a partner at Grasshopper Capital investing in fintech / Blockchain and has been an early-stage investor for the past decade.
She was named one of Business Insider’s Women VC’s to watch and top 100 Women in Fintech, and top 50 global Blockchain thinkers.
She is a former securities lawyer and on the Boards of several institutions including Wharton Entrepreneurship and Girls Who Invest. She contributes to Forbes and Blockchain Magazine.
Prior to investing, Nisa was an entrepreneur and worked in business development at Time Warner and NBC Universal.
She holds a business degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Tracy Christian is a veteran talent agent with more than twenty years in the industry working in both the literary as well as talent space. Past clients include Oscar winners Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer, Mo’Nique, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Elizabeth Moss. Within the lit space she’s personally responsible for more than 1,000 hours of on-air primetime programing.
In 2011, Tracy opened TCA, a Los Angeles-based boutique talent agency representing writers, directors, producers, and actors trained by some of the best theatre schools around the globe. TCA excels at marrying art, commerce, and future vision, by representing an exclusive and curated list of talent that Tracy is very passionate about so a high level of attention and strategic guidance can be leveraged to assure their success.
As a manager based in Los Angeles, Tracy has come to be respected because of her aggressive and innovative deal-making skills.
Daniel Dobson-Smith is a transformational executive and global leadership coach, and has over 20 years of experience working in corporations.
As a professional executive, Daniel has held a range of senior executive and C-Suite level roles across a host of sectors and companies including renowned retailer Marks & Spencer Plc, travel and tourism company Eurostar International, Crossrail Ltd, music giant Sony Music Entertainment, and Essence Global.
Daniel is certified as an Executive Coach by both the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, credentialed with the International Coach Federation. He is a coach-supervisor through the Coaching Supervision Academy. Daniel is also an accredited practitioner of Transformational NLP.
Alexia Hefti is a Swiss-Canadian, New York-qualified lawyer and is based out of Dubai.
Alexia is CEO of eGovern, which advises governments globally on transitioning to e-government delivery models and companies seeking to explore blockchain uses within their industries. Alexia is also an Advisor on the FinTech Advisory Board of the Government of Bermuda.
Previously at Deloitte, Alexia co-founded the blockchain tax practice in Canada and Dubai working on improving the delivery of tax administration services using digital solutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Prior to this, she worked in international human rights,
transitional justice and international criminal justice in the Middle East and Africa for several organizations and governments, including the United Nations.
Louise Spinner is a prominent senior talent agent in the Motion Picture Department at United Talent Agency, one of the world’s leading talent agencies. She manages a roster of 35 artists who collectively gross an average of 200m annually.
She has helped discover and develop highly successful breakout talent in addition to supporting the growth of more established artists.
Louise’s tenure in the
entertainment business spans over 25 years and began with the representation of prominent commercial and video directors at Limelight, and later theatrical representation at ICM, before joining what is now Management 360, where Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland were clients.
Beatriz Acevedo began her career as a young radio and television host.
Her work has earned her three Emmy Awards, an MTV Music Video Award, two Streamy Awards, a Media Correspondent Award, among others. Beatriz was the co-founder and President of mitú, the leading digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S. Under her leadership, she went on to raise $50M in funding, led by some of the most successful venture capital groups in California.
Beatriz is currently the President of her family’s foundation “Acevedo Foundation.” For the past 30 years, the Foundation has provided scholarships for students who lack the financial means to pursue higher education.
Dr. Charla Griffy-Brown is a tenured full-professor at Pepperdine University who has trained hundreds of executives in the areas of business innovation leveraging digital systems, analytics, and optimizing cyber risk.
She is a seasoned board member and currently serves as a Director on two Corporate Boards and two non-profit boards including the California Technology Council.
Charla has worked with business leaders and executives to deploy a risk-based approach to cybersecurity working with leaders in organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Paramount Pictures, and Nintendo. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Technology in Society.
Virginia Green has an impressive 20+ year history as CEO for three Fortune 500 companies. Virginia is known for her successful coaching and implementing ways to be more effective and efficient in strategy, innovation, organizational development, leadership, inclusion and change management for nonprofit and profit industries including Fortune 500 companies around the globe using Top Human Performance and Business Growth Excellence concepts.
As a keynote speaker at worldwide industry conferences, she presents on current transformational business topics and teaches workshops and seminars for her clients, board members and industry professionals.
As the Chief Psychologist Leslie Knutson provided training and EAP services to the administrative and correctional staff. Leslie has also taught at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice and has been a guest speaker for State Department, US Military and Law Enforcement employees in Italy.
Leslie currently maintains an active psychology practice in Milan, Italy working in a number of diverse settings including a consulting group focusing on improving employee morale within Fortune 500 companies; a Crisis Intervention specialist to the State Department and US Military employees during and after September 11, 2001, and for the duration of the Iraq war.
John Maatta is an attorney who primarily focuses his practice on entertainment and media transactions including the development and production of motion pictures, television and streamed content and matters related to the representation of content creators and performers and the distribution of programming broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
John is experienced with issues involving production, finance, distribution, affiliate relations, human resources, broadcast standards and matters involving media-related technology, marketing, advertising and branding. John was also the Chief Operating Officer of the WB Television Network as well as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
Ambassador and Chief Foundation Officer, California Technology Council, Tina Olsen is a new business development leader with proven success and established expertise creating sales strategies, strategic planning, integrated marketing strategies and brand communications with global execution across multiple channels.
Having held senior executive positions with companies such as Metromail, RR Donnelley, Valassis and Cenveo, she has developed strong client and network relationships with a hands-on approach to create solutions for short and long term strategic opportunities.
John Schramm is an American screenwriter/producer who has written and sold various scripts to top Independent producers such as, Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road Pictures. He has laso developed material with Oliver Stone (PLATOON, WALL STREET, JFK) under his Ixtlan Productions banner, as well as for Scott Free Productions and Original Films.
Internationally, John has partnered with legendary French TVproducer, Vincent Chalvon, to develop France’s superhero comic, SUPERDUPONT and TOTALLY SPIES for French Audiences.