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Their kind of startup gets the least funding, so this event gathered the best for a chance to win.

The best and the brightest women-led startups in the Northeast competed in Times Square for their chance at winning $25,000.

Their kind of startup gets the least funding, so this event gathered the best for a chance to win.

Starting a business is hard. And finding tons of people willing to invest their money in it is harder.

Sometimes the search for the right financial backer(s) can be a lot like putting up a romantic personal ad:

WANTED: Entrepreneurial woman with brilliant idea seeks funding to make it come to life. — W4WMAnyone (location: everywhere)
— Startup CEO seeks generous funders to help share innovative and groundbreaking technology with the world. Must like game-changers, bright ideas, and long nights of inventing.
— Turn ons: do-gooders and rich people.
— Turn offs: the uninspired and sexists.



You. Must. Fund. Me! PLEASE!

Fortunately, some people are working to make it easier for female entrepreneurs to connect with investors.

Like Women Who Tech, a group that supports and promotes women-led startups, and Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.

They recruited some of the most impressive startups led by women in the Northeast to compete for $25,000 for their business — no strings attached.

GIF via "Shark Tank."

In a "Shark Tank"-esque set up, 10 startup finalists came to Microsoft's Times Square office to convince seriously successful people they deserve first prize.

While there was only one winner (#1 below), clearly many startups were included that were just as deserving of the money. Here are a few of them:

1. Seamless wearable technology that collects info on your body

Screenshot via Tech Times T-Lounge/YouTube.

This event's winner was SoftSpot by Moonlab for its wearable technology. But this isn't your momma's Apple Watch that everyone can see. This tech can be put anywhere — underwear, bathing suit, whatever — making it virtually invisible as it collects data on you and the environment around you.

2. An eco-friendly pregnancy test you can flush down the toilet

Screenshot via DreamItVentures/YouTube.

Pregnancy tests have been around for decades, and not much has changed about them. But this new test by Lia Diagnostics is pretty darn awesome. It's super small and discreet, so you don't have to worry about sneaking around with a long box. Then you can simply flush it after use, which keeps your business your own — while being better for the environment.

3. A medical device that detects bedsores — before the naked eye can see them.

Screenshot via Brandon Ellis/YouTube.

Gaspard's Rubitection, Inc. created a device that can help health care providers catch bedsores before they cause a huge problem for patients. How? Through a device that uses light on the skin to detect ulcers. Simple, easy, effective!

4. An app that makes pairing parents with carpool buddies a breeze.

Screenshot via GoKid/YouTube.

Little Sonia has a birthday party to go to but wants to get a carpool together? Try GoKid; it makes scheduling and keeping track of responsibilities a breeze. Something that makes it easier to parent and help the environment? Yes, please!

5. An award-winning app made to help small business owners easily find out what might be affecting them.

Screenshot via Vizalytics/YouTube.

Imagine you're a business owner who has a big event planned, but nobody seems to be coming through the door. You're probably thinking: Is it me? Vizalytics can help you answer that question with info about traffic and transit delays that might have a big impact on attendance.

You may be thinking, "OK, sure, this stuff is cool, but why have a female-only startup event?"

Well, you see how these inventions could make our lives a whole heck of a lot better — from assisting small businesses to families to hospital patients. So why aren't they big companies already?

Well, according to an MIT study, women founders get only 7% of venture capital dollars. They obviously are not getting their fair share, which is why this event is so awesome. It helps showcase what funders are missing out on when they overlook amazing female trailblazers in the tech sector.

Fingers crossed that this will help more women-led startups get the funds they need — and deserve.

Cheers! GIF via "Shark Tank."

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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