Future Mobility Change Makers: EmpowerWISM 2022 Award Ceremony

award ceremony

This week, on Monday January 31st, we hosted the Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch, virtual Award Ceremony. We’d like to thank everyone that tuned in to show their support for this years amazing finalists. Each of our 19 applicants inspired us with their passion and dedication to their chosen field within the shared mobility sector and we’d also like to say big thank you to everyone who was brave enough to apply this year – you are ALL winners in our book.

If you missed the Award Ceremony, keep reading to find out who won or you can watch the full Award Ceremony here.

award ceremony

Future Mobility Change Makers: EmpowerWISM 2022 Award Ceremony

Award Ceremony MC, Crissy Ditmore from Optibus

This year we were so lucky to have Crissy Ditmore, Head of Public Policy in North America for Optibus as the EmpowerWISM Award Ceremony 2022 host! Her enthusiasm for shared mobility and transportation is contagious – all you have to do is check out her music video “All about that bus” to see for yourself!

This Transit Songstress and self-processed ‘Policy Wonk’ brought our Award Ceremony to life, giving our attendees and panelists a much needed energy boost (especially for those of us tuning in at 8am!).

EmpowerWISM 2022: Meet the Judges

After a short introduction from Crissy, movmi’s CEO and EmpowerWISM judge, Sandra Phillips took a few minutes to speak about the gender imbalance in the shared mobility industry and how the EmpowerWISM Pitch was born. The typical shared mobility user is male, between 25-35, with an above average income and a higher education. If you take a look at the people who are designing these systems, you will see a correlation between the demographic of the typical user and those in shared mobility leadership positions. We design for what we know. Which is why we see a gender imbalance – not enough women have a seat at the table. This is why the Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch was created, to:

  • Showcase women entrepreneurs in the shared mobility space
  • Boost and celebrate their efforts during 2022 through a bigger network
  • Offer a “moment of lift”

Sandra also took a moment to introduce and thank this years amazing panel of expert judges. If you missed our earlier blog post – “Meet the Judges” – take a minute to watch their introductory videos below:

EmpowerWISM 2022 Applicant Overview

Next up, the EmpowerWISM 2022 Program Manager, Venkatesh Gopal, took us through an overview of this years 19 applicants. That number really is a testament to how the 2021 cohort of applicants spread the word about the EmpowerWISM Pitch and helped us grow. 

The 19 applicants had very diverse backgrounds and experience. We were able to extend our reach this year and were lucky enough to have applicants from emerging markets, such as Latin America and Africa. One topic that stood out was women’s safety in shared mobility, which is highly relevant and something we should all be considering in our shared mobility pursuits, given todays current climate.

Throughout the process the panel of judges evaluated these three pillars: vision, leadership and innovation, which was truly difficult as each company brought something completely unique and new to the table.

The judges also took at look at each companies scalability, whether they would create equity in transportation, how sustainable they are (using 3 of the 11 UN goals) and once they reached the top 5, it came down to the face-to-face interviews to decide who the finalists were going to be and ultimately, the winner!

Outstanding Applicant: A Fireside Chat with Anita Sengupta from Hydroplane

Hydroplane Ltd. is a minority woman founded, owned, and led sustainable aviation and green energy storage for transportation technology company. They are developing a 200 kW hydrogen fuel cell power plant for aviation, marine, and fleet vehicle applications. They were awarded a highly competitive Agility Prime USAF Contract to develop the technology for governmental and commercial use cases. They have just completed their Seed Round Raise to take the technology from prototype to product and operations.

Aviation, marine, and large fleet vehicle automotive sectors are major contributors to carbon emissions and their percentage is on the rise as battery electrification does not have the energy density to support these platforms. Hydroplane’s hydrogen fuel cell powerplant technology will enable electrification of small aircraft for the UAM shared mobility use case as a catalyst to support decarbonization of multiple aviation use cases. The powerplant is also an electrification option for marine vessels, buses, trucks, and even the hyperloop.

A shift to green hydrogen for transport also supports and necessitates the increase in renewable energy production, to provide the electricity that is needed to produce green hydrogen. Last month the US government established a tax credit program for energy production projects such as these. So they can create the technology to decarbonize aviation, stimulate renewable energy production, and reduce the reliance on hydrocarbons for ground and marine transport.

Watch the entire chat from the award ceremony with Anita Sengupta from Hydroplane below.

Second Runner-up: Mobility for Africa

Mobility for Africa, a social enterprise, working in Zimbabwe, aims to bring solar powered electric transport solutions to women and their families that are affordable, efficient and adapted to peri-urban and rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tough sturdy renewable energy charged electric bikes and tricycles, branded and backstopped by trained community support services, provide an avenue for marginalized and poor families to overcome distances to services and contribute to dynamic local economies.

Powered through community based off grid energy supply, e-tricycles will provide the incentive for increased economic opportunities, creating new local markets, tackling gender inequality and enhancing rural livelihoods.

Congratulations Mobility for Africa! Watch the entire chat from the award ceremony with Shantha Bloemen from Mobility for Africa below.

First Runner-up: Nüwiel

Nüwiel was founded by Natalia Tomiyama and Fahad Khan in Germany. At Nüwiel they have developed the world’s first electric trailer for bicycles (eTrailer) that provides a solution to the last mile, that increases the payload per vehicle without sacrificing its urban mobility.

Thanks to their patented Intelligent Riding System technology, the eTrailer accelerates and brakes automatically mimicking the movement of the bike accurately and instantly. This ensures comfort and safety during the ride, even when carrying heavy and bulky cargo on uneven roads.

Today, NÜWIEL has a diverse team of 32 employees with 30% women and other minorities in the leading positions.

Congratulations Nüwiel! Watch the entire chat from the award ceremony with Natalia Tomiyama from Nüwiel below.

EmpowerWISM 2022 Winner: Singe Network

Singe Network are a multi-media production company that develops hybrid live+tech solutions for overlooked markets with a focus on gender equality and migration.

In support of their main product, Pretty Deadly Self Defense, they are developing digital Safety Cards — like the kind found on airplanes – to be delivered via an API key that integrates into mobile apps. Their primary product is a women’s self defense program that has women’s mobility at its heart. Their self defense product has been developed by women for women, and is based on real life experiences, from microaggressions and public harassment to physical violence.

Taking the fear out of traditional self defense, it teaches women how to maximize the tools we already have, including situational awareness, strategic thinking and intuition. Their live program is supported by a mobile app that provides self defense techniques and safety tips on the go. Women can learn self defense and hone their skills whenever and wherever they want. The mobile app is a video-based app that introduces techniques, applications and training modules in a simple progression, allowing users to learn self defense techniques at their own pace, in their own space – especially useful for people who cannot easily access self defense courses due to economic, geographic or race and gender obstacles.

Massive congratulations to Singe Network! A very well deserved win – we can’t wait to start working with you! Watch our chat from the award ceremony with the team at Singe Network below.

award ceremony

EmpowerWISM 2022 Prize

Once again, a huge congratulations to Susie Kahlich, Rithika Punj and the team at Singe Network! This year they will receive:


Don’t forget! You ca watch the full EmpowerWISM award ceremony here.

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