Top 3 Finalists: Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch 2022

With only 4 days left to the Empower Women in Shared Mobility 2022 virtual award ceremony – it’s time to announce the TOP 3 FINALISTS! Plus we’ll spotlight this year’s ‘outstanding applicant’ and introduce this year’s award ceremony MC, the amazing Crissy Ditmore!

Our judges have been hard at work reviewing and discussing each application using the EmpowerWISM criteria to make their final decisions. It has been a very challenging process for our panel due the number of high caliber applicants taking part in this years race. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who applied and to let you know how truly inspired we our by the work you are doing. We wish you success and prosperity in your 2022 endeavors!

Before we announce the top 3 finalists, here is a recap of the EmpowerWISM assessment criteria. We are judging each applicant across three categories:


  • Is the venture majority women owned or controlled or managed?
  • How well is the vision articulated?
  • Is the vision aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Does the solution support efforts around transportation equity?


  • How well demonstrated is your market know-how?
  • What are the unique strengths of your team?
  • What’s your growth strategy?
  • Is the solution super specific to one city/community or has potential to scale?


  • What’s unique about your product/service?
  • Is ‘technology’ one of your innovation pillars?
  • What need does your product/service solve in the transportation value chain?

We received 19 applications this year and out of those 19, we have narrowed it down to our top 3 finalists. Without further ado (and in no particular order) here are the top three finalists!

Top 3 Finalists: EmpowerWISM 2022

Mobility for Africa

Where are you located?

Harare, Zimbabwe

What service do you offer?

We offer shared mobility services for people (eg bikeshare, carshare, ridehail, microtransit, mopedshare etc), We offer technology for shared mobility (eg hardware, software etc)

Describe your venture

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.

What is this vision for your venture?

Mobility for Africa is ambitious. We want to validate our proof of concept and be able to expand to other markets. In Africa, most of rural small scale agricultural depends on women, who bear the brunt of the mobility crisis. There are millions of women that could benefit from green shared and gender responsive last mile mobility. We want to be a leader in building this ecosystem, providing a potential franchise system that can grow and scale quickly to leave no woman behind. We want to continue to leverage technology in off-grid energy, battery storage and management and recycling to be adapted to rural communities especially women, and make sure we have a truly sustainable business.

How would winning EmpowerWISM 2022 help your venture and your vision?

This would be an amazing opportunity to connect with a network of global industry players and people that believe in green, shared mobility solutions, have knowledge and technical understanding of the challenges and be a great way to be connected with the latest trends, technology and innovation. Most of all it would be a supportive community and an acknowledgement of our work over the last 3 years so important to keep us inspired, motivated that these solutions can work not just in rich countries but also poorer parts of the world.

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Where are you located?

Hamburg, Germany

What service do you offer?

We offer technology for shared mobility (eg hardware, software etc)

Describe your venture

Nüwiel has been founded by Natalia Tomiyama and Fahad Khan in Germany. At Nüwiel we 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 our 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.

What is this vision for your venture?

Mobility for Africa is ambitious. We want to validate our proof of concept and be able to expand to other markets. In NÜWIEL’s mission is to change current urban mobility patterns by developing a new-generation e-mobility solution to move heavy goods in urban areas. With our eTrailer we aim at empowering more people to reduce the use of cars in cities thus making a significant impact on decongesting roads, improving air quality in urban areas and making our cities more livable.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce traffic congestion by 30% and air pollution by 40%, and to decrease the number of people suffering from noise pollution by 10%. Furthermore, Nüwiel is contributing to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 3-Good Health and Well-Being, 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 13- Climate Action as defined by the UN. Our eTrailers are already in daily operations of leading parcel logistics and postal companies incl. UPS, Bpost, IKEA and are running in 6 different countries in Europe.

How would winning EmpowerWISM 2022 help your venture and your vision?

It will bring more visibility to our product and most importantly create an awareness of a female leadership in a male dominated hardware mobility industry, where the representation of women is below 1%.

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Singe Network

Where are you located?

Berlin, Germany

What service do you offer?

We offer technology for shared mobility (eg hardware, software etc)

Describe your venture

We 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 our main product, Pretty Deadly Self Defense, we are developing digital Safety Cards — like the kind found on airplanes – to be delivered via an API key that integrates into mobile apps. Our primary product is a women’s self defense program that has women’s mobility at its heart. Our 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. Our 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.

What is this vision for your venture?

Our vision is to create in-app Safety Cards – illustrated instructions that provide clear, simple direction in emergency situations.

Existing tracking apps and SOS buttons in mobility apps leave a gap: the shortest emergency response time ever recorded is 7 minutes, which means that once a network is notified or an alarm sent, the user is still on her own for 7 minutes.

This is where we know Pretty Deadly can make the difference. Whether using the metro, taking a cab, or walking on the street, a lot can happen in those 7 minutes. Pretty Deadly Safety Cards can fill the Safety App Gap. Pretty Deadly Safety Cards provide information users can access immediately, for subways, taxis (and Ubers, Lyfts, et al), and even for first- and last-mile journeys with the safety tips needed to create space, and get safe while waiting for help, and make those 7 minutes count. Just like the safety cards found in the back of airplane seats, our self defense safety cards utilize similar graphic elements that can be universally understood, regardless of language skills or literacy.

The next stage of our digital development focuses on building an API for the Safety Cards that can be integrated as a third party API directly into rideshare and other mobility apps, as well as existing safety tracking apps. This allows for additions and updates, and can work alongside safety apps, reporting platforms and security/police in tandem to help keep women’s journeys safe.

How would winning EmpowerWISM 2022 help your venture and your vision?

Integrating our API key to corporate partner and municipal transport apps helps us broaden the ecosystem around our services and provides exposure in new markets as we leverage our API in new ways.

Being part of the Empower WISM program supports us with professional endorsement, exposure and access to these providers and potential partners, in turn giving us the opportunity to empower women in different countries, from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and allow them greater access to education, career opportunities, child- and elderly care, as well as leveraging that freedom of movement to find innovative ways of reinvesting in their own communities.

Most importantly, winning the Empower WiSM program would give us the boost we need to help mobility companies and transport providers recognize this safety gap that exists for women, and the ultimate cost not only to individuals and families, but to corporations and governments as well: in the US alone, rape costs the American economy as a whole $3Bn per year, year over year — money that can be otherwise directed toward infrastructure, including investing for the future of mobility.

Our mission through Pretty Deadly and the Pretty Deadly Safety Cards API is to help millions of women feel safer when they are navigating the world through accessible, user-focused self defense. Winning the Empower WISM program positions us as both innovators and experts in the field of women’s safety in mobility, and gives us a voice to reach more women and girls who are restricted from our outright denied the tools of education, health, community and economic empowerment due to threat of violence.

Meet the EmpowerWISM Virtual Award Ceremony MC: Crissy Ditmore!

Crissy Ditmore is the Head of Public Policy in North America for Optibus. She is a self professed ‘Mobility Evangelist, Transit Songstress and Policy Wonk’ who has been working to improve mobility before it was a buzzword.

She is a knowledge builder for mobility to ensure the public good is maximized through application of technology to enable policy. She builds relationships to create mobility solutions for public and private partners and is passionate about projects that develop sustainable futures for all regardless of economic situation, location, or ability. You can usually find her at an industry events speaking about MaaS, Smart Cities, modern payment solutions, bus optimization, and sometimes urban farming and beekeeping. All words, lyrics, and dance moves are her own.

This year, we are pleased to announce that she will be the host and MC of the EmpowerWISM Pitch 2022 virtual award ceremony, on Monday January 31st at 8am PST.

top 3 finalists

EmpowerWISM 2022 Outstanding Applicant: 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.

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We will be having a fireside chat with Hydroplane, as well as meeting the top 3 finalists at the EmpowerWISM virtual award ceremony, so if you’d like to learn more about these ventures and find out who the winner is, register for the free event here.


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