Inside Cartier’s Women’s Initiative: The Finalists you Need to Know

Cartier has announced the finalists of its annual Cartier Women’s Initiative. This year marks the program’s 15th anniversary as well as the launch of a new awards category for innovation in science and technology.

As is tradition, the company has named a total of 24 finalists from across North America who will vie for a total of $1 million in funding when prizes are announced for global winners next month.

Cartier is holding its annual ceremony virtually this year from May 24 to 26. Held in a summit format, it will include panel and keynote discussions addressing the importance of female empowerment and economic equality. The 2021 Cartier Women’s initiative received 876 applicants from 142 countries.

North American finalists include New York City’s Rebecca Hui, whose company Roots Studio digitizes endangered indigenous art and provides intellectual property education to those wishing to license traditional crafts to fashion companies. Baltimore’s Ellington West is also a finalist for his company Sonavi Labs, which uses artificial intelligence to create medical devices that diagnose respiratory diseases and other chronic conditions.

Science and technology category finalists include Orianna Bretschger of San Diego, whose company Aquacycl has created a patented technology that uses bacteria to speed up the treatment of wastewater while also creating electricity in the process. Christina Gyenge of Vancouver is also a finalist for her firm Agora Energy Technologies that creates renewable batteries based with carbon dioxide instead of metal.

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