Hasmik Hayrapetyan and Alex Boghossian

Armenian FEMINNO Conference on Women and Innovation Held in San Francisco


SAN FRANCISCO — Recently, the first satellite conference of FEMINNO, the biggest female innovation platform in Armenia and in the Caucasus, was held in San Francisco.

“Having had serious success in Armenia for two years, we realized that it is time to export the unique brand we have created and start bringing together the women engaged in innovation in the diaspora and foreign communities as well as the men who support the cause,” says Seda Papoyan, the founder of FEMINNO.

Seda Papoyan

The theme of the FEMINNO satellite conference in San Francisco was “AI and Inclusive Innovation”, around which more than 100 Armenian and American specialists from both technology and other innovative fields gathered. Among the speakers, the organizers of FEMINNO managed to attract some very influential names in the Silicon Valley, including the former VP of Engineering of Twitter/X, now the Executive Director of Emerson Collective, as well as the Secretary of the Board of TUMO – Raffi Krikorian, the Head of Legal PMO at Meta – Emmanuelle Brissaud, serial entrepreneur in AI – David Yang, executive director of Excelerate Global – Seline Karakaya, SADA CFO Lusine Yeghiazaryan, founder of Generation She – Avni Barman, recognized Armenian serial innovator and entrepreneur Zarik Boghosyan, Armenian International Women’s Association’s (AIWA) San Francisco branch members and others. Leading specialists from Google, Slack and other technological and innovative companies were among the participants of the conference.

From left, Lilya Avagyan, Lilit Yenokyan, Christine Soussa, Lusine Yeghiazaryan, Laura Dirtadian

The first FEMINNO satellite conference was supported by a number of organizations from Armenia and the United States. The event was hosted by the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School of San Francisco, welcoming this unique initiative in their Saroyan hall.

“We are delighted with this initiative not only for its unique innovative content, but especially with the courage that this team of Armenian women was able to conceive, develop and implement such an event to bring it to San Francisco,” the speakers said.

Mariam Torosyan, the founder of the Safe YOU platform, also participated as a speaker of FEMINNO from Armenia. And since one of the main directions of the FEMINNO platform is the promotion of women’s participation in innovative fields, through a video address the organizers also made the voice of Artsakh women heard in San Francisco by involving Nina Shahverdyan, a young teacher and blogger who was displaced from Stepanakert, Artsakh.

Mariam Torosyan

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“In the near future, we will launch a special “digital rebuilding” program for women forcibly displaced from Artsakh, for which the online fundraising continues these days,” said Seda Papoyan.

With the first outgoing conference in San Francisco, the founder of the FEMINNO platform announced the start of a series of satellite conferences, with the help of which it will be possible to create an active network of innovative Armenian and local women, as well as men who support them, and create bigger results together. FEMINNO 2024 will be held in Armenia on July 27-28, and before then the organizers plan to send at least one more “satellite” to a continent.

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