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Ann Arbor SPARK Hosts 2nd Annual Women in Tech on September 23

Women in Tech Sept 23 banner

Ann Arbor SPARK will host the second annual Women in Tech event on Wednesday, September 23. The free, virtual event, from noon to 1 p.m., features three leading women in IT — Dr. Lauren Bigelow, MJ Cartwright, and Dr. Ariella Shikan — who will share their personal stories and offer attendees insight on what it takes to achieve success.

The esteemed Women in Tech presenters will examine a range of topics, including fundraising, bringing a product to market, and addressing gender bias in the workplace, from their own experiences. Women in Tech will also include a “fireside chat” where the presenters will field questions submitted by attendees.

“Creating opportunities for women to connect and share their stories, especially as they relate to advancing and supporting each other within our tech ecosystem, is important to not only individuals, but to companies who want to ensure we have a diverse and deep talent pool here,” said Jenn Cornell Queen, Ann Arbor SPARK’s senior vice president of marketing, communications, and events. “I’m thrilled that we are able to present the personal stories of three accomplished women who represent an incredible range of experiences and interests, who have all been in the trenches and know, first-hand, what it takes to stand out and excel.” 

Dr. Lauren Bigelow is the executive director of Traverse City-based economic development organization 20Fathoms. She is a senior executive and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience leading innovative companies and initiatives. Bigelow has assisted privately held startup technology, energy, cleantech, IT, and fintech companies from the inception through the growth stage of their business. From 2010 onwards, she was the CEO of the Growth Capital Network, a Michigan-based firm that provides strategy, analytic, and impact evaluation services to the corporate, foundation and non-profit community.

MJ Cartwright is the CEO of Court Innovations. She has led the strategy and built the team to take the Matterhorn online dispute resolution platform from an academic idea at the University of Michigan Law School in 2014 to a platform in use by over 120 locations in 16 U.S. states in 2020. Cartwright’s vision is for expanded access to justice via technology. In partnership with judicial and alternative dispute resolution leaders, the Matterhorn platform enables people to resolve cases “in” and “outside” court. Cartwright has started, led, and worked for various technology companies in her career including Ann Arbor-based HealthMedia.

Dr. Ariella Shikanov is the founder of Artova Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor-based startup. She is an associate professor in biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. Her career is dedicated to developing means to restore ovarian reproductive and endocrine function in cancer survivors with premature ovarian insufficiency, with a long-standing interest and expertise in the design of follicle microenvironment using biomimetic materials.

Women in Tech is part of Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 program, featuring seven days of 16 inspiring events showcasing Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation to the world. a2Tech360 is sponsored by KLA and the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti SmartZone/ Local Development Finance Authority. For more information, visit

Women in Tech is a free event, but registration is required.

About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction, and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from startups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit