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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit www.ieew.org. Contact her at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com.

Charu Sharma To Receive CloudNOW's 2018 Top Woman Entrepreneur in Cloud Innovation

San Francisco, CA - January 22, 2018 – Charu Sharma, Founder of Next Play's Ellen.ai application that personalizes career and leadership development for enterprise employees, will be recognized by CloudNOW as a Top Woman Entrepreneur in Cloud Innovation and will be speaking alongside Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org, among others. Sponsored by Facebook, Intel and Google, the ceremony will be hosted by Facebook Production Engineering at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California on January 29. Previous winners have included the President of Code.org as well as female tech executives from Intel, Netflix, Cisco 
and Walmart.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized with such an esteemed set of peers and all the more energized to level the playing field in the workforce by creating equal access to career advancement and mentorship opportunities for everyone," said Charu Sharma, Founder of NextPlay.ai, backed by LinkedIn's SVP Engineering, 500 Startups and Techcrunch's former CEO.

The awards are presented in partnership with Office of the Cloud, a nonprofit cloud leadership initiative sponsored by Kaizen Technology Partners and Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.

"This year's awards mark a significant shift in the industry with the proliferation of women entrepreneurs who are stepping up and leading venture-funded technology companies," said Jocelyn DeGance Graham, founder of CloudNOW. "We applaud the achievements of our winners, and thank them for blazing trails for diversity, inclusion and entrepreneurship. We also honor our STEM scholarship recipients as we work together to support the next generation of tech leaders."

Other speakers at the event include Jenny Lawton, chief operating officer of Techstars; Caroline Simard, Managing Director at Stanford University, Women's Leadership Innovation Lab & Research Director of Clayman Institute of Gender Studies; Jennifer Cloer, Creator and Executive Producer, The Chasing Grace Project; Jessica Lin, co-founder and general partner at Work-Bench; Kristina Shen, partner at Bessemer: Jocelyn Goldfein, managing director of Zetta Venture Partners: Jenny Fielding, Managing Director, Techstars and Kauffman Fellow and Trina Van Pelt, Senior Managing Director, Intel Capital.
About Next Play, Inc.

Next Play is a Silicon Valley-based advanced AI technology company that facilitates internal mentorship matching, follow-up, and goal setting for company employees. It is a chatbot that personalizes employee career and leadership development with the goal of attracting, developing, and retaining more diverse talent. Next Play works with users to identify goals and preferences, match mentees and mentors at scale, and guide employees to achieve their goals. HR directors gain insight into employee engagement data with Next Play's breakthrough AI Technology. For more information, visit www.nextplay.ai.


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