Elise Smith, is the CEO and Co-Founder, Praxis Labs (founded 2019/02). Ms. Smith and Cofounder Heather Shen formed Praxis Labs with the purpose of bringing research-backed, immersive learning experiences to the forefront of DE&I training.
Ms. Smith is one of 93 Black women to have raised more than $1 million for a venture-backed business as of August 2020, according to ProjectDiane. In February 2021 Praxis Labs announced it had raised $3.2 Million In Venture Capital from a diverse set of investors including SoftBank’s SB Opportunity Fund, Norwest Venture Partners, Ulu Ventures, Emerson Collective, Precursor Ventures and Firework VC.
Over a two years period, Ms. Smith and Ms. Shen took Praxis through rigorous research and iteration phases. Gathered insights from over 150 leaders in DE&I and carefully analyzed what challenges they witnessed in their own workplaces before developing a product.
The company's clients includes; Ebay, Uber, Amazon, Google and Target.
Personal Attributes and Interests
- Inspired by her parents' fight for educational equity, Elise is dedicated to scaling access and opportunity with the goal of creating a more equitable society.
Prior to co-founding Praxis Labs, Ms. Smith invested in and coached entrepreneurs developing diversity and inclusion solutions at NewSchools Venture Fund. She has also developed ed-tech products and led ed-tech partnerships at IBM Watson.
Ms. Smith holds a B.A. in Geography & Social Inequity from Dartmouth College and an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University.