• Laura Simonson

Virchew + Vegan Women Summit = Plant-Power!

Updated: Apr 19

Woofoooo! As soon as the plane touched down at LAX, we were in go mode! Helen and I were in Los Angeles to make an impact, and together we served up the story of Virchew vegan food for dogs to everyone on the road to the Vegan Women Summit.

Virchew's Helen Siwak & Laura Simonson at VWS for vegan plantbased dog food from vancouver, bc, canada
Virchew's Helen Siwak & Laura Simonson at VWS

It was an exciting 3-days in LA where we joined 800+ other compassionate vegan women in the downtown City Market Social House to listen to, create, and continue powerful conversations on the dramatic changes happening in the world. Key speakers ranged from teenage activists to investment managers, actors, media superstars, food producers, and doctors.


Attendees were women of all ages and backgrounds who filled the summit with incredibly warm and welcoming energy we had never experienced before at other business events!

Julia Piatt (founder SriMu) with team and Kelly Mercado of hinge (2nd L) in image taken by Helen siwak for virchew vegan plantbased dog food from vancouver, bc, canada
Julia Piatt (founder SriMu) with team and Kelly Mercado of hinge (2nd L)

In the event marketplace, everyone was invited to taste, shop, and experience over two dozen plant-based and animal-free products that are in or coming to the international market soon. With Virchew being the sole Canadian food for dogs in the plant-based space, we met so many, and began, incredible conversations full of possibility, interest in future collaborations to take our vision global, and prospects for investment and funding.

Laura Simonson of Virchew dog food connecting with Courtney from VegWorld Magazine in between sessions
Virchew's Laura Simonson post-conversation with Courtney (@thecolorfulcourtney) reporter for VegWorld Magazine

What is the Vegan Women Summit?


VWS Founder Jennifer Stojkovic interviews vegan actor and activist Alicia Silverstone watched by Laura Simonson of Virchew plantbased vegan dog food from vancouver, bc, canada
VWS Founder Jennifer Stojkovic interviews vegan actor and activist Alicia Silverstone

The VWS is a global events and media organization created by Jennifer Stojkovic, an internationally-recognized community relations leader and best-selling author.

In early 2018, Jennifer launched a Future of Food series of partnerships to bring CEOs and founders from leading tech brands (WeWork, Airbnb, and more) together with emerging CEOs from the food tech industry. She quickly became aware of the inequities facing female founders in the food tech industry.


Drawing on these experiences, Jennifer launched VWS in early 2020 with a sold-out global conference, the Vegan Women Summit. Focused on building an equitable and diverse representation of women leaders, VWS is the world's first events and media organization dedicated to empowering, educating, and inspiring women to bring compassion to their careers. With a thriving, fast-growing community of energetic female leaders worldwide, VWS features programming with the world's leading vegan CEOs, celebrities (Alicia Silverstone, Emily Deschanel), investors, Olympians (Dotsie Bausch), and more.

Left to Right: Danielle Macdonald, Dominique Side, Jennifer Stojkovic, Dr. Gemma Newman, Charity Morgan, Joanne Lee Molinaro, Miyoko Schinner as seen by Laura Simonson of Virchew
Speakers at VSW: Danielle Macdonald, Dominique Side, Jennifer Stojkovic, Dr. Gemma Newman, Charity Morgan, Joanne Lee Molinaro, Miyoko Schinner

Women are Visionaries


Attendees were asked at the beginning of the event, 'how many of you are much more inspired and engaged by working with companies that care about social good?' and the clapping and cheering were deafening! I firmly believe that every day we should all strive to bring positivity and power to those around us to are tackling issues that affect us all. The vegan visionaries we connected with at VWS included Miyoko Schinner (CEO of Miyoko's), Richa Gupta (CEO of Good Food for Good), and Lana Weidgenant (Vice-Chair, UN Food Systems Summit).


Dr. Mari Mitrani with Laura Simonson at Vegan Women Summit investing in Virchew dog food that is vegan plantbased and in vancouver, bc
Dr. Mari Mitrani with Laura

Women are Investors


Did you know that 90% of Virchew's capital was raised through women? It is a fact that I am so proud of and why connecting at VWS was so important to meet and communicate with more like-minded women who share similar values! Together we hold the ability to build a robust network of women who are changemakers. We all know that making change requires capital (and lots of it). Kudo's to VWS for inviting and showcasing vegan women in investment - like Marissa Bronfman (Chief Brand Officer of Kizmet Capital), Daniella Monet (Investor & Co-Founder of Kinder Beauty), Manon Sarah Littek, Ph.D. (Founding Partner, Green Generation Fund), Alicia Robb of Next Wave Impact and Vegan Investors and Dr. Mari Mitrani (Investor & Chief Science Officer of Organicell).

Ask a Vegan Investor Panel with Dr. Manon Littek, Daniella Monet, hosted by Marissa Bronfman watched by Laura Simonson of Virchew vegan plantbased dog food from vancouver, bc,
Ask a Vegan Investor Panel with Dr. Manon Littek, Daniella Monet, hosted by Marissa Bronfman

Women are Entrepreneurs

Dr. Melissa Mondala and Laura Simonson of virchew plantbased vegan dog food from vancouver, bc, canada
Dr. Melissa Mondala and Laura

With the demand for vegan products increasing, so are the number of women entrepreneurs who are willing to step up where the old network will not and does not. Currently, the food, fashion, and beauty industries are being dominated by vegan messaging and products, thanks in no small part to driven women like Margaret Coons (CEO of Nuts for Cheese), Dr. Melissa Mondala (Doctor & Entrepreneur), Angela Yvonne (Creator & Host of Vegan Pop Eats), and Dominique Side (Founder of the Luxury Vegan).


Dominique Side excited about receiving her Virchew Samples from Laura Simonson of Virchew plantbased vegan dog food company from vancouver, bc
Dominique Side excited about Virchew!

The Power of Vegan Women


Women hold the power to make world change. We're now witnessing this nurturing and creative power more than ever before from leaders of countries to organizations like the VWS event. By joining together at the VWS with other founders, industry professionals, celebrities, key speakers, sponsors, investors and attendees worldwide we're sharing this collective power for the greater good. Our conversations and creativity are manifesting ideas that are causing actionable, much-needed solutions. Excitement and connections were happening all around us. It felt so awesome to know that Virchew was 'at the table' to share about our unique foods and veterinary solutions for dogs to thrive. Which in turn offers peace of mind to those who love them.

Laura Simonson sits on the edge of The Vegan Women Summit in Los Angeles where she attended for Virchew dog food which is plantbased and vegan.
Peace to everyone making positive and compassionate change in the world!

We simply can't wait for next year and in the meantime, we're gonna keep sharing the power of love, plants and dogs!


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