McDermott Rise Announces Members of the 2023 Class - McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Rise Announces Members of the 2023 Class


International law firm McDermott Will & Emery is proud to welcome its newest McDermott Rise members.

“Through our McDermott Rise initiative, we are committed to creating greater equity in entrepreneurship, opening avenues for people with diverse backgrounds,” said Anthony (Tony) Upshaw, McDermott’s global head of Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “The program is now in its fourth year, and we are thrilled to onboard 10 new members focusing on critical issues ranging from biotechnology to sustainability and mental health accessibility.”

In the 2023 class, members include:

Backpack Healthcare – Combats the escalating youth mental health crisis by providing accessible, personalized, inclusive, and culturally sensitive mental healthcare services for the whole family.

bTECH – Works to reduce the number of chronic nonhealing wounds through transformative, breakthrough research on wound care products with a team of scientists, engineers, researchers, and regulatory and business strategists.

Chiswara – Connects global coffee enthusiasts with farmers in Kenya for a sustainable, inclusive coffee supply chain providing high-quality Arabica coffee with an ethical business model.

Electronic Health Network (EHN) – Enables efficient patient care coordination with MiNT, the Medical Interoperability Network. A validated and unified population health management infrastructure, MiNT facilitates efficient patient care coordination—from clinical, to social and general services—and delivers Value-Based Care (VBC) and health equity for underserved communities.

National Cycling League – Seeks to create the first-ever gender-equal professional sports community by reimagining sports ownership, fan participation and social impact. (It is the first majority-minority and female-owned professional sports league.)

Prolific – Supports retiring athletes in their post-sport transition and into the next phase of life using cohort-based coaching focused on emotional and professional development.

Sayenza Biosciences – Improves patient lives by harnessing the power of fat, the body’s largest source of stem cells, for limitless aesthetic and regenerative medicine applications.

Syridex Bio – Addresses the medical system’s inequity gap by investing in therapies that treat diseases disproportionately affecting underserved communities. By financing the development of drugs and treatments to combat health disparities, Syridex aims to accelerate health equity globally while achieving financial returns for investors.

The Fearless Artist (TFA) – Creates opportunities for diverse, mission-driven artists by helping them develop skills and build relationships. TFA also produces widely acclaimed pop-up galleries, provides educational programs for young artists and coaches clients on the art business.

Wingwomen – Champions women’s reproductive health by providing access to virtual and in-person gynecology, family planning, reproductive health coaching and doula care.

Since the inception of McDermott Rise in 2020, the Firm has donated more than 1,000 hours of legal services to nearly 60 different members, counseling them on a variety of matters, from securing seed financing to signing a partnership agreement with a major retailer.

Key successes of the McDermott Rise program include:

  • Health in Her HUE – McDermott secured a Certificate of Registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office for its name.
  • Clinify Health – McDermott represented the company in the closing of its oversubscribed $3.1 million Series Seed financing.
  • Tynt Technologies – McDermott represented the company in securing $8.5 million in a Series Seed-2 equity financing round.
  • Clear Eye Test – McDermott represented the company in its Friends & Family financing round and partnership with one of the largest online eyewear retailers in the UK.


McDermott Will & Emery launched McDermott Rise in 2020 to combat inequality and promote fairness in entrepreneurship, while helping to level the playing field for founders of color. The program provides a set of free legal and business services to 20 entrepreneurs each year to help them launch and scale their endeavors with every expectation of success.

Learn more about McDermott Rise here. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply here.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. Our team works seamlessly across practices and industries to deliver highly effective solutions that propel success. More than 1,400 lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

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