A 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsored non-profit organization*

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Our Mission

The mission of the Autism Angels Group is to bring together capital and talent to aggressively drive economic opportunities and technology-driven solutions that create a positive social impact for the autism community. We welcome partnerships with individuals, organizations and institutions that wish to join us in investing in people, private markets and for-profit enterprises that seek to include and empower those on the autism spectrum.

Maureen as a child with her mom, Marlene. Maureen lost both of her parents as a young adult.

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Cathy's family, including her father Ed Schwallie, a long time autism advocate.

 

The Founders dedicate Autism Angels Group to their parents and families and their support for neurodiversity.

Specialized talent and financial backing are needed to evaluate and support the startups coming into this area, and I applaud the creation of AAG (Autism Angels Group) as smart money for founders at the earliest stages.   

-Sean O’Sullivan,  who also has a son with autism.

Father of "Cloud Computing" & Founder and Managing Partner at SOSV

Meet the Founders

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Cathy Schwallie Farmer

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Maureen Dunne

Cathy Schwallie Farmer has been involved in Autism since the late 1960's when one of her four brothers was diagnosed with Autism.  She had another brother diagnosed with Asperger’s in the 1980’s.  Growing up with these two unique brothers helped Cathy grow into the role of Autism Advocate.


Cathy studied Computer Science and Math at University of Massachusetts and since been in Healthcare & Science technology. Cathy has held many positions from initially a Software Developer, to Director of Software Development, Chief of Staff and Director of Strategy and Planning. Cathy

Cathy Schwallie Farmer has been involved in Autism since the late 1960's when one of her four brothers was diagnosed with Autism.  She had another brother diagnosed with Asperger’s in the 1980’s.  Growing up with these two unique brothers helped Cathy grow into the role of Autism Advocate.


Cathy studied Computer Science and Math at University of Massachusetts and since been in Healthcare & Science technology. Cathy has held many positions from initially a Software Developer, to Director of Software Development, Chief of Staff and Director of Strategy and Planning. Cathy led some of the key development initiatives. These included: Kaiser Permanente’s Clinical & Advice Call Center and website (kp.org) and Canopy Health/Bay Health Development’s Mobile app/Portal work.


Cathy is an active Venture Advisor at University of California, Berkeley. Most notably at Cal’s Skydeck and Haas’s LAUNCH accelerators. Cathy is a mentor at the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF i-Corps) and a Healthcare Advisor across Cal’s Startup Ecosystem.  


Cathy has a few startups of her own, one in the robotics/autism/children’s hospital space. Cathy has been an angel investor for over 10 years mostly focusing on systems that will help people and the environment. Cathy has been advising ASD related startups as well as ASD founders for several years.


Cathy is a board member of several nonprofits: The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and the Autism Center of Northern California. Cathy holds the nominated position role as an Autism Consumer Research Reviewer for the CDMRP (US congressional directive medical research program).

 

Dr. Maureen Dunne has lectured on neurodiversity, entrepreneurship and innovation at the local, national, and international level. A former National Science Foundation Fellow, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellow and Women 2.0 "Founder to Watch," Maureen has deep industry expertise as a serial entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor, with a particular passion for healthcare and education technology companies that embrace inclusive and neurodiverse teams. She has co-founded companies in diverse areas, including healthcare robotics, autism services, data analytics and remote tutoring/monitoring solutions. Dr. Dunne also spearheaded the Autism and Innovation Initiative with seed

Dr. Maureen Dunne has lectured on neurodiversity, entrepreneurship and innovation at the local, national, and international level. A former National Science Foundation Fellow, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Fellow and Women 2.0 "Founder to Watch," Maureen has deep industry expertise as a serial entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor, with a particular passion for healthcare and education technology companies that embrace inclusive and neurodiverse teams. She has co-founded companies in diverse areas, including healthcare robotics, autism services, data analytics and remote tutoring/monitoring solutions. Dr. Dunne also spearheaded the Autism and Innovation Initiative with seed funding from the Discovery Partners Institute and private donors with the mission "to strengthen the technology and innovation talent pipeline by including people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and taking a strength-based approach to training, entrepreneurship and workforce development."

A lifelong autism advocate, Dr Dunne has been a foster parent to children with autism (including a nonverbal boy she taught to communicate), has set up the Dr. Maureen N. Dunne Autism Student Success Scholarship at select colleges and founded The Transition 2 Success Project, which provides $5,000 in customizable supports to promote the success of high school seniors with autism spectrum disorders in transitioning to college and/or apprenticeship work opportunities. She was recently elected by fellow college trustees across the state of Illinois as Secretary of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association with advocacy efforts that include the expansion of 21st century workforce development training programs.

She serves on multiple nonprofit and corporate boards, including Aspiritech, Mental Health Association GC, Advocate Health Governing Board Council, Good Samaritan Hospital, and Access to Care. She is a member of the C-Suite investment screening committee for Astia and is a member of several angel investment groups, as well as an advisor to venture capital and social impact funds.

Maureen holds Joint BA/MA degrees from the University of Chicago and a Master’s from London School of Economics. She also completed advanced training in the cognitive/data sciences as a fellow at MIT/Harvard, as well as corporate board and leadership training at Harvard Business School. Dr. Dunne earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the Division on Medical Sciences from the University of Oxford where she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

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