Ashley Edwards is a youth mental health expert, technology innovator, startup and corporate advisor, and Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur. Her thought leadership in mental health, social innovation, and racial equity led Forbes to name her one of the top “Healers” set to influence the next century. Her work has been featured globally in notable publications including ELLE, Business Insider, Inc., among others. Across her career, Ashley strives to leverage technology to advance equity, healing and justice.
Ashley grew up in New Jersey and attended Yale University where she received the Yale Franciscus Fellowship in Entrepreneurship. During her time at Yale, she began exploring her passion for social innovation through her work traveling to and supporting sustainability, political and economic development efforts across Haiti, Hong Kong, and Uganda as a college student. After graduating Yale, she moved to Newark, NJ and formally started her career in social impact by managing operations for a charter high school.
Her experience working in urban education sparked her passion for creating healing opportunities for youth from marginalised communities facing various trauma, economic and social barriers to reaching peak mental health and wellbeing. This work led her to pursue and receive her M.B.A. and M.A. in Education from Stanford University where she was awarded the Miller Social Change Leadership Award and served as President of the Black Business Student Association.
Currently, Ashley Edwards is Founder and CEO of MindRight Health, a tech startup committed to making mental health care radically accessible and inclusive of underserved communities. Ashley is the 1st Black female founder to raise over $1 million in venture capital in New Jersey and at the time, she was 1 of 35 to ever do so in the United States.
Outside of her work leading MindRight Health, Ashley has served as a corporate advisor across various social impact, racial equity, and mental health councils at Forbes, Zoom, and NewSchools Venture Fund, among others. She also serves as an inaugural Visiting Social Entrepreneur at Stanford Graduate School of Business where she coaches and advises startup founders building social impact organisations. Previous speaking engagements include Stanford, Yale, Harvard Business School, Google, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), US Chamber of Commerce, among others.