Where are all the women at in the startup world? If you read most articles about tech startup founders, you’re probably under the impression that only men create mobile apps and launch successful tech companies. Women only make up 35% of startup owners, according to a Kauffman Foundation article published last year. And when it comes to tech startup business owners, an estimated 5% are female.
While the tech world is overwhelmingly male, you can’t ignore the female innovators giving male startup owners a run for their money. BlackEnterprise.com tech columnist Hajj Flemings has compiled a list of women from all walks of life influencing the startup space.
CEO of Black Web Media and BLACK ENTERPRISE August 2011 cover subject Angela Benton co-founded the NewMe Accelerator alongside blogger and social media expert Wayne Sutton. The residential technology startup incubator, which targets minority entrepreneurs, is designed to educate, accelerate and empower the target demographic. When Benton isn’t overseeing the accelerator, the tech maven is ensuring tech news is disseminated throughout communities of color via Black Web 2.0. Viewers got an inside view of the accelerator during CNN’s Black in America 4: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley.
In January of 2010, the former User Experience Designer for Adaptive Path co-founded Foodspotting, a website and mobile app that allows users to recommend dishes, not just restaurants. It’s simple rating system and photo-centered review platform allows users to find at least one dish that will satisfy their palette. Since its launch, more than 1,960,157 foods have been “spotted” across the globe.
Andrzejewski was featured in Inc.’s “30 Under 30” and Gourmet Live’s “50 Women Game Changers in food.
After playing yet another game of phone tag with her hairstylist during her senior year at Howard University, Tiffani Bell had an “aha moment.” It was then that she created Pencil You In, an online appointment book that enables stylist and small business owners to book appointments online and manage their appointment book all year round. The Fayetteville, NC-native was featured in Black in America 4.
Leah Busque is the founder of TaskRabbit, the online and mobile marketplace for outsourcing small errands and tasks such as making deliveries, organizing one’s home office and even basic event planning. The San Francisco-based company has created over 4,000 jobs in the last 12 months, according to a HuffPost article.
Chomp founder and CTO Cathy Edwards created a smart and savvy algorithm that allows users to search for applications based on what they do as opposed to just what they are called. The app launched on iPhone in January 2010 and Android in February 2011. Edwards’ invention was acquired by Apple for $50 million earlier this year.
Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant saw the lack of access and existing opportunities for young women of color. Hence, the biotechnology/engineering professional founded a non-profit organization dedicating to teaching girls 7-14 from underrepresented communities about computer programming, technology and STEM fields. Founded in 2011, the organization provides workshops and after-school programs that teach critical programming skills to young adolescents and teens.
Wendy Lea is the CEO of Get Satisfaction, a customer engagement platform that helps companies set-up an online community to engage with their customers, despite their location. She founded The Catham Group, where she serves as board member, strategic advisor, and an angel investor for a bevy of startups.
The Internet entrepreneur is known for co-founding photo sharing community Flickr and Hunch, which pinpoints products and places a user’s friend likes and then predicts what else the user might enjoy. Hunch’s ambitious mission is to build a “Taste Graph” of the entire web.
The CEO and co-founder of Buyosphere launched the company in 2010, and it’s been sweet shopping ever since. Buyosphere allows users to find exactly which article of clothing or shoe selection they’re looking for; once they submit the query, Buyosphere sends it to the right people and the recommendations begin streaming in—all for a great price. The social graph analytics-based service is free.
Hunt has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Tech. She is also author of The Whuffie Fastor.
The former leading lady of Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events is the founder and executive director for Code for America, a San Francisco-based startup which connects web developers and designers with the government to do a better job of providing services to citizens. The nonprofit works with city managers to identify projects that can benefit from web-based solutions.
The co-founder and chief product officer created the business after missing out on live concerts when studying in Beijing, China. Hence, Songkick was born. The music service allows you to organize and track your favorite bands, as well as locate concerts and dates.