Women are on the rise in the world of business. For the time being, it’s still a male-dominated field, with less than 5.00% of companies on the S&P 500 having a woman in the CEO position. However, there are signs that this is rapidly changing, with women starting to rise through the ranks of established companies…and carving out their own paths in companies they found on their own.
Among the most exciting startups out there are more and more companies that are driven by female leadership. Here’s a look at some of the exciting emerging growth companies that were founded by a woman.
Danielle Morrill – Mattermark
Many young entrepreneurs may look at Silicon Valley’s crowded field of startups and see a marketplace that they’ll need struggle to fit into. Or, if you’re Danielle Morrill, Kevin Morrill, and Andy Sparks, the founders of Mattermark, you saw an opportunity for yet another startup.
Mattermark helps venture capitalists find and track information about startups, using big data to build an algorithm that tracks the factors that matter most to emerging growth companies. The plan does cater to the Silicon Valley crowd, but that may also have helped the company raise $9.9 million over four rounds, including $6.5 million of Series A funding late in 2014.
Wanelo – Deena Varshavskaya
The San Francisco-based Wanelo promises its customers a digital mall with over 350,000 stores all accessible through your phone. Founder and CEO Deena Varshavskaya was born in Siberia and moved to the United States at the age of 16. After dropping out of Cornell two courses shy of graduating, Varshavskaya moved to New York City and founded web startup ReelACT, an online video directory of actors.
Of course, it’s the company she founded after moving to Los Angeles that has really made a mark. Wanelo, a name that’s a portmanteau of “want,” “need,” and “love,” has raised $14 million over three rounds of financing, and has more than 11 million users.
Meredith Perry – uBeam
The massive expansion of mobile devices has likely been the biggest change the world has seen in the last decade, revolutionizing nearly every aspect of everyday. Of course, the downside of that is that when your battery runs out, you’re frequently left painfully unable to function in our modern society.
Enter uBeam, founded by CEO Meredith Perry, which claims to have the makings of a wireless charging technology that might revolutionize the mobile industry. The technology uses transducers to convert electrical energy into ultrasonic energy to transmit to people’s phones. The company certainly has its share of critics, with some suggesting the concept violates the laws of physics, but the company has been hitting back recently at those claims.
What’s more, skeptics are fine, but there are enough believers that the company has raised $23.35 million over four rounds of financing, including $2.6 million in equity crowdfunding that closed late last year.
Kegan Schouwenburg – Sols
Getting good shoes can be desperately important. Particularly for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, issues at ground level can frequently translate into knee and back issues in the long run. However, getting top-quality, customized shoes, built for your feet, can be prohibitively expensive. Most people simply accept that they can expect a lifetime for pain and discomfort.
That’s the issue founder and CEO of Sols, Kegan Schouwenburg, is trying to address. Her company allows users to take videos of their feet with their smartphones that can then, through the company’s algorithm, match the perfect set of orthotics to their feet. The company works with nearly 1,500 doctors and has shipped more than 11,000 pairs of orthotics in addition to the $19.25 million it has raised over three financing rounds. The company recently announced that it was laying off a fifth of its workforce as it prepared to expand its product offerings.
A New Era for Business
After years of being a male-dominated space, tech startups are rapidly opening up to new thinking and new people as a new generation of young female entrepreneurs start to cut their teeth. While it may take some time before real equity is reached, the current direction of travel is certainly promising.
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