female founders

In the 80s she got run over, went into a coma, and woke up blind. Now she'€™s launching one of the most original tech companies in years

An inspirational story of a woman who has achieved great success in all aspects of her life despite huge obstacles. The reason? Because she would never give up and wanted to do more,  what we consider defining trait’s of many successful entrepreneurs.

Join Us For a Live Chat With 3 Top Female Founders

Today at 2:00 p.m. EST we’ll be hosting a live chat moderated by Allison Silver, VP Brand, Advertising and Advocacy at American Express OPEN with these accomplished women:

We’ll be hosting this chat using Spreecast - head over here to join us! You can also Tweet your questions, but be sure to include the hashtags #FemaleFounders and #PoweringTomorrow.

41 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Women comprise 47% of the U.S. workforce, but just 25% of the STEM workforce. While the tech sector has a reputation of being occupied by white males, women are making a go at careers in STEM fields.

The success of prominent female leaders such asFacebook‘s Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo‘s Marissa Mayer are bringing more attention to women in the tech sphere. But beyond the Sandbergs and the Mayers, there’s a crop of women who are not only leading, but also launching tech startups. Below, we highlight 41 accomplished female founders; with businesses ranging from fashion and ecommerce to careers and social networks, these movers and shakers are changing the face of tech. [more]

44 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know
  • Alexa von Tobel, CEO and Founder, LearnVest
  • Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder and Chairman, Joyus
  • Laura Fitton, Founder, oneforty
  • Olga Vidisheva, Founder, Shoptiques
  • Kass Lazerow, Co-Founder & COO, Buddy Media
  • Cheryl Yeoh, Co-Founder and CEO of Reclip.it
  • Aslaug Magnusdottir, Co-Founder and CEO, Moda Operandi
  • Katina Mountanos, Co-Founder and CEO at Manicube
  • Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite
  • Gina Bianchini, Founder, MightyBell
  • Tracy Sun, Co-Founder, Poshmark
  • Christina Wallace, CEO and Co-Founder, Quincy
  • Alex Tryon, CEO and Co-Founder, Artsicle
  • Brooke Moreland, Co-Founder and CEO, Fashism
  • Rashmi Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, SlideShare
  • Alexa Andrzejewski, Co-Founder, Foodspotting
  • Amy Jo Martin, Founder, Digital Royalty
  • Caroline Ghosn and Amanda Pouchot, Co-Founders, Levo League
  • Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO, If We Ran the World
  • Deborah Jackson, Founder, JumpThru and Plum Alley, Co-Founder, Women Innovate Mobile
  • Jen Bekman, CEO and Founder, 20x200
  • Jess Lee, Co-Founder, Polyvore
  • Rachel Sklar, Founder, Change The Ratio and TheLi.st
  • Jennifer Pahlka, Founder, Code for America
  • Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos and Melissa McCreery, Co-Founders, The Daily Muse
  • Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins and Elisa Camahort, Co-Founders, BlogHer
  • Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, Co-Founders, Birchbox
  • Kellee Khalil, CEO and Founder, Lover.ly
  • Leslie Bradshaw, President, COO and Co-Founder, JESS3
  • Lily Liu, Founder and CEO, PublicStuff
  • Jesse Draper, Founder and Host, The Valley Girl Show
  • Marci Harris, CEO, POPVOX
  • Anne Raimondi, Founder and CEO, One Jackson
  • Victoria Ransom, Co-Founder and CEO, Wildfire
  • Sandy Jen, Co-Founder and CTO, Meebo
  • Sara Holoubek, Founder and CEO, Luminary Labs


Y Combinator held its first ever Female Founders Conference Saturday afternoon at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. In opening..

Had a great time at this today. Apparently 1500+ actually applied to attend. Happy to have heard about this in time to apply and gotten a spot.

As an early stage founder, this was one of the best tech events I’ve been to, ever, for two main reasons:

  1. Caliber and relevance of speakers. Every person on stage was an impressive tech entrepreneur or tech leader, who happened to be female. Though I sometimes get tired of the female-only events and females-in-tech conversation, if you are going to put on an event focused on empowering women in technology, commit: just bring powerful women on the stage. There’s no need to pepper in the male VCs or male entrepreneurs, as that almost reinforces the issue you’re trying to combat with a females-in-tech conference, in the first place. Obviously, there is a higher volume of excellent male VCs and male entrepreneurs to learn from, regardless of your gender, but this is just not the place for it. And, perhaps most importantly, there were a lot of high quality, early stage female founders sharing their lessons learned along the way. Although it was incredible to hear from industry veterans, like Diane Greene, it was even more relevant to me to hear from people like Adora Cheung, Danielle Morill, and Jamie Wong (just to name a few) and there were more top-notch entrepreneurs at this stage than any other conference I’d been to.

  2. Accessibility to speakers and fostering a real networking opportunity. At other tech conferences I’ve been to, it seemed like the speakers would come off the stage, give a private hug to the conference organizer(s), and then run out the door before any of those icky conference attendees wanted to try and meet them (and I’d paid hundreds of dollars to be there, whereas YC’s Female Founders conference was free). Today, however, it seemed like every speaker actually stuck around and made sure to meet everyone who wanted to speak with them. I would’ve loved to meet every single one of the speakers and event organizers today, but I prioritized the handful that were most relevant to me and my business and was able to find them, have a quick conversation, and, unlike other conferences, the promise to have coffee with me seemed less of a flippant yeah-that’s-never-gonna-happen brush off and more of a yes-I-want-to-help. This might be because the audience was smaller in volume (a few hundred, rather than many many hundreds), the attendees were higher in quality (you had to be apply to get an invitation), and possibly because there was an inherent extension of the Y Combinator alumni spirit, even though many attendees were not alumnae. 

The event was also the right length, from 2 to 6:30pm (no one wants to hear speakers on stage alllllll daaay looong), and Jessica Livingston and team did a great job making sure to close with some super high energy speakers.

I admit, I was skeptical about the event, especially given the events that led up to it, but I was really and totally impressed. Please do this again next year, YC!

Our Founding Females

Hotswag and I frequently swap links to articles we think will interest each other. His queue typically includes anything space related, Michigan-themed, or food inspiration. In return, I receive an abundance of pieces on feminist issues, running tips, and yes, more snack ideas.

Last week, this gem landed in my inbox: a blog post on Y Combinator’s new Female Founders interview series. To provide…

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