30 Female Entrepreneurs To Watch In 2013
1:05 pm, January 10th | by
The Jane Dough Staff
One surefire way to get more women in business is to encourage them to start their own companies. But is it possible that startups founded and run by women might be more valuable than companies started by men? Startup advisor Wayne Sutton sure thinks so, citing statistics that “women tend to generate higher revenues, even though they are given one-third less capital than men. It’s also known that founding teams with mixed genders were able to raise larger rounds.” Pretty convincing, no? If you need more proof, we’ve compiled 30 smart, successful women in business who have co-founded or are launching startups. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get inspired yourself.
1.Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani founded
Girls Who Code, which just received a grant from Simple facial skincare after Saujani was named one of the next MAKERS in 2012. She says she'll use it to achieve her goal of teaching one million girls to code by 2020. Saujani also has a book, Women Who Don't Wait In Line, coming out this year.
2.Jane Gonsowski, Tealet
Sure, artisanal coffee has been done to death, but
Tealet hopes to do the same thing for tea. The subscription-based site connects tea connoisseurs (or aspiring connoisseurs) with tea manufacturers around the world, enabling them to sample a wide variety of teas and then order larger quantities of their favorites. Just this past week IndependentBlog called the company "the Netflix of teas." High praise, no?
3.Caterina Fake, Findery
Don't you wish you could be more like Caterina Fake? After all, she was one of the co-founders of photo-sharing site
Flickr, a wild success by anyone's standards, but she's still modest enough to refer to herself as an "accidental businessperson." Her next venture is Findery, a location-based note sharing service that allows you to browse through strangers' snapshots of their travels. It launched publicly in October; we're looking forward to seeing if it blows up.
4.Rachel Cook, Seeds
FreeRice game that you played for hours in college (and that we just got sucked into for about a half hour this morning)? There's a new game that takes the concept to the next level. Cook's Seeds lets users "rebuild a virtual civilization while simultaneously microlending money to boost real entrepreneurs. Seeds provides incentives to motivate players to a great generosity. The average social gamer is a 43-year-old women and microlenders are skewed female. Females are the largest beneficiaries on a global scale too." Let's hope this year it gets bigger than Farmville.
5.Kim Taylor, Shonova
Though she might be best known now for being part of the cast for the failed "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley" on Bravo, Kim Taylor distinguished herself as the least embarrassing element on the show. She also quit her lucrative job to launch a startup of her own,
Shonova. "I’m going to curate all of the best contemporary designers for you and the events you can wear them to from weddings to NBA basketball games," she says. We're looking forward to the launch.
6.Hannah Wong, Foodity
Hannah Wong is a working mother who became one of the co-founders of
Foodity in 2009, a start-up aiming to "let web & mobile applications help people make better eating & shopping decisions." Though the concept is a few years old, we predict that Foodity may blow up this year given the rapidly increasing popularity of food startups. Call it the "Brooklyn Foodie Movement Effect" — and Wong was one of the first to get dialed in.
7.Melissa Miranda, Tiny Post
Melissa Miranda was a co-founder of Tiny Review, which
8.Susan Nicholas, DocPons
Susan Nicholas founded
DocPons a few years ago with the aim of "[changing] the delivery of medicine in such a way that there will no longer be an insurance requirement to receive quality, affordable, outpatient healthcare." Now that the Affordable Care Act faced down its Supreme Court challenge in 2012, we'll be interested to see how DocPons and other medical startups will be affected as more changes to the healthcare system are enacted. Will they adapt and thrive? Anyone interested in the changing healthcare industry should be paying attention.
9.Daisy Jing, Your Perfect Beauty
Daisy Jing's Your Perfect Beauty might qualify as one of the most hotly anticipated startup launches of 2013, as it's still in private beta but has been on startup enthusiasts' radar since early 2012. Jing already as a popular
YouTube channel but Perfect Beauty aims to take swapping tips to the next level, "[creating] incentives for beauty-loving women to share their products and secrets." Until the site is no longer invitation-only, check out the adorable photos of members of the "Perfect Beauty community."
10.Soraya Darabi, Foodspotting
There are so many good places to eat! How are you supposed to find exactly what you're craving? That's where
Foodspotting comes in, an app that lets you search for specific dishes rather than general cuisine. Foodspotting also allows members to post photos and reviews of the food they ate to help fellow hungry users. We predict that Foodspotting may get even bigger in 2013, not least because it's being aggressively pursued by competitors like Dish.fm. Who wins? Our bellies, probably.
11.Joyce Park, PandaWhale
Joyce Park, aka "Troutgirl," is the co-founder of
PandaWhale, a site that allows users to save their favorite nuggets of Internet goodness for posterity. PandaWhale saw growth in 2012 along with other interest-based social networks like Fitocracy, and All Things D noted that the increasing prevalence of mobile apps will likely contribute to the further success of sites like PandaWhale (as well as a new crop of imitators) in 2013. It's the zeitgeist, man!
12.Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, The Skimm
t's hard to keep up with the news, especially if you spend your days actually working rather than futzing about on the internet. Enter
The Skimm, a daily newsletter breaking down the most recent headlines in a one-stop, easy to read format. The Skimm earned the distinction of being called "daily, smart and habit forming" by Stay Thirsty Media, and co-founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin are so young and accomplished we imagine they'll only continue to grow in 2013.
13.Meghan Muntean and Stacey Borden
Got New Year's Resolutions? Maybe you should look into
ChickRx, a company that uses a directory of experts to answer questions on health and fitness, exercise, diet, and even stress. Killer Startups named ChickRx one of its "best of 2012," and we can only assume the company will expand with the added benefit of being around for the time of year when people are most preoccupied with self-improvement.
14.Michelle Norgan, Kismet
Kismet. Co-founded by Michelle Norgan, the app seemed poised at the beginning of 2012 to join a host of other location-based startups in connecting people with their pals. Unfortunately, the demand for this kind of service ebbed rather quickly, and Kismet (though still around!) was lumped with other disappointments like SoLoMo. For correctly identifying location-based apps as a hot space in tech, though, Norgan deserves a closer look in 2013. Which trend will she pick up on next?
15.Jen Eident, Nora Bass & Lara Glaister, Vixely
Vixely is perhaps one of the first true web-based women's magazines. Founded on the premise that "women should have an empowering voice and a trusted outlet online to explore topics fundamental to their self-esteem," the site has expanded to iBooks, an iPad magazine and an iPad app. In October The Huffington Post highlighed Vixely as one of a group of start-ups run by women operating outside of the realm of tech: "While the lion share of female entrepreneurs are not building high tech companies per se, they are certainly prolific in terms of building companies to meet consumer market demands and are largely driving trends around e-commerce, media, and technology-enabled services." We're excited to see how the brand grows this year.
16.Stacey Ferreira, My Social Cloud
Stacey Ferreira co-founded
My Social Cloud when she was 18 years old. NBD. My Social Cloud allows users to store their passwords and bookmarks in one place for easy access (as well as handy alerts if their passwords are ever stolen). In July 2012 the company received $1 million in seed money after responding to a tweet from Sir Richard Branson. I mean. What else is Stacey Ferreira going to accomplish in 2013? We're a little scared.
17.Becca McCharen, Chromat
founded Chromat after she was forced to return to the United States from a Peace Corps post when she contracted dengue fever. Most people would take that as license to loaf around, but McCharen decided to start her own company instead. Chromat was founded in 2008, but McCharen spent all of 2012 crushing it, with her work appearing in major fashion magazines and Madonna sporting one of her designs on her MDNA tour. With this kind of momentum, she can only get bigger this year (can't you see Rihanna wearing just about everything on the site?).
18.Kate Sekules, ReFashioner
Kate Sekules was a magazine editor prior to starting
ReFashioner, a boutique consignment service that even lets people see what happened to their beloved pieces after they part with them. Though ReFashioner has been around for a few years, it was just a few weeks ago that they got their very first New York Times trend piece, profiled alongside a host of competitors that have popped up in its wake. Clearly Sekules is on to something — how will her business stay ahead of her younger rivals in 2013? We can't wait to find out.
19.Jessica Herrin, Stella & Dot
Stella + Dot is so cool. It was founded by Jessica Herrin, who was preoccupied with the question of how to find an exciting career that could be balanced with a full life. Not only did Stella + Dot's workplace atmosphere get profiled admiringly last week by the San Francisco Chronicle as "building a group of entrepreneurial women who are redefining professional independence," the company is poised to make a billion dollars very very soon.
20.Julia Hartz, Eventbrite
Julia Hartz founded Eventbrite with her husband as a ticket-selling service tailored to smaller events and serving as an antidote to the evils of Ticketmaster. In 2012 the company sold
$1 billion in tickets — no wonder Hartz was asked by Tech Cocktail to give advice to other entrepreneurs. Will they hit $2 billion in 2013? We'll be waiting to find out.
21.Rachna Choudhry, PopVox
PopVox has been around for a few years, but on January 4th they launched a partnership with Participant Media's film
Promised Land for "'Champion Community Change,' [which] propels individuals to create change in their communities through an immersive, three-stage digital program that includes a first-ever, pro-social Facebook connect experience, a TakePart series highlighting everyday changemakers and a toolkit for community action." PopVox is all about making it easier to communicate with your Congressional representative, and we have a feeling that will only become more critical in 2013.
22.Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, Revolution Foods
Revolution Foods was founded in order to get more healthy lunches and snacks into schools. They will be major players in 2013 as they've just inked a deal to supply the food for San Francisco's Unified School District this year, and they recently raised $3 million in capital by selling debt and options. Think of them when you have your next snack!
Anyone who thought that crowdsourced funding startups like Kickstarter and Indiegogo were a flash in the pan may need to reevaluate. Though Ringelmann's Indiegogo is typically lumped together with Kickstarter, Indiegogo is distinguished in that it is part of a
wave of socially conscious startups, allowing charities to raise money alongside individuals funding private projects. We think we'll see even more growth from them as this kind of small donation/socially based giving becomes even more popular.
Serial entrepreneur Amanda Steinberg founded DailyWorth in order to provide personal finance advice for a community of women. What started as an email newsletter subscription has turned into a fourteen employee operation with subscribers in the hundreds of thousands and has spawned two new products: CreateWorth and MoreWorth. Today, DailyWorth is known as the "DailyCandy of finance" and Steinberg is a force in her own right, appearing in newspapers and magazines across the country, teaching women how to manage their money and launch a successful businesses.
Aihui Ong was so passionate about food and technology that she left her career as an enterprise consulter to launch
Love With Food, a subscription e-commerce company designed to aid food producers gain access to wider audiences and help consumers easily purchase delicious gourmet foods. Also, with every monthly box of gourmet treats it ships out to subscribers, Love With Food donates a meal to Share Our Strength, a charity organization dedicated to ending childhood hungry. At-home epicurean culture isn't slowing down and with a mission that is good for both the stomach and the mind, Love With Food seems poised for success.
26.Cynthia Richards and Molly Hopkins
the hoopla surrounding the stars of Lifetime's new television series "Double Divas" is pretty silly, the story of LiviRae Lingerie Co-Owners Cynthia Richards and Molly Hopkins is anything but. Despite only having cash and credit cards to open their custom fit lingerie and bra boutique, Richards and Hopkins were able to create a business that hit $1 million in sales in its first year. Even more impressive is that LiviRae grew from a store in a former garden center in Georgia into a reputable franchise and a television deal.
What hasn't Robin Chase done? She is the co-founder and former CEO of
ZipCar, the largest car-sharing business in the world. She is the founder of social networking-cum-carpooling website GoLoco.org and the transportation consulting firm Meadow Networks. If that wasn't enough, Chase is currently a member of the World Resources Institute Board, the World Economic Forum's Transportation Council, and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Chase's most recent venture is a peer-to-peer car-sharing service in France called Buzzcar. With the environmentalist movement growing stronger, we think Chase is going to play an important role in translating green concerns into corporations and technologies.
Carrie Phillips is the Co-Founder and Creative Officer of
LaunchGram, a news aggregating start-up meant to simplify news for products coming soon. Users create an account at LaunchGram's website and subscribe to updates about launching products of interest; after subscription, LaunchGram sends curated emails to the user with the most up to date information about their chosen products. The company l aunched at Startup Weekend Columbus and participated in the 500 Startups accelerator last fall. With plans to expand LaunchGram's focus to books, music and more, Phillips and her partners are ushering in a post-Google world and we couldn't be more excited.
To say that we admire Natalie Gordon is an understatement--when the co-founder of the now-defunct language-learning community Lenguajero had trouble finding an online baby registry that suited her needs, she set out to create her own.
. While pregnant BabyList, a registry based on media sharing sites like Pinterest, launched in 2011, just two weeks before Gordon's son was born. Last fall, BabyList became a 500 Startups business and made over $1.8 million in gift sales. If Gordon can accomplish all this while in the midst of becoming a first-time mom, we have high hopes for her and BabyList's future.
A former LivingSocial employee, Sarah Ware launched
Markely, a social bookmarking platform, in 2012. Markely seeks to simplify data collection by allowing users to highlight specific passages from articles and sites which can then be bookmarked or shared with friends; Ware describes the platform as "the Pinterest for text, with a dash of EverNote, a sprinkle of Digg and a hint of Twitter." Given the market's obsession with personalization, the soaring popularity of Pinterest, and the recent surge in tablet ownership, we forsee Markely making a big splash in 2013.