Our world is strongly controlled and powered by technology today. Female participation has been however less visible, and with a slow growth rate. In recent times, the tech world has recorded a large number of female tech entrepreneurs who are not only breaking the glass ceiling but have become leading voices for women to take charge of their careers. These women have built an inclusive space for all genders and introduced the world to innovative ideas that aid in more participation of women in technology.
If you are a woman in need of a dose of inspiration, we bring you these 5 women who started from scratch to build something unique, simple, and yet disruptive enough to become the leading women in the world of tech start-ups. While most of the tech companies are still owned by men as per statistics, here are more well-known start-ups we would have heard of in our daily work or personal circles that are led and started by women. Let’s take a walk down the incredible stories of tech companies founded by these five women:
Leah Busque, Task Rabbit
Task Rabbit is a well-known online marketplace that helps to connect skilled taskers – that is workers and laborers who can help with multiple, or one type of odd-jobs and errands that one may not have time to do by themselves.
Founded in 2008 by Leah Busque, Task Rabbit is presently serving in close to 47 cities in the US, 4 UK cities and 1 Canadian city.
Busque, in one of her interviews shared that the idea behind TaskRabbit was born when she and her husband were out for dinner and realized they had run out of dog food. She recalled that she thought how great it would be for her to be able to get hold of someone from the store who could easily pick up what she needed and deliver it. It did not take her long to realize that no such service existed, and this is how one of the leading tech brands – Task Rabbit was born out of sheer need.
The brand had rapid success after securing $1.8 million in seed finance and shortly receiving Series A funding amounting to $5 million. By 2011, they received Series B funding of $17.8 million and were generating $4 million in business each month.
The gig-economy style start-up and its success is now known globally, and the brand has been acquired by IKEA in 2017.
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Melanie Perkins, Canva
Perkins is the co-founder and the CEO of Canva.
Canva is a world known and most widely used web-based platform by designers and non-designers for their daily visual design needs. It is a platform that brought graphic design to masses with its incredible, easy-to-use functions, interface, and options – everyone was using it and how.
Melanie took a simple idea and made it available to masses – showing us that we do not need over complicated ideas and layers to lead. Today, Perkins is known as one of the youngest female founders of a tech ‘unicorn’.
In June 2020, she announced a new valuation of $6 billion from $3.2 billion after raising a $60 million round in funding.
Perkins was simply 19 years old when she launched an online design business for school yearbooks – where Canva was essentially born. Their user-friendly interface made it successful as it allows for non-design background professionals to young teenagers in school to make the best use of design. The brand has over 10 million users across 179 countries and employs over 800 people with a worth in billions.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble
Dating apps have been around for a while now. So, what really happened with Bumble?
Well, this woman lead tech start-up gave women the first choice in their dating world.
Founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble has seen tremendous growth. From its billion-dollar valuation to global star Priyank Chopra Jonas joining the team, Bumble is making waves- globally.
Whitney left Tinder in 2014 and launched Bumble, an app with women at the core and the ones to make the first move. She describes Bumble has as a feminist dating app, that empowers women to take the lead. In her own words “Making the first move, whether a woman is matching with a man or a woman, gives her a boost of confidence right off the bat. It immediately puts her in the driver’s seat.”
Whitney today is one of the youngest women in history to take a company public which led her to a new kind of fame. Bumble is now estimated to be worth $13 billion on the stock market, making Whitney the first ever self-made billionaire woman in the world. In April 2019 she was named by TIME in their 100 list.
Sukhi Jutla, Market Orders
Founded in 2016 by Sukhi Jutla, Market Orders is a platform that uses technology to connect with retailers, independent manufacturers in the business of jewellery.
MarketOrders is a jewellery tech start-up that is known to use blockchain to make gold and diamond jewellery more ethical and transparent. A true pioneering start-up that is leading the way for the jewellery sector.
Jutla is an award-winning entrepreneur and an author for three books. She is indeed a role model for women in tech and has been recently a key mentor for the Women in Fintech Global Initiative run by the Department for International Trade and has won numerous awards such as Female Entrepreneur of the Year UK 2019.
The leading influencer, international speaker and thought leader made headlines by becoming a bestselling author with her book titled ‘Escape the cubicle: Quit the Job you Hate’ that reached #1 on the world’s first ‘Blockchain bestsellers’.
Also read: GenZ and technology – the new power couple
Alice Zhang, Verge Genomics
A graduate from Princeton University with a degree in Molecular Biology, Alice Zhang is the co-founder for Verge Genomics. She has also held a prominent position in systems biology at the National Cancer Institute for over 7 years.
Zang leads the STEM education path inspiring a lot of other women in the field of STEM with her hundred-million-dollar health-tech company improving people’s quality of life. Being the CEO of Verge Genomics, she was also named Forbes 30 Under 30, MIT Technology Review’s Innovator Under 35 and SF Business Times’ 40 Under 40.
Verge uses AI to apply a pioneering approach to drug discovery that will dramatically improve the lives of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. They work with an all-human approach which has multiple benefits. They work with testing drug candidates in human cells in a dish to help ensure baseline efficacy before they jump into clinical trials. The data they gain from these testing goes into a machine-learning algorithm that then further improves their predictive power in target identification.
When technology impacts everything in our life, shapes how we learn and interact with others, how we consume our news and media – often it also impacts who has access to it, and how to gain more opportunities out of it. In this context, we can see how tech is a great equalizer and not only does it spotlight diversity of its creators it also brings to forefront inclusivity.
These series of five women who kick-started the innovative tech companies in health, jewellery, graphic design, dating to daily task fixing shows us how almost every sector is impacted by technology and the scope of growth is almost unimaginable. These women have been the trailblazers who have demonstrated how simple ideas can convert into cutting-edge products and services that are meant for the masses.
Do you know other top rising female tech entrepreneurs? Who are the women in business, tech or prominent positions that inspire you?
If you are a young woman who is seeking to find herself in a similar list like this soon and wanting to learn more on the digital business front, a degree in BMS Digital Business will you get you right there with the right information, knowledge, a network and skill sets. Hetic’s BMS in Digital Business degree offers you a trifecta offering that builds your technical side with technology based learning, administration business learning and a focus on design as well.