Female Startup Founders, Female CTOs And Technical Co-Founders (Oh My!)
This morning at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, Julia Hu (Co-Founder & CEO of Lark) got engaged while presenting her startup onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC — her boyfriend inserted a proposal slide into her deck.
Meanwhile, attendees at the National Center for Women in Technology annual summit were not pleased with the lack of technical women leading startups and companies. TechCrunch contributor Vivek Wadhwa tweeted “Sarah, there are very few women CTOs.” Developer and advocate Sarah Mei tweeted back, “I thought there were a few. Pointers plz.”
Every time this happens, we at Women 2.0 put our heads together and come up with a handy list of women CTOs of tech startups for anyone who asks. From writers for magazines to conference organizations, we all want to know — where are the technical women of startups? Why are they not more frequently featured on magazine covers and quoted in newspapers?
No more excuses. Let’s get these technical women leaders exposure.
Female Startup Founders – Who Are Also CTOs:
Cathy Edwards (Co-Founder & CTO, Chomp)
Chomp‘s proprietary algorithm learns the functions and topics of apps helps you find the apps you want. Chomp was acquired by Apple in February 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @cathye.
Sarah Allen (Co-Founder & CTO, Mightyverse)
Sarah co-founded Railsbridge to increase diversity in engineering, consults at Blazing Cloud, and co-founded Mightyverse. Follow her on Twitter at @ultrasaurus.
Jenny Chen (Co-Founder & CTO, Wanderable)
After working at Amazon Web Services for over five years, Jenny Chen co-founded Wanderable to make wedding registries more fun for travel lovers. Follow her on Twitter at @phethyr.
Shilpa Dalmia (Co-Founder & CTO, ActivityHero)
An engineer by profession and a parent at heart, Shilpa Dalmia started ActivityHero to help parents select activities for their kids. Follow her on Twitter at @shilpa_dalmia.
Julia Grace (Co-Founder & CTO, WeddingLovely)
After earning two degrees in computer science, Julia Grace spent 4 years at IBM Research, ran product at a startup then co-founded WeddingLovely. Follow her on Twitter at @jewelia.
Bryn McCoy (Co-Founder & CTO, Citizen Made)
After building innovative software for the likes of IBM and BMW, hacker and designer Bryn McCoy co-founded Citizen Made in Chicago. Follow her on Twitter at @brynmccoy.
Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D. (Co-Founder & CTO, Affectiva)
MIT research scientist Rana el Kaliouby co-founded Affectiva to scale video-based expression recognition technology she invented. Follow her on Twitter at @kaliouby.
Notable Technical Women Leaders At Startups:
Niniane Wang (CTO, Minted)
Niniane currently leads the engineering team at Minted, having 11 years of experience at Google and Microsoft. Follow her on Twitter at @niniane and follow her startup at @minted.
Liz Crawford (VP Engineering, Birchbox)
Liz is currently VP of E at Birchbox. Previously, she co-founded and served as CTO of Aprizi. Follow her on Twitter at @liscrawford and follow her startup at @birchbox.
Mary Lou Jepsen (Founding CTO, One Laptop Per Child)
Mary Lou is currently Founder & CEO of Pixel Qi, producer of low power, sunlight readable displays. Previously, she was founding CTO of OLPC. Follow her startup at @pixelqi.
Beth Marcus (Founder & CEO, Playrific)
Beth founded and served as CEO for startups, most notably EXOS, which was VC-backed and sold to Microsoft in 1996. She served as CTO at Zeemote. Follow her on Twitter at @startupdoc.
Ning Ning (VP Engineering, Perfect Market)
Ning Ning has served as VP of E at multiple tech startups, contributing to the sale of three of these to Salesforce, MEI and AskJeeves. Follow her startup at @PerfectMarket.
Daisy Itty (VP Engineering, DataStax)
Daisy has served as Director of Engineering of Responsys, BlueRoads and Selectica where she was one of the first engineers. Follow her startup on Twitter at @datastax.
Kate Matsudaira (VP Engineering, SEOmoz)
Kate has been holding engineering positions of increasing responsibility, and currently runs engineering at SEOmoz. Follow her on Twitter at @katemats and her startup at @SEOmoz.
Meg Withgott (Co-Founder & CTO, Panafold)
Meg co-founded Panafold, the knowledge attraction company. She co-founded ePlanet, and led research at Xerox PARC, Interval and Sun Labs. Follow her on Twitter at @megwith.
Women With Technical Backgrounds But No Longer Hold Technical Titles:
Jess Lee (Co-Founder & CEO, Polyvore)
Computer science major and former Google product manager Jess Lee runs Polyvore as its CEO. Polvore recently raised $14M Series C funding. Follow her on Twitter at @jesskah.
Elizabeth Yin (Co-Founder & CEO, LaunchBit)
Elizabeth Yin launched the email newsletter ad network LaunchBit out of 500 Startups, raising $950k investment to date. Follow her on Twitter at @launchbit.
Ayah Bdeir (Founder & Lead Engineer, littlebits)
Ayah created litteBits, an award-winning kit of pre-assembled circuits that snap together with tiny magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming. Follow Ayah on Twitter at @AyahBdeir.
Annie Chang (Co-Founder & Head of Products, LOLapps)
“Don’t be fooled by the name of her startup” warned Fast Company. Annie Chang co-founded LOLapps, which was acquired by 6waves in July 2011. Follow her on Twitter at @lolapps.
Dr. Vivienne Ming (Co-Founder, Chief Scientist & Executive Director, Socos)
Dr. Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist launching an edu-tech startup building cognitive analytics for the classroom. Follow her on Twitter at @neuraltheory and her startup at @socos_me.
Julie Yoo (Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Kyruus)
Julie built the first version of the company’s data mining platform. She leads the product team at Kyruus, which received $5.5M Series A in 2011. Follow her on Twitter at @julesyoo.
Michelle Norgan (Co-Founder & CPO, Kismet)
Michelle, who launched her product onstage at the inaugural Women 2.0 PITCH conference, taught herself iOS programming and co-founded Kismet. Follow her on Twitter at @mnorgan.
Chandini Ammineni (Co-Founder, ActivityHero)
Chandini Ammineni build apps including one to help pregnant moms see the heartbeat of their babies on the iPhone, then stated ActivityHero. Follow her on Twitter at @ammineni.
Tracy Osborn (Founder & CEO, WeddingLovely)
Designer and self-taught Django developer Tracy Osborn launched WeddingLovely herself until she found her technical co-founder Julia Grace. Follow her on Twitter at @limedaring.
Erica Douglass (Founder & CEO, Whoosh Traffic)
Prior to Whoosh Traffic, Erica Douglass sold her web hosting company for $1.1M. She built everything (website to server hardware) from scratch. Follow her on Twitter at @ericabiz.
Email submissions to [email protected]. Thank you for helping us grow this list!