Jessica Livingston: 2014 Could Be a Tipping Point for Female Founders

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The Y Combinator partner and Women 2.0 speaker made the optimistic claim at the YC Female Founders Conference. 

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

As we reported ahead of our last conference, things are changing at top accelerator Y Combinator. Conference speaker and YC partner Jessica Livingston announced to Women 2.0 that the current batch of companies the accelerator has funded are the most diverse yet in terms of founder age, place of origin and gender.

But last weekend at the first ever YC Female Founders Conference Livingston took things a step further, not only noting the increase in diversity, but also suggesting it could represent an important “tipping point” when it comes to women founding startups. TechCrunch’s Colleen Taylor reports:

“Because YC invests so early and is so focused on funding outliers, we tend to see trends first. So when we see that 25 percent of startups in the current Y Combinator batch have female founders, I’m certain something is going on here,” Livingston said. “In any big change there’s always a moment when people think it is a tipping point. I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years, we feel like 2014 was the tipping point for female founders.”

Livingston went on to offer advice for women starting up, including that it is possible to start a company when you have kids, that it is fine to be “the quiet co-founder,” and to learn how to code. Check out the TechCrunch article for many more details.

Do you agree that we’re nearing a “tipping point” for female founders?

jstillmanJessica Stillman (@entrylevelrebel) is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com, contributes regularly to Forbes and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others.