By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) San Francisco is teaming with women who have the technological know-how to solve daily problems. These innovative solutions apply to all fronts and industries, ranging from:
- Finding new dishes instead of restaurants (Foodspotting)
- Getting kid-friendly entertainment delivered to your door (Kiwi Crate)
- Leveraging the quantified self for self-improvement (LARK)
- Maximizing efficiency (TaskRabbit)
What do these these female-founded startups have in common? Women entrepreneurs have found opportunities to innovate after discovering a problem, or just did not find the solution they were looking for.
Foodspotting founder & CEO Alexa Andrzejewski wanted to find new foods, but Yelp and other review sites revolve around restaurants. She attended a Women 2.0 program to learn about what it takes to start a startup, then participated in a Startup Weekend hosted by Women 2.0 - where she met her first angel investor!
LARK founder & CEO Julia Hu moved in with her fiance in grad school and realized his alarm clock kept waking her up as well, causing her to lose a lot of sleep and realize this was not a way to live. Inspired by a woman who trains Olympians and NBA stars to perform better by sleeping better (with thousands of dollars of sleeping monitors to be at their best), Julia sought to bring this woman's expertise to a wireless wristband alarm clock that monitors your sleep and coaches you to sleep better. The LARK wristband alarm clock is now for sale in every Apple store in America. TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque gushes to Kevin Rose on his show about her love for efficiency, math and computer science. The former IBM programmer had to decide between a career at IBM or starting her own startup. She coded her prototype over the course of a summer after she left IBM and gathered a formidable team of advisors and investors to bring her idea to multiple cities across the US. Today she is one of the finalists for TechCrunch's "Founder of the Year" award and has raised almost $25 million to date from investors who believe she will be able to turn them a massive profit on their investment.
This post was originally posted at Microsoft Your Office Your Terms Blog Forum.
About the guest blogger: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006 with Shaherose Charania. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management, web UI design, and entrepreneurship. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.