Founders to Watch: Evolving Communities Online

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Check out these founders and their startups taking social media to new levels.

By Ayesha Rizvi (Editorial Intern, Women 2.o)

Despite some unsettling theories of how social media is making us more anti-social or unintelligent as mentioned in this article published in TIME earlier this year, the number of online users rises to new highs every day. People are beginning to connect, collaborate and learn from one another with little difficulty through countless mediums available for them online. This is changing the meaning of social interaction in its entirety and upcoming tech startups are taking notice. More and more dedicated spaces for sparking meaningful dialogue, sharing thought-provoking content, and instigating action are emerging and proving to have staying power, thanks to technology. In light of this development, we've put together a post of founders to watch who are creating new innovative ways to communicate with people over issues that matter to them with the purpose of helping one another.

SarahSarah Leary (Founder & Vice President, Nextdoor) "It's not that people don't want to talk to their neighbors, it's that they don't know how to start that conversation." -- Founder Sarah Leary

Nextdoor is a private online social network that enables its members to maintain a healthy and purposeful dialogue with neighbors. It's a way for neighbors to chat online and help each other within the neighborhood community with the primary goal of making their neighborhoods safer and efficient. Today there are over 35,000 neighborhoods across the United States that use Nextdoor.

With a BA in Economics and MBA from Harvard University, founder Sarah Leary has had 15 years of experience as a product and logo-white-largemarketing executive where she has been responsible for building, branding and launching market-defining consumer software and internet services. She has previously worked for notable companies like Benchmark, Microsoft, Epinions, Shopping.com to name a few.

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Gina Bianchini (Founder, Mightybell) “For us, we’re thinking of how to scale intimacy and create deeper interactions for groups of people around projects, themes, content and more.” -- Founder Gina Bianchini

Mightybell enables people to meet others like them on topics they care about the most. It allows anyone to create smarter, vertical social networks for their own purpose, people and content. Organizations can now more effectively use their own content and curricula to attract the people most important to them. Smamightybell_logo copyll business owners and teachers are two great examples of semi-isolated groups who are excited to have a place to meet people like themselves.

Founder Gina Bianchini holds a BA in Political Science and MBA from Stanford University. She is also a member of the founding team at Lean In and Ning Glam Media and has worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Jamie Wong (Founder & CEO, VJamieayable) "Vayable uses science and psychology to match a traveler with a real local insider who is similar in personality. It combines the best of technology, science and human insight to host, design and book personalized experiences."

Vayable is a social marketplace for travel experiences enabling people to discover, buy and sell unique travel experiences, activities and extended trips by connecting them with the locals of their travel destination.vayable

With a comprehensive background in disruptive media, advocacy and communication, founder Jamie Wong has previously been a creative and strategy consultant for tech companies like Adobe, Boku, Comcast, JobVite, Juniper Networks and others.

She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University.

 


About the author: Ayesha Rizvi is a multimedia & editorial assistant at Women 2.0. She is interested in women, technology & how both, when combined, can contribute to economic growth and stability in the developing world. You can find her on twitter at @arizvii