These 12 female CTOs are leading cutting-edge tech startups and inspiring the next generation of female technology leaders!
Research shows that women gravitate toward women-led companies.
By Blake Landau (Founder, Artemis)
Get Satisfaction Vice President of Marketing Azita Martin never realized she was the only woman in the room, until she wasn’t. “Now that I’m here at Get Satisfaction, I realize how refreshing it is. You don’t realize how weird being the only woman actually is until you go somewhere else where there is not only another woman, but a woman CEO,” she said.
Founder Kellee Khalil has big plans for the company, hoping to eventually follow a woman through all the big life stages, like wedding, pregnancy, moving into a new homes, and being a newlywed.
By Jordan Crook (Writer, TechCrunch)
In a world where Pinterest is filled with wedding gear and the economic downturn has scratched “wedding planner” off of the affordable options list, it was only a matter of time before a wedding planning service sprouted up on the web. That service is called Lover.ly.
Lover.ly has recently partnered with various brands like Nordstrom, Kwiat, and Minted to let users buy exactly what they see online. This makes the site a place where tasks actually get executed, rather than simply planned out (or worse yet, dreamed about). Not to mention, Lover.ly is generating revenue by capitalizing
Here is advice a startup CTO would writes to herself – in hopes that other young people may find benefit.
By Niniane Wang (CTO, Minted)
Oftentimes throughout my life, I wished that I could time-travel and ask my future self for advice. I felt sure that in five or ten years, I would know exactly how to handle the thorny situation facing me. Usually, it was true. A handful of years later, I knew precisely how to address the issue, but I could not tell my younger self.
What a tragedy that this supply and demand could not be connected between my past and older self! Instead I will write out the advice I would’ve given myself, in hopes that other young people may find some benefit.
By Carolyn Gerin (Creator, Antibride Productions)
Live from Women 2.0 Pitch Conference in Mountain View, I’m happy to be at the Computer History Museum surrounded by some of the hottest female-founded tech startups in modern history.
We are experiencing a Femme Tech Boom and today is ground zero for innovation, creation and atta girl “can-do” attitude. If you think it’s all about the cult of the Zuck, think again, these ladies who launch got moxie, money and energy to burn.
The idea is to get the mic in your hand and show ‘em
By Marian Mangoubi (Founder & CEO, Sassy CEO)
There’s an image of entrepreneurial women focusing on their startups on beauty, shopping, and fashion (“Pink Ghetto“). However, after a year of studying tech companies founded by women, I can say emphatically that this is a misrepresentation.
Last year around this time there was a lot of discussion, “where are all the women in tech?” Each time I heard or read this. I noticed there were never statistics provided on the number of tech companies founded by women.
By Heidi Isern (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
Last night I attended the event, “Face to Face: The Women Behind the Brands,” sponsored by Gilt City. Present were founding members and key executives from brands like Minted, Eventbrite, Decorati, SkinnyScoop, Ecomom and others.
Over champagne and mini cupcakes, each woman gave an interesting fact about herself before presenting her business. Interestingly, the personal story that each woman revealed was intimately tied to her company’s product. The companies were launched as an extension of personal passion.
Founder Mariam Naficy of the crowd-sourced site Minted had a personal interest in fine stationary and the (hand) written word. While dating her husband they wrote letters to each other for three years when he lived in Japan. However, you don’t have to be in a long distance relationship to appreciate accessible designs. Minted has been growingly rapidly as remote designers are connected to the stationary savvy. Minted’s first contest had 600 entrants. Their last one had over 2,500. “I am bringing talent from all over the world to the buyer!” Mariam said.
Larissa Dinh, Co-Founder and Head of Product for Skinny Scoop, an information sharing site for women, is not only passionate about creating lists, but also for creating a product for women. “Most male designers think they can take some object, paint it pink, and it’s for a woman, “ she said. Larissa, however, paints more than just pink and works hard to create something uniquely of value for female information seekers. “The web is like my canvas.”
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.
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