An alliance is different than a friendship in the workplace.
By Joanna Lord (Director of Customer Acquisition & Retention, SEOmoz)
Over the years I’ve worked with a number of brilliant women. I’ve been fortunate to learn from them and absorb their knowledge. However, I wasn’t that good at this earlier in my career. I think back to my past jobs, and the women that I worked with, and wish I had taken the time to learn more from them.
So what went wrong? Ambition sometimes. Competitiveness others. The truth of it is early in my career I was too concerned with taking a stand on my own two feet to truly appreciate the value of someone else’s. Guess where that got me? Nowhere really. Standing alone with my own opinions… no closer to a compromise…
By Gillian Muessig (Co-Founder & President, SEOmoz)
I began my company in 1982 and raised three children under my desk. The youngest will tell you the color of the blanket on which he napped under that desk, so I’m being literal here. I set up shop as a marketing and graphic design consultant (read: glorified unemployed). I was determined to raise the children myself, rather than farm them out to daycare and nannies, so I set ground rules for my business activities that naturally hampered the growth and prosperity of the company. I knew what I was trading off, but I set up the company entity and took in jobs as I was able. I just got on with it.
Regardless of what hampers your ability to get into business today, just do it. Form your corporation, set up the paperwork and begin. The longer you wait, the more easily your dream of building a company will slip from your fingers.
Fire Your Lowest Value Customers
Because I was consulting, often with an infant in one arm and a briefcase in the other, I took on only those clients who were comfortable with that scenario and I often made price concessions to accommodate the unusual arrangement. As the children grew, so did the company. And with the growth of a real company, the price I charged needed to grow as well. If you’re starting out as a consultant or do any consulting as part of your business, fire your 4 lowest performing clients every year. If you’re selling products or services on a more scalable basis, still look at your lowest performing customers and consider how to either make them more profitable or fire them and focus on the highly profitable groups. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for helping us grow this list!