The first half of the year is proving to be a good one for a few ambitious new companies.

By Hailey Robinson

Startup companies have taken the business world by storm in recent years — and 2014 isn’t disappointing, so far. From tech companies revolutionizing user-friendly software to groundbreaking crowdfunding companies that are changing the face of healthcare, the first half of the year is proving to be a good one for a few ambitious new companies.

With that said, here are five startups flourishing under their female leadership.

ThinkUp: Social Media Made Easy

Almost everybody has a social media presence now, but not everybody knows how others within their own social media circles perceive that presence.

That’s exactly where ThinkUp comes into play. Thanks to a successful startup campaign and the passion of founders Gina Trapani and Anil Dash, the ThinkUp app now helps social media users figure out the analytics behind their social escapades.

The ThinkUp app allows users to track their social media presence so they know exactly who their biggest followers and fans are as well which posts, pictures and videos get the most attention.

ThinkUp helps social media users stay connected with others by staying better connected with their own social accounts.

The Muse: Career Opportunities for All

Melissa McCreery, Kathryn Minshew and Alexandra Cavoulacos founded The Muse in hopes of personalizing the process of finding a career and excelling at it.

The Muse is an online career database and community for professional job seekers who are tired of the mundane job boards scattered across the Internet. Within a few weeks of launching the website, the small startup already had thousands of members. The site updates its career listings everyday and includes features like professional development courses and career tips from other working professionals.

GiveForward: Crowdfunded Healthcare for All

There are plenty of ways to help others in need, from donating to local charities and volunteering at homeless shelters to earning a social work degree, but entrepreneur and startup success story Desiree Vargas Wrigley wanted to help others on a crowdfunding level. That’s why she founded GiveForward, an ongoing crowdfunding campaign that helps raise money for medical expenses for those in need.

GiveForward helps families raise money for out-of-pocket medical expenses they otherwise can’t afford. The fundraiser also gives people who can’t afford to donate a chance to help by letting them send letters of hope and healing to those in need.

Jerry the Bear: Startups for Learning

It’s important for children living with chronic illnesses to learn about their conditions in ways that won’t make them afraid or nervous about their health. This idea sparked inspiration in Hannah Chung and Aaron Horowitz, founders of Jerry the Bear. Jerry the Bear is a fun, cuddly interactive bear that helps children with Type 1 diabetes learn about their health.

Although Chung, Horowit and Jerry the Bear have yet to find commercial success with their humanitarian startup efforts, 2014 is looking up for the engineering team behind the bear.

Houzz: A Startup That Keeps Getting Better

It’s important to hear stories of startups just finding their footing, but it’s equally important to hear stories about startups that keep improving. Such is the case with Adi Tatarko and Houzz, the home design website and app that helps homeowners envision their remodeling dreams before the paint hits the walls.

The Houzz website and app are so intuitive and user-friendly, they’re getting attention from major home improvement retailers. In fact, the company has partnered with big names like Kohler and Nest recently to earn money (since it’s free to users).

Starting small results in some pretty successful companies and the startups above are sure to find even more success in 2014.

What female-founded startups do you think will get big this year?

haileyrobinson.jpgAbout the guest blogger: Hailey Robinson is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.