The fact that 10% of founders presenting at this week's YC Demo Day are women might not sound like a victory, but it's actually more than double the percentage in previous classes. By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)
This week 47 startups presented at Y Combinator Demo Day. How many of the founders up there in front of investors were women? Nope, not half, not even close. Try one in ten. We have a way to go, but 10% female is still an improvement given that previous classes managed only a measly 4%.
Y Combinator partner Jessica Livingston told TechCrunch the increase wasn't down to any particular effort on the part of the accelerator, but simply reflects the fact that more talented women are applying. She also noted that more of the female founders in this class served as team leaders than in any previous class.
So who are these women and what are they pitching? YC alum and Referly founder Daniella Morrill made our job easier by rounding up the nine women at the publically launched companies in an in-depth post. Here they are:
- Iolanthe Chronis – Co-founder & CEO at Swish
- Rosanna Yau – Design Co-founder at Backerkit
- Cindy Wu – Microryza
- Grace Garey – Watsi
- Erica Brescia – Co-founder & COO at Bitnami
- Kelly Lau-Kee – Co-founder & Chief Product Officer of PayTango
- Kendall Herbst – StyleUp
- Vanessa Torrivilla – Design Co-founder at Goldbely
- Fei Deyle – CEO & Co-founder of Lollipuff
- Michelle Crosby – Wevorce
Check out the original post for much more detail on the startups and the background of each of the founders. If you're in the market for more analysis of the class (shrunken by a third to the relief of both investors and accepted startups, TechCrunch reports) and the types of companies being pitched (crowdfunding seemed hot), there's tons of coverage online, including picks of companies to watch.
Women 2.0 readers: Which of the YC startups got you most excited?
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @entrylevelrebel. Photo credit: Paul Miller via Flickr.