Despite advancements in gender equality in the professional world over the past decades, it is true that men still dominate the higher echelons of business. But things are beginning to look up for the fairer sex, with increasing numbers of female startup founders, and just as importantly, many recently and highly successful women-led startups, with many IPO’s and acquisitions of note. This article takes a look at some the best ideas and success stories.
TaskRabbit – Leah Busque
As if her former role as an IBM engineer wasn’t successful enough, Leah Busque had a brain wave one day when she didn’t want to get pet food for her dog – what if there was a website where you could hire someone to do all the errands and tasks when you don’t want to? The website TaskRabbit is the end result of her venture, and the results have been excellent so far.
LearnVest — Alexa Von Tobel
Alexa Von Tobel, like many other successful female business start-uppers, went to Harvard Business School, and while it was her aim to get into Wall Street, it was her interest in personal finance that began LearnVest; an online personal finance resource, mainly aimed at helping women handle their finances.
Layar – Claire Boonstra
Claire Boonstra’s expertise and experience in mobile, marketing and new media has culminated in the start-up company Layar, an industry leading business which is at the vanguard of augmented reality. Augmented reality is opening many new doors, especially in terms of mobile, through the use of video, GPS and other sensors to track the visual features of the physical world and superimpose them with digital features.
Khush – Prerna Gupta
Khush’s life began in 2009 with the founder Prerna Gupta wanting to create an intelligent music app. She built the company from the ground up, eventually turning a profit, and by the end of 2011 Smule acquired the company for an “eight figure deal” comprised of stock and cash.
Hearsay Social – Clara Shih
Hearsay Social is an online cloud-based social media platform that gives companies a powerful tool to manage their social media marketing efforts. This start-up has enjoyed the most successful Facebook media campaign in history, gaining 2 million fans in a single day, and a current $21 million raised for the platform. Shih’s prestige goes much further too, being the author of The Facebook Era and a board member of Starbucks.
HTC — Cher Wang
Named as “one of the most powerful female executives in technology whom you have never heard of” by the New York Times, Cher Wang’s mobile start up is a company that needs little introduction. The success of HTC is in no small way thanks to her efforts in partnering HTC with Google for the now hugely popular Android range of smartphones.
Chomp – Cathy Edwards
Cathy Edwards is the joint founder of Chomp, a mobile application search engine which uses a proprietary search algorithm to help make searching more accurate and reflective of the user’s interests. Chomp launched on the iPhone in 2010 and on Android soon after, with Apple making an acquisition earlier this year for $50m.