A successful startup ecosystem is not exclusively defined by innovative products and revolutionary services. A truly impressive ecosystem is one that is inclusive, diverse, and overflowing with unique perspectives and ideas. And at Innovate! and Celebrate, you can expect a wide range of founders, entrepreneurs, and startup employees that are committed to developing their respective industries competing in our fourth annual Startup of the Year competition.
Women founders are staples of a startup ecosystem that is poised to succeed. And when it comes to the 50 startups competing in this years competition, 21 of them boast women founders in their ranks. But who are these powerful women changing their respective industries for the better?
Dara Taylor, cofounder and COO of IADB Websites for Creatives
Being a film and TV professional herself as a music composer, Dara loves finding the best ways for her fellow creatives to showcase their talents. Though she dabbles a bit in coding, her web passions lie more in user experience and client satisfaction and is known to frequent UX/UI camps across Southern California. Her company, IADB Website for Creatives, helps creatives, actors and more build a professional website as a way to showcase their creative work online for free in 90 seconds.
Rachel Fuller, founder of Feather
Rachel became an entrepreneur because she wanted to solve problems, not deal with the aftermath like she did in law. Being an entrepreneur allows her to be creative and collaborative, because there's nothing more rewarding than seeing your company grow each day. Her company, Feather, is an online platform that helps families find, hire, and coordinate with independent caregivers in their area. Caregivers are matched with families based on their needs and can manage the care on-the-go.
Sanja Zepan, cofounder of Homey
This Slovenian entrepreneur has focused her efforts on building the community. Her company, HomeyApp, is gamifying household chores for families – when kids gather enough points by doing rewards, they can claim prizes or allowance.
Andi McNeal, founder of Admetsys
Andi McNeal, CFE, CPA, is the Director of Research for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, where she oversees the development and production of educational materials related to the prevention, detection, and investigation of fraud. She is co-author of the ACFE Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, a bi-annual report on the costs and effects of occupational fraud. Her company, Admetsys, has developed an artificial pancreas for hospital and surgical care, leveraging adaptive learning algorithms and counterbalancing treatment of insulin and glucose for patients during a hospital stay or in surgery.
AnnMaria de Mars, CEO of 7 Generation Games
In addition to running a startup, AnnMaria is actively involved in giving back to her community – from chairing the board of a medical non-profit to running an after-school judo program in Los Angeles. (In 1984, she became the first American to win the world judo championships.) Her company, 7 Generation Games, creates video games that combine math, history and adventure gaming. Calculate the size of an invading army, compute the amount of medicine needed to save your tribe from an epidemic – or experience death in their virtual world.
Monya De, founder of Optia Health
Monya De, MD MPH has been a reporter for the ABC News Medical Unit, a commentator for the television show “Hopkins,” and a script consultant for shows including Harry's Law, The Ghost Whisperer, Brothers and Sisters, House, and The Firm. She practices wellness-focused internal medicine in Los Angeles. Her company, Optia Health, is a mobile app that helps patients find the right doctor for their needs based on their specific location and insurance.
Nicole Klein and Melissa Hargis, cofounders of Betagig
These two women founders are technical professionals committed to contributing value and creativity in building innovative web applications and websites. Their company, Betagig, is a new app where for the first time ever you can job shadow different careers and find out what you love.
Gilda Campos, cofounder and CMO of Candy Lab
This California founder is specialized in fronteend developer and web designer. Her company, Candy Lab, is a full-service augmented reality technology company based in Irvine, CA. The Candy Lab team developed an engine that powers augmented reality experiences. Candy Lab has developed proprietary GPS augmented reality and Beacon location technologies that pair with intuitive iOS and Android apps.
Shira Krishnan, founder of Eventyoda
Shira Krishnan is an entrepreneur who is all about creating opportunities. Her company, Eventyoda, is a curated marketplace that helps teams discover and book their team building activities. The company is passionate about helping build winning teams that work and play together. With 200+ activities to choose from, teams can use these activities to build their unique cultures while having fun.
Nicole Lampsa, founder and COO of HiLovely
Nicole is an extremely passionate and avid traveler and yogi that is driven to create a new platform for beauty advice and empowerment of every woman. Her company, HiLovely, offers virtual beauty advice that is 100 percent personalized by industry experts, unlike anything else on the market today.
Lisa Basch, founder of Insiderbookings
Lisa is a professional executive with a wide range of marketing and project management skills. She has a proven track record in technology and retail. Her company, Insiderbookings, is a next-generation travel booking service that gets consumers the best possible prices for their travel reservations, including flights, hotels, and cruises even after they’ve made their initial reservations. The company asks users to forward their travel confirmation emails to them and help you get a better deal within 24 hours.
Iris Sherman, cofounder and president of Kitchology
When Iris made dinner for her family, she ran into a big problem. One of her sons had a serious food allergy. Not only did she have to find meals that everyone liked, but she also needed meals that everyone could safely eat. Her company, Kitchology, is the first integrated cooking platform that uses big data to help consumers manage special diet requirements. Utilizing machine learning, the platform provides targeted and personalized ingredient substitutions during recipe selection to help users.
Cooper Harris, founder and CEO of Klickly
Cooper is the director of tech for Collective Summit and produced the first-ever Innovation Summit and Social-Impact Hackathon at Sundance, featured recently on the front page of PandoDaily. She is one of the first females to win the Los Angeles AT&T Hackathon. Her company, Klickly, is a data-driven impulse payment solution for social streams and mobile experiences. AI buy-button that powers commerce in ads, emails; Klickly kills the sales funnel, allowing customers to purchase with a touch everywhere.
Megan Satterfield-Smith, cofounder and COO of Legal Robot
Megan is a licensed real estate agent and has a background in biochemistry and molecular biology. Her company, Legal Robot, is an automated legal document review program using artificial intelligence to make legal documents less painful for everyone and improve access to justice.
Chelsea White, cofounder of ProxBox
As a long-term resident of Memphis, Chelsea White and cofounder Bryan Barringer have no plans to take the company anywhere but home. Their company, ProxBox, gives your “for sale” property a virtual voice through the use of beacons and smartphone app.
Maria Iontseva and Olga Egorsheva, cofounders of Lobster
Maria is the designer of the two of them, while Olga takes on the mantel of CEO within their company. Lobster is a marketplace for social content where creatives can license digital content from real people on social media. Lobster’s marketplace connects contributors on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Google and YouTube with media people to find and license their photos and videos for incredibly low prices.
Amanda Brief, founder and CEO of myFlow
Amanda has sought to combine her predilections for both outreach and challenging quantitative/puzzle-solving endeavors, and has found these and more in her company. To eliminate menstrual anxiety & leakage, myFlow developed the world’s first tampon monitor, providing real-time updates on tampon saturation level.
Maci Roberts, cofounder and CEO of On Second Thought
Maci is an entrepreneur who creatives solutions to everyday problems. Her company, On Second Thought, can undo those pesky text message mistakes before anyone knows you’ve made them. All you have to do is swipe your message left or right within moments after hitting “Send.”
Elvina Beck, cofounder and CEO of PodShare
Elvina has worked both in front and behind the camera in order to understand every corner of production. She believes in do-it-yourself, invest-in-yourself and ask for forgiveness not permission. Her company, Pod Share, provides dormitory style live/work communities, where a membership grants access to spaces across the city to co-live, co-work and collaborate. They currently have 50 pods across Los Angeles.
Courtney Caldwell, founder and COO of ShearShare
Courtney Caldwell and husband Tye are tech visionaries whose goal is to disrupt the $265 billion beauty industry. Together, they are American businessmen, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs whose aim is to help beauty professionals build efficient, passion-filled businesses. Their company, ShearShare, connects salon and barbershop owners to individual beauty operators to fill unused salon suites and stations on a temporary basis. Salon and barbershop owners make money on their excess inventory. Licensed cosmetologists and barbers lease suites and booths by the day. ShearShare has listings in 245+ cities and 11 countries.
Greta McAnany and Lauren Tracy, cofounders of X-Factor Films
These two women founders decided they weren't down with only seeing men in popular movies and sought out to create something different. X-Factor Films is ‘Netflix for millennial women.” They're building a streaming platform of the best movies and series (both short and long-form) for an audience that Hollywood serves less than 15 percent of the time: women.
Register Now to Attend Innovate! and Celebrate 2016
Come join us at the Innovate! and Celebrate conference in San Jose, CA. The event will take place September 20 – September 22, and is held in partnership with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Photo: Flickr / Ignite New Zealand