Women in Tech Who Are Shaking Up Silicon Valley

February 10, 2015

10:00 am

Sure, we’ve all heard of Ariana Huffington and Marissa Mayer, but what about some of the other women in the tech field? Beyond the household names, there is an ever-growing group of female tech stars leading and founding tech startups. Keep reading below for a list of women who are making moves in the tech industry:

Anima Sarah LaVoy: A graduate of the University of Oxford, and Skoll Scholar, Anima has been making waves since graduating and is continuing to do so in the tech industry. Originally the founder of Swing Semester, an organization for young adults that provided a launch pad into progressive politics, LaVoy is the co-founder (along with Ryan Allis) and Chief Innovation Officer at Connect, a platform that acts as a living address book that joins together many of your favorite social media platforms. Connect is continuing to gain interest from investors, as made apparent in their most recent funding round, where they received a cool 10.3 million dollars in funding.

Anima LaVoy

Anima LaVoy

Sarah Lacy: Sarah is a writer at heart. It’s made evident by her long list of writing jobs and positions. What started as writing for the Memphis Business Journal, and then the San Jose Business Journal, would soon go on to becoming a columnist for BusinessWeek. She took this experience and went to TechCrunch to become a Senior Editor. On a constant upward slope, Lacy used the knowledge gained at TC, as well as knowledge and experience gained from BusinessWeek, to found PandoDaily, a web publication (where she resides as CEO and Editor-in-Chief) that offers tech news, interviews, and commentary- with a focus on start up companies and Silicon Valley. Lacy was recently victim to an Uber smear campaign due to their dedicated, veracious coverage of some of the service’s “less-than-savory” business practices.

Kelsey Falter: Kelsey started early after becoming Oprah’s National Essay Contest winner out of the 50,000 students who entered. She went on to intern as a Marketing and Brand Activation Intern for the Coca-Cola company while studying at the University of Notre Dame; where she earned a B.A. in Graphic Design/Industrial Design. Her time at Notre Dame was not over however, as she went on to become a Designer and Student Branding Consultant for the University. After her time at Notre Dame Falter interned at Saks Fifth Avenue, as a Private Brand Intern. Falter took this plethora of knowledge and experience and started the tech company, Poptip, who’s clientele included L’Oreal, Spotify, and ESPN.

Kelsey Falter

Julia Hartz: A graduate of Pepperdine University, Hartz began her career working for the MTV Networks (Viacom) where she was the Coordinator of Series Development. She then took her talents to the FX Network where she oversaw management of current series’. After her stint in network television, Hartz dropped it all to co-found Eventbrite, a global marketplace that allows people to plan and see events in the area of their choosing. At present, Eventbrite has generated over $3 billion dollars in ticket sales and is used in over 190 countries to find and create events. In addition to to their stellar business growth, it should also be noted that Eventbrite is a great company to work for, voted “Best Places to work for in the San Francisco Bay Area” for four years running.

Melody McCloskey: After graduating from the University of California, Davis, McCloskey found herself as a manager of video for Friction.TV and then moving on to managing online content for the Al Gore-founded Current TV (which was later replaced by Al Jazeera America). After working on media, McCloskey founded StyleSeat in 2009, which has raised nearly $15 million for its online platform that allows consumers to book online for beauty and wellness services. Last November, McCloskey joined us at our Tech Cocktail Miami Sessions event, where she shared her experiences with launching the company.

Divya Nag: Nag is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in human biology and served as a researcher for two years at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. In 2011, Nag founded Stem Cell Theranostics, a Silicon Valley-based biotech company that tests new medicines for market production and FDA approval. She later founded the Stanford-affiliated StartX Med, an accelerator focused on helping entrepreneurs in the medical field. Last year, Nag was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for her work in the fields of science and technology. In addition, Nag joined Apple to work on “special projects” (which could convey Apple’s possible move into the health space).

Rose Broome: Broome graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in campaign management and got her masters in psychological research from San Francisco State University. Through her experiences with data analysis she found herself working as a data manager with Obama’s campaign in 2008, managing the city of San Francisco’s 200+ team. After several years of experience as a data scientist, working for Intigral Inc. and SuperBetter Labs, Broome eventually founded HandUp, the crowdfunding, direction-donation platform for the homeless and other people in need. Last July, HandUp raised a $850,000 seed round from notable investors such as Eric Ries and SV Angel. Last year, the company was also selected the grand prize winner at 1776’s Challenge Cup competition. Broome also cofounded Science Hack Day, the 48-hour hackathon for people with a deep interest in science.


Cyan Banister: Banister is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Zivity, a subscription content platform featuring artistic nude, glamour, and pin-up photography. She’s also the founder of the Signal Media Project, an NGO that pushes for the accurate portrayal of science, technology, and history in popular media. Earlier this year, Banister was nominated for “Angel of the Year” at this year’s Crunchies, for her various investments made through Banister Capital, the angel fund managed with her husband Scott. Prior to her various involvements in Silicon Valley, Banister worked for several years with IT security company IronPort Systems (the company cofounded by her husband) before it was sold to Cisco in 2007.

Danielle Morrill: Morrill is the cofounder and CEO of Mattermark, the intelligence platform that helps venture capital, private equity, and B2B sales companies gain valuable insight on upcoming startups. Founded in 2013, Mattermark has become a leading resource on startup companies and ecosystems, providing value-based predictions on the future success of startups. Thus far, the company has raised $9.9 million in funding, with prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Eric Ries, New Enterprise Associates, and the Foundry Group. Morrill also previously served as Director of Marketing for Twilio, the Cloud communication company backed by David Cohen and Dave McClure. She serves as a mentor for Startup Weekend and 500 Startups. Previously, Morrill was featured on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for her work at Twilio.

These are but a few of the women in tech who are creating and branding national and worldwide products and services for consumers. The world of tech has been a predominately male oriented field, but with entrepreneurs like those listed above, we are seeing a shift, an exciting one, that is bringing fresh faces and ideas into the field.

Who are we missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

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Freelance writer with a focus on all things tech and gaming. Life Adventurer. You can keep up with me on Twitter or on my personal blog: BASExCAMP

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