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4 Tech Startups You Didn’t Know are Women-Owned

WomenOwnedStartups

There is a major labor crisis in the making. According to some estimates, five years from now American colleges won’t be able to supply enough graduates to fill even a third of the nation’s 1.4 million computing jobs. To meet this demand, universities and companies are racing to increase the number of women interested in pursuing a career in computing science. Why? Women are only 12 percent of computer science degree recipients.

While money is pouring in, efforts to address this issue (e.g. Intel pledged $125 million over 5 years in tech startups run by women and minorities and Google allocated $50 million to its Made with Code initiative), there is a dire need for more role models to motivate girls and women to pursue a career in tech.

Take a look at the following women-owned tech startups that are making waves:

SlideShare

Founded in October 2006, SlideShare has become the de-facto way to present and share slideshows over the internet. Back in 2013, SlideShare averaged 60 million unique visitors per month and over 200 million page views.

Named as one of the most influential women in Web 2.0 by Fast Company in 2008, Rashmi Sinha is the CEO and co-founder of Slideshare. Leveraging her PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Rashmi realized early on that in-person presentations could easily transition to an online format and reach and educate even more people. “Web 2.0 is also the right mix of the social and the technical so that women can prosper,” she asserts.

And thrive she did. In 2012, LinkedIn acquired her professional content sharing platform for $119 million and kept Rashmi as CEO of SlideShare.

Lanmark Technology

Headquartered in Virginia, Lanmark Technology (LMT) is a woman- and service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that provides IT and administrative support to clients in the public and private sectors.

What makes LMT’s story stand out from that of other IT contractors is that LMT started as a one-woman operation. A former U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer with recognized tactical intelligence expertise, Lani Hay started out with $6,000 in savings and credit card charges.

She turned LMT from a threat analytics firm (e.g. detecting explosive devices) to a multi-channel government contractor. In 2012 LMT grossed $35 million in revenues and in 2013, $40 million. Her secret? She claims, “a small business really can deliver better work at significant savings to the taxpayers. That’s always my pitch.”

Polyvore

Landing a job at Google is so hard. It’s almost ten times harder getting hired by Google than getting into Harvard. Beating the odds, Jess Lee became a product manager for Google Maps, one of the company’s most iconic services.

However, after four years she decided to part ways with Google and join a tiny startup called Polyvore as co-founder and CEO. Her decision proved to be the right one. Under the direction of Jess, Polyvore, a community powered social commerce website, went from four million monthly unique visitors in 2009 to 20 million in 2014.

By driving an average sale of over $383, Polyvore became profitable and successful. In 2015, Yahoo acquired Polyvore for an undisclosed amount, rumored to be around $60 million.

Foodspotting

Unable to find good Okonomiyaki in San Francisco, Alexa Andrzejewski  decided to use her user experience skills to develop a visual guide to good food and where to find it.

Foodspotting has become one of the leading mobile apps for finding and rating dishes (included in Time Magazine’s 50 Best Apps of 2012). In a world of algorithms, the app stands out by keeping things old-school. “We’re not trying to be “magically smart” with our recommendations – we’re trying to use what we know about people to find good matches for them,” explains Alexa.

Since its launch in January 2010, Foodspotting has reported over 2.5 million foods through its users around the world. Through the perfect marriage between beautiful photography and effective online layout, Foodspotting delivers an engaging and mouth-watering experience.

The Bottom Line

Whether it’s a content-sharing platform, IT services company, ecommerce site or smartphone app, these women-owned tech startups prove that women are ready to meet and exceed the needs of the tech industry.

Do you know of a noteworthy woman-owned tech startup? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @KabbageIncIf you’re interested in learning more about Kabbage, visit our business loans for women page. 

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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