40 Badass Women in Emerging Tech to Follow on Twitter
Investors are the gatekeepers, holding the keys to who gets funded, who gets to scale their product, and what products get brought to market for mass consumption. There are about 800 VC firms, and only about 28 of these firms were founded by women.
2% of Venture Funding Goes to Women-led Ventures
This being said, it comes as no surprise that women startup founders raise only 2% of all venture funding, despite owning 38% of the businesses in the US, generating approximately $1.6 trillion in revenues, and employing more than 9 million people. For women of color raising money, the stats are even more dismal not to mention the overt sexism and harassment women founders have faced raising capital. Even with studies showing that women-led tech startups generate 35% higher ROI and 12% higher revenue than startups run exclusively by men, women still face significant obstacles raising money. Even with all of the tech blogs and with the NYT shining a spotlight on the funding gap, not much is improving.
Over the years, I’ve heard from some investors that one of the reasons they had not previously invested in women-led startups was because they felt that they did not have the expertise to evaluate “fashion type startups.” News flash: the majority of women-led startups are not focused on fashion. As a matter of fact, the majority of the 2,000 startups that have applied to our Women Startup Challenges are focused on Emerging Tech such as health tech, virtual reality, augmented reality, AI, robotics, blockhain, and more. Some of these startups are well on their way to discovering better diagnostic tools, treatments, and, yes, even CURES for rare diseases and different forms of cancer. Can you imagine the global impact that these startups could have? We’ll never benefit from these discoveries, though, if investors don’t fund them.
Women-Led Startups will Make Investors a Ton of Money (If They Get Funding to Scale)
Bottom line — We know women-led startups who are going to solve the world’s toughest problems and make investors a lot of money. So, Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, and others — if you want to be one of those investors, we’ve created a list of 40 Women in Emerging Tech to follow to get you started.
We’ve also launched a monthly enewsletter for accredited investors and VC firms, where we spotlight three early-stage women-led startups who are gaining traction with their products and who need to be on your radar.
The Women Startup Challenge
And if you’re a women-led emerging tech startup, be sure to apply for our next Women Startup Challenge cohosted by Google. We’re showcasing 10 of the best early stage women-led startups who will pitch Nisha Dua — Partner at BBG Ventures, Rebecca Kaden — Partner at Union Square Ventures, and Hoolie Tejwani — Vice President at Obvious Ventures for $50,000 cash, provided by Women Who Tech. The deadline to apply is December 19th.
Women in Emerging Tech YOU Need to Know
- Dr. Maria Chatzou, CoFounder, LifeBit — Run your genomics analysis in minutes via a cloud based platform.
- Samantha Payne, CoFounder Open Bionics — Created one of the first bionic hands for children using 3D printing themed with superheroes.
- Kiah Williams, CoFounder, SIRUM — A platform to distribute unused medicine from manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, and health facilities to low-income clinics and patients.
- Veronica Orvalho, CoFounder, MyDidimo — Automatically creates a 3D virtual character starting from a single photo — and in about 2 minutes you have a lifelike avatar that can speak, move, and represent you in a 3D world.
- Tasha Nagamine, CoFounder, Droice Labs — Droice uses cutting-edge machine learning to help hospitals achieve better patient outcomes.
- Rhona Togher, CoFounder, Sound Bounce of Restored Hearing — The world’s first smart material hearing protection headset that works to absorb damaging sounds.
- Eimear O’Carroll, CoFounder, Sound Bounce of Restored Hearing — The world’s first smart material hearing protection headset that works to absorb damaging sounds.
- Jasjit Maggu, CoFounder, Galaxy.AI — An artificial intelligence solution to automate the property and casualty insurance claims process.
- Christianna Taylor, PhD, Founder, Intelligent Space — Developing artificial intelligence for space applications. They leverage autonomous robotics to restructure space for satellite safety from orbital debris starting with a space towing system moving dead satellites to a graveyard zone.
- Lili Qiu, CoFounder, Haouli — Revolutionizing how users interact with the world by developing patent-pending high-precision acoustic-based motion tracking technology. The technology will enable VR/AR users to easily interact with objects in the scene.
- Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris, CoFounder, Spirit AI — Tools to craft more expressive characters, stories, and worlds in games and VR. With this tech, they’re also solving another important challenge: combating online harassment in multiplayer videogames.
- Jade Huang, CoFounder, Style Sage, Provides critical retail analytics solutions for global brands in pricing, assortment, promotions, and trends.
- Heidi Wyle, CoFounder, Venti Technologies — Creating self-driving non-automotive vehicles.
- Daniela Rus, Robotisist and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. Rus is also the CoFounder of Venti Technologies.
- Helen Greiner, Founder, Cyphy Works — Delivers rugged, high-endurance tethered drones with secure payload data and autonomous flight.
- Sam Frons, Founder, Addicaid — Platform for aiding in recovery for addictions.
- Nancy Yu, CoFounder, ACGTXYZ — Building centralized research infrastructure for rare disease communities — clinical software, patient products, sample collection, and genetic sequencing.
- Mariana Acuña, CoFounder, Opaque Studios. Builds VR-based tools for Hollywood studios. They combine the two most exciting developments in tech and Hollywood: Virtual Reality and Virtual Production; allowing content creators to produce feature films, TV shows, games and VR applications more efficiently than ever before.
- Kristina Tsvetanova, Founder, Blitab — The world’s first tactile tablet for people who are blind and visually impaired.
- Alexandra Grigore, CoFounder, Simprints — Simprints has developed an inexpensive biometric scanner, mobile app, and cloud platform that could become the first identity provider for the 1.5 billion people who do not have formal IDs.
- Caritta Seppa, CoFounder, Tespack — Solar Smartpacks that are stylish, light and easy to use. Collect, store and use your energy and keep all your devices charged
- Yesika Aguilera, CoFounder, Tespack — Solar Smartpacks are stylish, light and easy to use. Collect, store and use your energy and keep all your devices charged with Tespack.
- Katie Brenner, CoFounder, BluDiagnostics — One of the first apps to enable women to understand their body through revolutionary saliva-based measurement technology that provides immediate, quantitative data about hormone levels.
- Sanna Gaspard, PhD, Founder, Rubitection — A reliable medical device for early bedsore diagnosis that is 75% — 90% cheaper than its competition.
- Sabine Seymour, Founder, SUPA AI, biometric sensor platform for apparel.
- Bethany Edwards, CoFounder, Lia Diagnostics — The at-home pregnancy test hasn’t changed in over 20-years, so Lia Diagnostics created the first discrete, flushable, biodegradable, and compostable at-home pregnancy test.
- Natasha Dhayagude, CoFounder, Chinova Bioworks — Developing a new, clean label, natural preservative from a fiber found in mushrooms called Chitosan. They are the first company to have a natural solution for every major type of spoilage bacteria, yeast and mold!
- Evelin Weber, Founder, Narra Life — Narra is designing and building and end-to-end financial services platform for the unbanked using Blockchain technologies to ease the financial inclusion problem.
- Fei-Fei Li, Professor, Director, Stanford AI Lab, Chief Scientist AI/ML Google Cloud, and CoFounder/Chair @ai4allorg — Fei-Fei is on sabbatical from Stanford and is currently working as Chief Scientist of AI/ML of Google Cloud.
- Tatayna Kanzaveli, Founder, Open Health Network — OHN’s Blockchain Technology based Healthcare Data Interchange Platform is the first platform where patients will have full control of their data and give them tools to manage how and who can access their data.
- Jessica Matthews, Founder, Uncharted Play — A renewable power company that specializes in harnessing the energy from motion to create entire ecosystems of power for communities around the world.
- Rana el Kaliouby, Co-Founder, Affectiva — Creates emotion AI products that humanizes how people and technology interact.
- Karen Dayan, Chief Marketing Officer, Trusona — A cybersecurity startup that has developed identity authentication technology that allows users to securely access web and mobile applications without entering a password.
- Ivana Ojukwu, Cofounder, See Fashion — A discovery platform that helps fashion brands identify new trends and buying opportunities in their markets. They provide contextualised product insights in real-time.
- Erica Lee, Founder, Collective Intelligence Technologies — Building ML-drive software tools for better image recognition in automotive vehicles.
- Stefanie Lemcke, CoFounder, GoKid — A complete carpool solution for schools, teams & active families, helping parents carpool with families they know and trust.
- Jacquene Curlee, Founder and CEO of Kids Drone Zone — Teaches kids how to build a drone, code a drone, and how to fly a drone.
- Gillian Morris, Founder, Hitlist — An intelligent assistant that monitors flight and accommodation prices for trips you want to take, then alerts you when prices drop.
- Carol Reiley, CoFounder, Drive.AI — Building the brain of self-driving vehicles.
- Prachi Baxi is the co-founder of Smartypans, Bluetooth enabled cookware that enables users to track the nutritional content of ingredients in real time while cooking.
Add to the List
There’s a lot more women who should be on this list, and I’d like to encourage you to continue adding to it. Feel free to post your name, background, and Twitter handle in the comments.