10 Women Run Startups You Should Know

Folks, there are a lot of really good businesses out there, and my team and I want to highlight 10 women run startups that you should really know about. These startups are doing great work and really getting the jobs done in their arenas. We took a little bit from each org’s website to capture what they’re doing in their own words. Make sure to visit their sites, support ’em, and follow ’em on Twitter. These women are really changing the world.

 

Infographic by Women Who Tech
Infographic by Women Who Tech
  1. CyPhy Works: Helen Grenier, CEO

    (Please note that we used Helen Grenier’s Twitter account because CyPhy Works’s doesn’t appear to have an account.)

    CyPhy Works research starts with people -They look to the places where people need empowering technology to reach beyond what they currently can. Then they turn their attention to scouring the market landscape and literature to see what, if any, un-utilized research can be leveraged to enable the people in need. Once they fully understand what people need, and what people have done to address that need, they focus their attention in their labs where their people develop transformational technologies that make it possible for people in need to achieve their goals more efficiently and more effectively than the status quo would allow.

  2. DailyWorth: Amanda Steinberg, Founder & CEO

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    DailyWorth says, “We’re closing the income gap by enabling women to reach their maximum earning potential.We’re closing the wealth gap by empowering women to invest and build wealth to fund the lives they want.We’re helping women get the most value for their money, whether they’re purchasing products that enrich their lives, supporting causes they care about or investing in companies they believe in.We publish exclusive, expert content daily to more than one million female financial decision makers. Explore the website and sign up to get our tips and tools delivered daily to your inbox.”
  3.  Plum Alley: Deborah Jackson, Founder & CEO

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    “I founded Plum Alley for women to create products, build companies and enhance their esteem and wealth. We offer 3 things: a way for women to raise money for projects, hire experts to help them, and provide a way to sell their products with an emphasis on their story.”
  4. ThinkUp: Gina Trapani, Co-Founder

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    ThinkUp is a brand new app that connects your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social networking accounts and tells you what matters about the time you spent there. ThinkUp can help you have more fun with friends, connect better with your network, and even learn a little bit about yourself. ThinkUp is also our new company, focused on the idea that people are looking for tech companies they can trust. We’re putting our users and community first, because we think that’s the best way to create a better web for everyone.
  5. LightSail Energy: Danielle Fong, Co Founder & Chief Scientist

    (Please note that we used Danielle Fong’s Twitter account because LightSail’s doesn’t appear to be in use.)

    LightSail aims to produce the world’s cleanest and most economical energy storage systems. Compressing air creates heat energy. Until now, this was wasted, drastically reducing efficiency.LightSail isdeveloping breakthrough, high efficiency energy storage systems using compressed air. Our key insight: rapidly capturing the heat of compression with a water spray.

  6. Tech Cocktail: Jen Consalvo, COO

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    Tech Cocktail is a media company and events organization for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts. Since 2006, its goal has been to amplify local tech communities and give entrepreneurs a place to get informed, get connected, and get inspired. Tech Cocktail dedicates itself to covering news, how-to’s, up-and-coming startups, and industry trends online, and hosting events in over 20 cities in the US and abroad.
  7. uBeam: Meredith Perry, Founder

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    In 2012, Meredith Perry took on $750k in seed funding to build out uBeam’s technology for wirelessly charging electronic devices. uBeam transmits power over the air to charge electronic gadgets wirelessly. It’s like Wi-Fi for energy.
  8. Angaza Design, Inc: Lesley Marincola, Founder & CEO

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    Globally, more than 1.2 billion people live outside the reach of an electricity grid. Consumers in this off-grid world spend hundreds of dollars each year to light their homes and power small electronics, and they do so using expensive sources of energy such as kerosene lanterns and disposable batteries. Modern options such as photovoltaic solar cost far less when amortized over time, but the comparatively high upfront price of these energy alternatives has kept them out of this enormous market.The Angaza Pay-As-You-Go platform enables distributors and manufacturers of energy products to offer pricing that reaches 1.2 billion consumers in the off-grid world.
  9. InVenture: Shivani Siroya, Founder & CEO

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    The Problem? There are almost 400 million low-income and unbanked individuals that cannot access basic financial services due to a lack of credit scores.

    InVenture’s Approach? InVenture facilitates financial access for low-income individuals and the unbanked by creating the world’s first credit scoring service enabled by their SMS accounting tool, InSight.

    Their Impact? InVenture creates a fair market by taking the data collected through InSight and shares this information with lending institutions to help individuals qualify for and access affordable financial services tailored to their needs.

  10. Embrace Innovations: Jane Chen, Co Founder & Chief Business Officer

    // Embrace is a healthcare tech company that provides a line of innovative, affordable, and high quality medical devices for emerging markets. Their vision is to empower the disadvantaged to improve their lives through disruptive technologies.

 

Who would you add to this list? My team and I would love to hear about some other great women owned startups.

“The Baroque Cycle”: The Moment I Realized History RTs Itself

Around ten years ago, I read this historical fiction trilogy by a really influential science fiction writer, Neal Stephenson.
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At that point I had relinquished all management control of the site I started, was doing pretty intense customer service, and I was thinking about what it all meant.

My nerdly take is that The Baroque Cycle’s about the invention of the modern world, in the social normalization of attitudes and inventions including:

  • The Enlightenment perspective
  • Scientific method
  • Calculus as a possible “system of the world”
  • Representative democracy
  • Revolution via social media

It influenced the way I think about my own creation, and to cut to the chase…

Baroque Cycle helped me understand how “history retweets itself,” how people use social media to get big things done. Over time, human social contracts evolve via punctuated equilibrium wherein things slowly get better.

Improvements are not continuous, though. Normally, things are in balance, equilibrium, until we hit some kind of tipping point, which punctuate the flow of history. That’s something I learned from Victor Hugo, as often paraphrased: “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

Until recently, the cost of getting your idea out there was very high; you needed your own printing press, or maybe TV station.

However, the Internet changes all that.

The way I look ahead and plan was substantially altered. My focus is not only getting stuff done in the here and now, but I’m considering what I learn and how it affects stuff in the long term (twenty years) and the longer term (two hundred years.) The work done by the historical figures in the trilogy are still playing out today.

(Yes, I’m writing in a far more nerdly manner than I’ve written in years, and to be clear, I’m going old-school nerd here.)

Okay, specifically, Baroque Cycle helped me understand a lot about the way people and history work. For example, I finally began to understand the ways that social media has been used, throughout history, to change the social contract and how we govern ourselves.

Specifically, I realized that people including John Locke (not the LOST guy) and others used blogging to effect the Glorious Revolution of 1688. It was (relatively) bloodless and short, and least compared to the preceding Civil Wars and for that matter, compared to the Wars of the Roses, etc.

The books helped me understand how the Glorious Revolution led to bloggers including Ben Franklin and Tom Paine, who helped create American independence and our own form of representative democracy. Then, I realized how Martin Luther blogged his way to major religious and social change. He used the efforts of a nerd, a guy Johannes Gutenberg, to great effect. (Gutenberg got great stuff done, but it was Luther who got big stuff done; Gutenberg also learned about venture capitalists the hard way. check out Jeff Jarvis‘ “Gutenberg the Geek.”)

Then Robert Wright helped me understand how Saint Paul used the social media of his time to get the word out regarding Christianity.

More recently, The Writing on the Wall by Thomas Standage documents all of this, from the Roman Republic through now. (Spoiler: looks to me that Julius Caesar was not only a blogger re the conquest of Gaul, but he kinda invented journalism in its most literal sense.)

The deal is that The Baroque Cycle helped me get this on a gut level, and that’s inspired all of my subsequent efforts.

In Stephenson’s book we see how people, working together, separately, and sometimes in competition, how they created major tipping points which came together in a perfect storm to create the modern world. (Sorry to invoke the cliche.)

Added to this, I think I finally understood what a latter-day Martin Luther meant by “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” My take is that he was talking about what the books teach.

So, ten years ago I started to internalize all this and to figure out what to do about it, acknowledging that, well, I’m a nerd. Helping along a global tipping point is not in the nerd job description, which requires a lot of charisma, energy, and a lot of intuition to understand of the way people work.

However, the nature of the Internet suggests we’re not looking at the “strong man theory of history” anymore. Real and massive change will come from people who learn to lead by example, through their ideas, and from some intuitive knowledge of how to move ahead with ideas whose time has come.

I love The Baroque Cycle and recommend everything by Stephenson. However, it’s way more important to act on what it depicts, and my deal is to try to give a voice to people who never had one, and then to share their work. My stuff to date gives me a bit of a bully pulpit that I don’t need for myself. However, I use it on a daily basis to get the word out on behalf other others.

My joke, occasionally tweeted, is that I retweet a lot because 1) it’s good to share, and 2) it spares me the burden of original thought. Well, #2 has some truth to it, but #1 is the big deal for me, inspired by the actions depicted by Stephenson.

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That’s not altruistic as I view it. I guess it’s just a reflection of the abnormal social affect and dysfunction of myself and sometimes of my nerdly peers.

After all, a nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do.

Top 10 Veterans Orgs to Follow on Twitter

Hey,  Veterans Day is Monday, and there are some good orgs who really have their boots on the ground.

Okay, a while back, my wife (then fiance) asked me why I only did my normal level of support for veterans and military families on Memorial Day. My blurt was that “for me, every day’s Memorial Day.” And I feel the same way about Veterans Day.

Here are ten veterans orgs that you should be following on Twitter. They have important things to say, and are working hard for military families and veterans’ rights. The list is in no particular order.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, @IAVA


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iavaSwords to Plowshares, @vetshelpingvets


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swordsplowsharesBob Woodruff Foundation, @Stand4Heroes


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woodruff

Blue Star Families, @BlueStarFamily


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National Military Family Association, @military_family


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Returning Veterans Project, @ReturnVeterans


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The SF Veteran Success Center, @SF_VSC


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Operation Homefront, @Op_Homefront


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ophomefront

Warrior Canine Connection, @WarriorCanineCn


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warriorcanine

Luke’s Wings, @LukesWingsUSA


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I figure that we should support and thank Americans who risk taking a bullet to protect us, and that means also looking after their families. Just seems right… Happy Veterans Day, folks.

15 Women in Tech to Follow on Twitter

Hey, a coupla weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the Top 10 Women in Tech orgs. And recently, a lot of folks have been talking about the importance of women’s leadership in tech. The Women’s Media Center released a report with two big data points:

  • At its current pace, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in government/politics, business, entrepreneurship, and nonprofits.
  • Only 17 women at media and technology companies are on Fortune’s 50 most powerful women in business list.

I’m no expert, but I do have suggestions for some women in tech who really have their boots on the ground, and are doing good work. You should check out their work, support ’em if you’re able, and follow them on Twitter.

craig16womenintech

(in alphabetical order…)

Kimberly Bryant, @6Gems: Founder of Black Girls Code. Black Girls Code purpose is to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. Kimberly is an engineer, social entrepreneur, technology junkie, and dreamer.


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Shaherose Charania, @shaherose: CEO, Co-Founder, and President of Women 2.0. At heart Shaherose is a mobile and telephony junkie. She’s led new consumer products at Ribbit (BT). Previously, she was Director of Product Management at Talenthouse and JAJAH (sold to Telefonica/O2). Shaherose holds a B.A. in Business Admin from The University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.


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Sara Chipps, @SaraJChipps: Co-Founder, software developer, and organizer of Girl Develop It, which teaches women how to develop applications from start to finish. The org empowers women of diverse backgrounds from around the world to learn how to develop software. Sara is also the CTO of Levo League, where she focuses on developer happiness as a metric for success.


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Kaliya Hamlin, @identitywoman: Founder of She’s Geeky, which began as a haven where women who self-identify as geeky could meet in person to support, educate, and share experiences with one another. Kaliya is also Founder of the Personal Data Ecosystem, and is one of the leading experts in the emerging personal data ecosystem and user-centric digital identity.


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Mary Hodder, @Maryhodder: Mary works in privacy and personal data technologies, and is also working on an Android rewrite for privacy (with crowdfunding to finance it). She founded Dabble.com in 2005, a social search site that helps people organize and playlist media they like, while discovering great media through other’s recommendations.


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Allyson Kapin, @womenwhotech: Founder of Women Who Tech and Rad Campaign, a web agency that develops websites for nonprofit organizations, foundations, and political campaigns. Allyson is also the co-author of the book Social Change Anytime Everywhere, published by Wiley. Allyson has been a featured expert on media outlets ranging from CNN to the BBC for her insight on tech and social media trends.


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Sian Morson, @xianamoy: Founder and CEO of Kollective Mobile, a mobile development agency that helps start-ups design and grow their mobile business by providing strategy consulting and building mobile apps. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Sian makes video art, speaks about technology and mobile, and writes about culture and tech.


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Holly Ross, @drupalhross: Executive Director of the Drupal Association, an educational nonprofit organization that fosters and supports the Drupal software project, the community, and its growth. Holly has a passion for change and has led a career focused on helping nonprofits create more of it.


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Rashmi Sinha, @Rashmi: Co-Founder of SlideShare which was acquired by LinkedIn. Rashmi focuses on product strategy and design. Before SlideShare, she built MindCanvas, a game-like survey platform for customer research. Rashmi has a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University and conducted research on search engines and recommender systems at UC Berkeley.


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Wendy Tan, @wendytanwhite: Co-Founder & CEO of Moonfruit, a design-control DIY website and shop builder; recently acquired by Hibu. Wendy is also a 500 Startups mentor. Wendy writes extensively about the need for greater support and recognition for female entrepreneurs and women in business.


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Amra Tareen, @amratareen: CEO of LittleCast, a mobile app and web platform that allows users to sell videos directly on Facebook. Prior to LittleCast, Amra, a former telecom engineer who grew up in Pakistan and Australia, earned a Harvard M.B.A., then joined venture capital outfit Sevin Rosen Funds, where she became a partner, and then left when she founded AllVoices, a citizen news site.


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Kristy Tillman@KristyT: Designer, Developer, and a Media Ideation Fellow. Kristy is building Project Phonebooth, a mobile app that aims to make applying to local government jobs easier for those who rely on mobile technology to access the Internet.


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Padmasree Warrior, @padmasree: CTO of Cisco. Padmasree helps direct technology and operational innovation across the company and oversees strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, the integration of new business models, the incubation of new technologies, and the cultivation of world-class technical talent.


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Dr. Umit Yalcinalp, @umityalcinalp: Dr. Umit Yalcinalp is a former Software Architect turned Salesforce.com Evangelist with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and is a self-described “seasoned technologist, fashionista geek and web technology veteran.” You can read Dr Yalcinalp’s blog at WS Dudette.


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Who would you like to see on this list? Let me know in the comment section. Thanks!

 

Sandy Hook Promise, an initiative to end gun violence in America

Folks, there are people in the tech community mobilizing to support an end to gun violence in America.

One month after the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a group of Newtown, Connecticut citizens have organized to honor the lives lost by unveiling a national grassroots initiative committed to preventing similar tragedies from ever taking place again. The initiative’s a nonprofit called Sandy Hook Promise (SHP, formerly called “Newtown United”).

Sandy Hook Promise, www.sandyhookpromise.org

The folks that’ll be at the unveiling of Sandy Hook Promise today include members of SHP’s Executive Committee, participating victims’ families, survivors, first responders, and other community members to launch this important initiative.

This morning, Sandy Hook Promise will share its plans for how an end to gun violence will be worked toward. SHP is asking folks across the country to make a promise to encourage and support common sense solutions that make communities and our country safer from acts of violence like the tragedy on December 14, 2012.

The tech community’s combining its efforts directly with the Sandy Hook Promise organization, beyond the Causes Petition and the “Moment of Silence” efforts.

The families of Newtown-Sandy Hook also want us Post to Facebook and Tweet about the efforts using hashtag #sandyhookpromise beginning today, Monday, January 14. We must get all of America to sign the Sandy Hook Promise on the website.

Some sample Tweets:

    • Join me and people in Newtown in making the #sandyhookpromise to support common sense solutions to reduce gun violence at www.sandyhookpromise.org
    • I’m joining people in Newtown in making the #sandyhookpromise to protect our children and reduce gun violence. Join us at www.sandyhookpromise.org
    • Today, people in Newtown are making the #sandyhookpromise to reduce gun violence. Sign the pledge with me at www.sandyhookpromise.org

For live updates on the press conference follow @SandyHook on Twitter.

 

Tips on Sharing Facebook Posts & Twitter Tweets

Hey, I figure that sometimes people doing good stuff want me to spread the updates to my networks in social media, starting with Facebook and Twitter.

I tell ’em to email me the links to their posts, and maybe they should do so for all their supporters. Just send us the links with a few words as to what they’re talking about.

That means we can click on those links, and that brings up their posts in a browser. From there, we just click on Share or Retweet. Just two clicks, and the original post is sent throughout our networks.

Here’s how to send the link to a specific post:

For Facebook:

If you post something to Facebook (I have highlighted the screenshots in orange for the purposes of this blog post):

And want to share that post by way of linking to it directly (vs. clicking the “Share” button), you can click on the  grey time stamp that is located on the post (highlighted in orange below):

and once you click on that, it will take the post to a new window. In this window, you can either copy and paste the URL in the address bar, or right click the time stamp and click “Copy Link Location” from the drop-down menu, and then paste it wherever you’d like:

Copy and paste the link anywhere you want now: Email, blog posts, Pinterest, etc.


For Twitter:

You post a tweet to your profile page and then you click on the tweet from your profile page, click on “Expand”:

then click on “Details” which is next to the time stamp in grey:

and it will take you to the individual tweet which you can then either copy and  paste the direct link from the URL (see below), or you can right click the text that says “Embed This Tweet”, and there’s an option to “Copy Link Location” in the drop-down menu. Both work, so it depends on your preference.

There you go, folks. Now you can share your posts across all networks.

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