Here are ten influential women who along with a few other people have founded start-ups which have gathered the adoration of users, garnered critical acclaim, in some cases helped better our society and on a larger scale just changed our world in many inexorable ways.
1. Caterina Fake
Caterina was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and she graduated from Vassar College. She was first noticed when she co-founded Flickr in 2004. Flickr went on to become the most widely used photo sharing platform on the planet — for amateurs and professionals alike. Yahoo! acquired it in 2005 for approximately $35 million.
Caterina is also one of the directors of the board of Creative Commons. And in 2009, she co-founded another start-up called Hunch, which again, was taken over by eBay for 80 million dollars! A serial innovator, you can be sure that Caterina isn’t the one to just stop after making one success story.
2. Sandy Jen
Sandy is a Stanford graduate in Computer Science who founded a web-based IM services start-up called Meebo in 2005. She not only co-founded Meebo but is also the company’s CTO.
Sandy worked as a software developer for Xilinx for some years. She also stands as a recipient of the Founders Fund TechFellows Award in Engineering Leadership. Her start-up Meebo was the recipient of the award ‘Hottest Silicon Valley Companies’.
3. Michelle Zatlyn
Michelle is the co-founder of CloudFlare, a firm, which for a change is not riding on the social media train but is creating its own unique space in Silicon Valley.
CloudFlare’s website sees a traffic of around 390 million people on a monthly basis. The Wall Street Journal named them the ‘Most Innovative Technology Company of 2011’. And it all started as a school project which won the best business plan award in a competition at Harvard.
4. Aparna Rao
Aparna is from Bangalore, India. She has co-founded Pors & Rao with Danish artist Soren Pors. Some of their creations actually have little less use in terms of utility and some of them could be put into use, like a typewriter which was created to send emails to people.
Aparna is using art, technology, creativity, and humor for creating installations like Pygmies and so on. This is the perfect blend of art and technology which has attracted people.
5. Mary Lou Jepsen
Mary was the CTO of One Laptop Per Child project, a non-profit organization, before she founded Pixel Qi, a low-cost laptop manufacturing company. She also holds the distinction for creating some of the largest ambient displays.
She also worked with Intel for a brief period and was the CTO of its Display Division. She was also in the Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.
6. Lisa Harouni
Lisa is the co-founder and CEO of Digital Forming. She has worked in the G7 Economics team while she was at Deutsche Bank AG. Lisa then co-founded Digital Forming in the year 2008.
Digital Forming was awarded an Innovation Grant from the UK government in 2009. She was also a part of TED Talks that happened in London in 2011. Digital Forming aims to make 3D printing affordable and available to all!
7. Kate Hartman
Kate is an innovator and an artist. She is co-founder of Botanicalls. Botanicalls is a system that allows your thirsty plants to call you for help. Isn’t that a great and novel idea?
Kate is taking communication to a whole new level where she’s giving the non-living things a voice to talk to you. She also helped create a radio that allows your clothing to communicate. With her creations, Kate is bringing art and design closer to people.
8. Pooja Sankar
Pooja Sankar, a Stanford graduate, is from India. Before founding Piazza, she worked with Facebook on the News feed team and at Oracle. Her start-up Piazza is empowering students with a free online platform where they can collaborate with people and learn better.
Her start-up gathered much attention from the media and she was featured in The New York Times and Forbes. Piazza recently managed to get a funding for about $6 million dollars from venture capitalists!
9. Jennifer Pahlka
Jennifer is the co-founder of a non-profit organization called Code for America. She graduated from Yale and spent 15 years organizing conferences. Code for America is bridging the gap between the government organizations by creating open-source software to solve the problems of the community.
She said in an interview that she wants to make the government run like the Internet. They are set to create multiple software which will help people save some money.
Michelle was an editor of the magazine Theme before she moved to China for a year to learn Mandarin. There she met Ian Hogarth with whom she founded Songkick.is a personalized alerts service for concerts which was founded in the year 2007.
Michelle studied English and Philosophy at Columbia. She was featured in the 30-under-30 list by Inc. Magazine. Songkick is one of the first High Tech firms of London and more than 1.3 million users per month use their service!