Innovative entrepreneurs are everywhere in today’s technology landscape.
For years, the tech industry has been notoriously slow when it comes to delivering gender parity in the workforce. Less than 20% of software developers and less than 10% of network architects are female, according to some studies. However, as we move into 2020, we’re seeing more and more women buck the trend by bringing new and thrilling concepts to life in the tech space.
Here’s our list of the top 10 female entrepreneurs to watch as we move into 2020.
10. Alice Bentinck – Entrepreneur First
Alice Bentinck has had a fantastic history in the tech sector. In 2012, she was the co-founder of a part-time course delivered on university campuses for women interested in the tech industry. “Code First: Girls” taught more than 5,000 women across the UK how to code. In 2011, Bentinck also co-founded a business called “Entrepreneur First.” This unique business was designed to bring people together in the tech environment, so they could build startups using shared knowledge and expertise.
Alice is one of the women leading the charge towards a more diverse future for the technology industry, making her a must-watch entrepreneur in our eyes.
9. Carlene Jackson – Cloud9Insight
Carlene Jackson is the Founder and CEO of a Brighton-based technology business called Cloud9Insight. This Microsoft Gold Partner offers more than 600 businesses across the UK support with its cloud-based CRM software. Since the company launched in 2010, it’s earned a position as an award-winning apprenticeship provider, with a significant impact on the UK landscape.
Before launching Cloud9Insight, Jackson already had a fantastic background in the tech space, working for companies like IBM, Xansa, and Sage. Over the years, she’s been responsible for supporting the growth of various CRM tools, as well as a multitude of digital technologies.
8. Kathleen Yu – Rumarocket.com
One of the youngest innovators on our list of the top female entrepreneurs to watch right now is Kathleen Yu. Yu first had the idea to create her own technology business when she was only 23 years old. She decided to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to support a more efficient talent recruitment strategy, helping companies to find the skilled individuals that they needed.
The Rumarocket talent management platform is now incredibly successful, and Yu is still acting as the company’s CEO. Kathleen’s business is currently worth around $8 million, and it supports clients all across the globe.
7. Edith Harbaugh – LaunchDarkly
Edith Harbaugh has quickly emerged as one of the better-known female entrepreneurs in the technology industry in recent years. Harbaugh launched her innovative feature management platform, LaunchDarkly in 2014, earning around $21 million in venture capital funding. The platform supports software developers and has earned customers ranging from GoPro to Microsoft and TrustPilot over the last couple of years.
Before she took on the role of tech entrepreneur, Edith worked as a Mentor for HMC INQ – A startup accelerator designed to help people grow their companies in the modern landscape. Harbaugh still offers mentoring today.
6. Leah Solivan – TaskRabbit
Leah Solivan launched her company, TaskRabbit, to help revolutionise the way that people work in the digital landscape. The app intended to make people more productive by helping to organise their days and offer schedule management support. When Leah eventually left TaskRabbit, she didn’t stop innovating in the technology landscape.
Solivan acted as an advisor to companies like Zently – a company dedicated to transforming and simplifying rental living, and eventually became a general partner for Fuel Capital. Fuel Capital is an early-stage fund with a commitment to helping startups find their place in the competitive business world.
5. Leslie Feinzaig – Female Founders Alliance
Leslie Feinzaig is another female entrepreneur who has spent most of her life exploring the opportunities available through technology. In 2016, Feinzaig created the Venture Kits company, a business designed to help kids turn into business leaders through intuitive gaming experiences. The next year, in 2017, Leslie continued on her entrepreneurial streak, by founding the Female Founders Alliance (FFA).
The FFA is a private network of leaders and female founders in scalable startups and tech companies. The alliance aims to help female leaders make their mark on their chosen industry with support from a dedicated community.
4. Lauren Washington – KeepUp, Fundr, Black Women Tech Talk
KeepUp aimed to help people keep up with their social media profiles by allowing them to track multiple accounts from a single platform. Following the success of KeepUp, Lauren Washington continued on her amazing trajectory of innovation, co-founding various new companies in recent years.
In 2017, Lauren became the co-founder of Black Women Tech Talk – the largest conference designed specifically for black women and founders in the tech industry. In 2019, Washington also co-founded Fundr, a tool designed to democratise the investment environment by banishing investment bias and diversifying risk.
3. Samantha Snabes – Re:3D
When Samantha Snabes was growing up, she dreamed of being an astronaut. Who knew she would become one of the finalists for the Women Who Tech Startup Challenge, with her co-founded company: Re:3D. Re:3D is a technology business that aims to deliver huge industrial 3D printers to companies around the world, and therefore transform the manufacturing industry.
Before launching Re:3d in 2013, Snabes spent a short time working with NASA between 2012 and 2013. She also worked as a Strategist for the Space Life Sciences sector of the NASA Human Health and Performance centre for three years, between 2009 and 2012. However, when she travelled around the world with Engineers without Borders, she saw the potential of 3D printing and decided to launch her own business in an attempt to change the world.
2. Melanie Perkins
Most people today have heard of Canva – the innovative online platform that allows you to easily edit photos for your website, social media pages, and more. However, you might not have heard of the women who made Canva possible – Melanie Perkins. As the CEO and Co-founder of Canva, Melanie was keen to introduce the world to an environment where graphic design and image editing could be easy.
Perkins didn’t just create Canva, in 2007, she also launched another startup called Fusion Books, an online publishing system that allowed people to create stylish yearbooks in minutes. Perkins has always been passionate about making technology more accessible to the masses.
1. Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon – Stemettes
When she was just ten years old, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon stood out as the youngest girl to ever complete 2 GCSE-level exams for ICT and Mathematics. A year later, she was the youngest girl to pass an A-Level exam for computing. By the time she was 20, Imafidon held a Master’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Oxford, and she received her MBE at age 27.
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