Heck yes, females are interested in technology, seeing it as male-only is an outdated way of thinking. Thanks to initiatives like Made with Code, girls are receiving the encouragement to enter STEM fields like computer science and tech. Gals can also look for inspiration to female entrepreneurs leading the way in the tech industry. Here are 3 women-led startups that took the San Fran tech scene by storm.
3 women-led startups from the San Fran tech scene:
1. Leah Busque’s TaskRabbit
You might have heard of TaskRabbit or even joined and worked on the platform. It’s a mobile, digital marketplace for freelancers to provide their services to those who are looking for them, from cleaning to home repairs. And Leah Busque is the genius behind it.
She originally came up with the idea in 2008 when she needed dog food but didn’t have time to shop for it herself. Now this marketplace offers a place for those looking for certain services to meet with someone who can fill the need, whatever it might be.
In 2017, IKEA bought TaskRabbit from Leah Busque and its headquarters are still in San Fran. Today it has 61 office locations across the US, Canada, and the UK.
To start her venture, Leah Busque tells Fortune (link above) that she cashed out her IBM pension fund and worked for free for a year out of a friend’s office while she bootstrapped the operation. She was able to raise $150,000 from two angel investors in Boston and discusses the toll getting funding took on her health:
“TaskRabbit’s last round of funding was the hardest to raise. I ended up in the hospital with stress-induced colitis, and my colon almost burst… You’ve got to invest in your own exercise, sleep, and nutrition, as well as your company’s needs.”
That advice is so important for female entrepreneurs in startup tech companies in San Francisco and elsewhere to listen to. If you’re not at best health, then how you can give your all to move your business forward?
2. Lauren Farleigh’s Dote
She’s founded the San Fran startup Dote in 2014 alongside Christie Paz. Dote is a mobile shopping app that positions itself as a “mobile mall.” What does that mean?
Dote offers users a way to find the latest offerings from top brands in a mall-like environment, all from their phones. Brands like Gap and Sephora are on the app, where customers can find sales and other promotions, as well as easily shopping on a platform other than Amazon.
Back in 2017, with a San Francisco headquarters, Dote raised $7.2 million, which shows the opportunity to compete with a massive entity like Amazon. At that time, Lauren Farleigh explained that users were returning roughly 15 times a month to the app.
And CEO Farleigh didn’t stop there. In 2019, the startup made huge news by declaring $12 million in new funding. The latest update is including recommendations from social media influencers who can share live videos and search products available on Dote while chatting with fans.
This latest update offers the lesson to keep innovating and trying new ideas. Even when you think you have a successful venture like Lauren Farleigh, why get stagnant in it? Keep reaching and trying new things, you got this!
3. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan’s Drawbridge
She founded the ad platform Drawbridge in 2010 in the Silicon Valley. This startup uses artificial intelligence to help determine which devices people use to help companies understand which devices (and how many) people are using to buy their products or services.
In 2019, Drawbridge was acquired by LinkedIn as part of its marketing umbrella. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan made the Forbes’ list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018 and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford in algorithms and information theory.
During a recent interview with The New York Times, she explained that she didn’t intend to be an entrepreneur. Instead, while pursuing her education, she found she was constantly seeking innovation, and that seemed to inspire her entrepreneurial path.
I love what she says to the NY Times about leadership:
“The best way to inspire respect in people is when you can do what they’ve done or when you’re in the trenches with them.”
In other words, do the work of your team, at least for a short time, to really see what their workday looks like. That’s the way women in tech can bond with those in the organization, as well as help spot problems and viable solutions.
Women-led startups: Do they inspire you?
Feel free to share your why and what you find inspiring in the comments section below. Also, if you liked this post, I’d love if you could share it on social media – thank you in advance!