Women Run Tech Startups, Too

30 Aug

Over the weekend, the internet was all aflutter about Michael Arrington’s post about the dearth of Women startup founders.  In my opinion, we should celebrate the women are running startups and get guidance from them to understand how to foster more women to be tech entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick but NOT exhaustive list of the #womenstartupfounders  I know:

  • Brooke Moreland, Fashism
  • Alexa Hirshfield, Paperless Post
  • Michelle Madhok, SheFinds
  • Yuli Ziv, MyItThings
  • Angela Benton,  Black Web 2.0
  • Alexa Van Tobel, Learnvest
  • Babette Pepaj, Bakespace
  • Dina Kaplan, Blip.tv
  • De De Sutton, Clutch Magazine
  • Nora Abousteit,  BurdaStyle
  • Jenn Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, RentTheRunway
  • Laura Mayes, Laurie Smithwick, Gabrielle Blair and Gwen Bell-Kirtsy
  • Elisa Camahort, Jory des Jardins, Lisa Stone –Blogher
  • Angel Laws, Concrete Loop
  • Alexa Andrzejewski and  Soraya Dorabi.,  FoodSpotting
  • Pamela Castillo, Market Publique

I really like this post  in Fast Company by Allyson Kapin.

“Instead of the playing the blame game, lets develop an action plan together to get more women launching startups and involved in tech.

Here’s a Start:

  1. Build Meaningful Relationships with Organizations: Don’t just approach women in tech organizations when you need suggestions. If you truly want to reach their memberships, you need to carve out time to get involved with the organization, attend their conferences and cultivate relationships. Here are few good organizations to connect with. Anita Borg Institute, She’s Geeky, Women Who Tech, The National Center for Women and IT, National Women of Color Technology Conference, Women 2.0, Women In Technology International, and Girls In Tech.
  2. Break Out of your Comfort Zone: “If you spend time in a homogeneous social network like Silicon Valley’s VC community, then you will only get white, male ventured back candidates,” said Geoff Livingston who has organized several conferences such as Blog Potomac. “It’s your job to go beyond the comfort zone. Victimization maybe an easy out, but it won’t stop the criticism of your inability to break out of limited social circles.”
  3. It’s a Numbers Game: Ask for Several Suggestions: If you’re a conference organizer and someone declines a speaking invitation, ask for 3-4 suggestion of other women who would be a good fit. Likewise, if you’re invited to speak at a conference, but aren’t able to participate, recommend 3-4 good women speakers.
  4. Share the Spotlight: Diversify those top 10 lists. “Reach deeper and rotate fresh names through,” said Cathy Brooks who hosts the Social Media Hour.
  5. Diversify Your Rolodex: Be proactive and follow and engage with more women in tech. There are several women in tech lists on Twitter, Fanpages, and LinkedIn groups.
  6. Start Organizing: Organize a series of Reverse-Pitch Parties for women entrepreneurs at SXSW and in different cities.”
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