Where are the women-run startups?

If you’ve been following this site for a few years you might now that I have a side interest in business.

One of my favorite magazines these days is Inc. I like reading about the world from an entirely different perspective, and applying that to my life as a (mostly) activist.

But, as we know, the field of business is quite often dominated by white men. The reasoning behind this is not hard to see–the world of business is often an elite one, access to capital and investment is often restricted along structural discrimination lines. This is especially true for the big business ventures that require tons of initial cash to get started.

But there are folks across the identity spectrum breaking into the business world and making some impressive strides. In 2004 the New York Times reported that women-run small businesses were leaders in growth and we’ve heard similar things in recent years.

I was psyched to see Fast Company highlight the women behind some of today’s most interesting startups.

Here are the first three:

  1. Pauline Alker, Founder, a la Mobile
    Streamlining the way mobile handsets are developed and deployed. They aim to be the independent, open Linux system platform for the mobile phone industry. They adhere to design and development disciplines of openness, innovation and freedom of choice with configurable and customizable architecture.
    Funding:
    Series A, B
  2. Alexa Andrzejewski, CEO and Co-Founder, Foodspotting
    A visual guide to good food and where to find it. Foodspotting lets consumers find and share the foods they love: Instead of reviewing restaurants, consumers can recommend their favorite dishes and see what others have recommended wherever you go.
    Funding: Series A
  3. Kris Appel, Founder, Encore Path
  4. Encore Path developed Tailwind, a device that helps improve arm function and range of motion for people with stroke or other brain injury.
    Funding:
    Seed

Check out the other 22 here.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    a la mobile looks and sounds pretty awesome. Though it looks like they will have to modify their business plan, with Android winning the linux based operating system battle. Though, from their website it does look like that have started to do that! I hope they are successful! The open source community is quite a great thing and if they can tap those resources for more than just apps, they could be quite successful.

  2. Posted March 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I wrote about a tangent on this subject recently on The F Word. I wish there were a dedicated community for feminist entrepreneurs, or that I was in a position to start one up myself! My own start-up is at that exciting pivotal point where the next few weeks’ activities decide whether or not I’ll be able to make it my full time job in a couple of months as planned. Very intense, and I hope I find some more places to find support and advice from feminists who have been or are in this position too. Even finding someone to vent with about the everyday frustrations would be wonderful!

  3. Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I wonder this a great deal, especially when it comes to tech business. I thought this piece published at Jezebel yesterday was timely in relation to this topic.

  4. Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I would like to unofficially add #26 to the list: Amanda Steinberg, Founder of http://www.dailyworth.com, a daily, fun money management blog for women. :)

  5. Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this! I’m in the process right now of trying to get funding for my own tech startup, so this is really inspiring!

  6. Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    It seems like startups cater to the software savvy community where and hackers are concerned primarily with intellect and often times are not even aware of the gender, race, religion, etc.. of their peers (see hacker manifesto http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/manifesto.html). My graduating computer science class was less than 5% female, and I can attest firsthand to seeing a lack of women in the entrepreneurial community. That said, it seems like glass ceiling issues are nonexistent, and I could understand how VC and angel money may be difficult to get as a female,but with the advent of cloud computing and overall low cost of creating websites to begin with, why is the disparity so great in this particular field? I’m sure it is a complex issue, but it seems like this is a field with the door wide open for some empowered women to come in and become leaders in some important places in our society. I am new to the feminist community, and am still trying to understand the complexities of the argument, but I am willing to put in the effort to try to comprehend it.

    As an active member of the entrepreneurial community is there anything I can do to help change this?

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