If you haven’t heard about these startups, you should know.
Every year, around just 2% of venture capital finance goes to start-ups founded by women. But despite the lack of faith in women-led companies and historical biases against women leaders, five have cracked the glass ceiling and risen to the top in their respective industries.
Based in Australia and led by founder Sarah Pearce, Travelshoot is a platform that provides a way to connect travelers with local and professional photographers. Instead of candid selfies that completely obscure the background or relying on other tourists to get photos of us, travelers will be paired with people who know the nooks and crannies to take you to the most picturesque locations of their home city like no one else.
In 2015, Travelshoot was recognized as Australia’s favorite new business concept in the “My Shark Tank Australia” competition, a TV program that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals that could make them millionaires. Since then, Travelshoot has expanded their business and sourced talented photographers not only in Australia but across the globe. Travelshoot makes it their mission to help their guests capture once-in-a-lifetime memories in over 90 cities across the globe.
Personal genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe was founded in 2006 by Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza and Anne Wojcicki to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.
Their Ancestry + Traits Service helps consumers understand who they are, where their DNA comes from and their family history. It requires submitting a saliva sample using the company’s saliva collection kit that users can send to their lab based in the United States for analysis. The labs analyze, compile and distill consumers’ DNA information into reports on their ancestry composition, traits and Neanderthal ancestry. The company also provides a DNA Relatives tool to enable consumers to connect with relatives who share similar DNA.
Melanie Perkins came up with the idea for Canva in 2007 when she was a private tutor for students learning graphic design. She noticed the difficulties they had in learning how to use design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Perkins thought there was a business opportunity in making the design process easier.
In 2013, Canva was developed by Perkins along with co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams. The graphic design platform is free to use and can be utilized to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content, empowering everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.
Carla White founded the Gratitude Journal back in 2008 and became the first woman to launch a mobile app. Fast forward more than a decade and the app is now widely available in both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
White’s goal is to help people find happiness and mindfulness within themselves. Their prompt journal feature sends notifications to users with journal prompts, like “What made you smile today” or “What was the best part about today”, to encourage users to reflect on the things that they are thankful for. Another feature is daily positive “pick me up” affirmations: users can discover new affirmations, such as “I am worthy” or “I am enough”, or create their own to practice positive self-talk.
When Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe launched the dating app in 2014, she sought out to create a platform that could make the online dating experience more comfortable and less creepy for women. The app successfully turns traditional dating norms upside down: after “matching” with one another, the woman must be the one to make the first move, to initiate conversation so that a potential relationship can move forward.
Seven years later, Bumble has more than 100 million users worldwide. In February, Bumble went public and has since soared to a market value of more than US$13 billion after listing its shares.
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