Tech startups are the future. Overstatement? No. Definitely not. Thankfully, the future is female—or, at least, more female than the past (not that this is a high bar to clear). Women in tech are reaching heights in 2018 that surpass years of male dominance, particularly in the tech industry that found a home in Los Angeles. It’s a thriving community of female tech entrepreneurs. Here are five of the most inspiring women who lead tech startups in L.A.
Based in Santa Monica, Tradesy is a peer-to-peer fashion marketplace that strives to make it not only simple but actually fun to sell your stuff to other people. It’s also Tracy DiNunzio’s brainchild. DiNunzio saw a need in her life and filled it by starting her own company.
“When I started Tradesy, I had no technology experience, so I worked 18-hour days, spending at least half of my time diligently learning every aspect of running an online business, including website design, marketing, and customer service,” she told Forbes in 2013.
Startup: Beautycon Media
Beautycon connects content creators, celebrities, fans, and brands dedicated to fashion, beauty, and style. Beautycon Media is the parent company responsible for the Beautycon Festivals, the Beautycon Box, and now Beautycon Digital.
Moj Mahdara took over as the CEO of Beautycon in 2015, and it has exploded under her leadership.
“I came to it with a ton of ambition and ideas about what would be the ultimate media property,” she told Forbes in 2017.
Natalie Edell works days as an A&R executive in the record business and is launching IndieU, a company that will connect indie music artists with fans looking to discover new favorites. She’s putting her passion for music and experience in the industry to use to fill a niche she knows fans want.
“Working at these labels, I definitely think my mind changed in the way that I was perceiving mainstream music,” Edell told Built in Los Angeles in 2016. “I think the realization that these companies were telling us what to listen to and that there are so many independent artists out there who were extremely talented was really what caused my mind to change.”
Startup: Ms. Cheat Sheet
Kathryn Cicoletti’s startup, Ms. Cheat Sheet, helps empower women in a very important way: by educating them about online investing. The subscription service helps simplify complex financial topics and gives women the confidence they need to get involved in investing. She uses humor to make intimidating topics approachable and fun.
“I’m generalizing and poking fun at the entire financial sector, and trying to do it in a way that points out the obvious, helping a mainstream audience better understand things that come fairly easily to me,” she told Forbes in 2014. “Sometimes I mess up and cross over that line, but then I just send out another tweet saying I feel like an ass, and move on. It’s a process, but I definitely feel like I’ve found my voice.”
Meredith Perry founded uBeam in 2012. The company creates products that wirelessly send electricity through the air to charge devices remotely. With an idea as genius and innovative as that, it’s no surprise Perry worked at NASA before becoming an entrepreneur.
“In the beginning, I looked at every possible option. I just wanted to solve a problem. And that was: I don’t want to plug in my laptop anymore,” she explained to Fortune in 2014. “I want to be able to move around a room and use all my devices without plugging them in. And I learned that ultrasound was the only type of technology that would work for the experience we are trying to give, which is the Wi-Fi for charging.”