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Brooklyn Bridge | © 12019/Pixabay
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Brooklyn’s Most Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs

Picture of Peter Ward
Tech Editor
Updated: 26 October 2017
Entrepreneurship is a tough road for everybody, full of disappointments, challenges, and self-sacrifice. But if you’re a woman trying to succeed in this male-dominated world, you’re going to experience another level of difficulty. Thankfully, there are some women entrepreneurs who do break through the patriarchy, and do so in style. Here we celebrate 10 of the best from Brooklyn.

Nancy Kruger Cohen, Mouth Foods

Nancy Kruger Cohen is the co-founder and chief creative officer at Mouth Foods, an online food market. Prior to starting up Mouth, she was art director at Metropolis, ESPN Magazine, Details, and New Woman, and created ad campaigns at Carlson + Partners for Ralph Lauren brands. She’s also written for publications such as The New York Times Magazine.

Nancy Kruger Cohen | © Todd France / Courtesy Mouth Foods
Nancy Kruger Cohen | Courtesy Mouth Foods

Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill, ToyMail

Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill founded ToyMail when the two best friends were working on a new way to voice chat with kids. The two wanted to make a physical toy rather than a phone, and wanted to make it as simple as possible. That’s how ToyMail began.

In February 2017 ToyMail appeared on Shark Tank, and Nanda, presenting on her own due to Hill’s scheduling conflicts, pitched the idea to the sharks, and walked away with a $600,000 investment for five percent of the company. Nanda previously invented Clocky, a traveling alarm clock, while she was a graduate student at MIT’s Media Lab.

Toymail co-founders Audry Hill and Gauri Nanda | Courtesy of Toymail
Toymail co-founders Audry Hill and Gauri Nanda | Courtesy Toymail

Emily Heyward, Red Antler

Red Antler, a branding company that specializes in startups, was co-founded by Emily Heyward, who previously worked in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi and JWT. She is now head of the strategy team at Red Antler and has lent her branding expertise to the likes of Casper, Zagat, Birchbox, and Allbirds.

Emily Heyward | Courtesy of Red Antler
Emily Heyward | Courtesy Red Antler

Nisha Garigarn, Croissant

Croissant, which was cofounded by Nish Garigarn in 2015, offers its members access to coworking spaces across New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, and L.A. Nisha only learned to code two years prior to starting the company, which was born out of a TechCrunch hackathon.

Nisha Garigarn | Courtesy of Croissant
Nisha Garigarn | Courtesy Croissant

Allison Kopf, Agrilyst

Allison Kopf is the founder and CEO of Agrilyst, the virtual agronomist. Agrilyst makes it easier for farms to manage operations and scale past profitability. Agrilyst won the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco in 2015, while Kopf has won 2016 Changemaker of the Year by the Association of Vertical Farming and Entrepreneur of the Year by Brooklyn. Kopf serves on the boards of the Santa Clara University School of Engineering and Cornell University’s Controlled Environment Agriculture program. She’s also a mentor with #BUILTBYGIRLS, an organization helping get more women into tech jobs, and Square Roots Grow, an urban farming and entrepreneurship platform.

Prior to creating Agrilyst, Kopf worked with BrightFarms, which builds and operates greenhouses.

Allison Kopf | Courtesy of Agrilyst
Allison Kopf | Courtesy Agrilyst

Daniela Perdomo, goTenna

When Daniela Perdomo and her brother Jorge saw the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, they started working on a prototype for goTenna, which allows people to communicate when cell towers, Wi-Fi and other services are down. goTenna works almost like a walkie-talkie, to provide much-needed communications during disasters.

Daniela is the CEO of the company, while Jorge is VP of product.

Daniela Perdomo | Courtesy of goTenna
Daniela Perdomo | Courtesy goTenna

Katelyn Gleason, Eligible

Katelyn Gleason was previously a professional stage actor and a sales manager before founding Eligible in 2011. Her remarkable story involves a dramatic change in life direction, from aspiring to gracing Broadway to a successful tech entrepreneur.

Eligible, which offers APIs to the healthcare sector, has since received over $25 million in investment, according to Crunchbase. Eligible is a graduate from the Y Combinator accelerator program in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength since, attracting investment from some big names in tech.

Emily Doubilet and Jessica Holsey, Susty Party

Susty Party creates disposable, eco-friendly tableware and home goods that are party-ready and responsibly made. It’s two founders Emily Doubilet and Jessica Holsey met at a party, and decided to start a business that would have a positive effect on the world.

Doubilet studied Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and created environmentally-themed parties and art pieces before meeting her co-founder. Holsey studied economics at Harvard and after graduating found a job in New York on Wall Street. Her entrepreneurial spirit moved her to start her own thing, and after meeting Doubilet, decided Susty would be it.