Female Founders of Tech: From de Tusch-Lec to Inglesby
Proving that tech is no longer ‘male, pale and stale’, BusinessCloud was inundated with nominations for its Female Founders of Tech list.
Historically tech has been a male-dominated industry, which is why BusinessCloud launched a mission to find examples of women who have used tech in some way and turned it into a first-rate business.
Publication of the list builds on the incredible reception our 100 Female Role Models in Tech list enjoyed in 2016.
The list received over 3 million impressions on Twitter and won widespread praise but this year we decided to tweak the criteria to focus on women who have been involved in founding a tech company.
The judges wanted the 101 finalists – which they ended up pushing to 104 due to three businesses being co-founded by a female team – to be a celebration of the incredible women across the UK that are driving growth and innovation through tech.
We think they more than achieve that.
The age of entrants ranged from 17 to 83 and the list is in alphabetical order. If you want to comment on Twitter you can use the hashtag #FemaleFounders101.
Our entire top 101 will be featured on our website this week. Today we run through those with surnames from D to I.
de Tusch-Lec, Vivien, Bubele
Vivien de Tusch-Lec started her career as a journalist for the Financial Times and Reuters, then in 2015 founded parenting start-up Bubele, where she is still CEO. Over 18 months the company built a network of 50 local editors across the UK generating content for its 150,000 subscribers. Its clients included Made.com, Ocado and Hello Fresh.
Depledge, Alex MBE, BuildPath
Alex Depledge is on a roll. After selling Hassle.com, the world’s first online architectural platform in 2015, she is now CEO of her second business BuildPath, which became profitable in four months. She also received an MBE for services to the Sharing Economy 2016 and is Chair of Coalition for the Digital Economy Board.
Deschamps-Sonsino, Alexandra, Good Night Lamp
Her Good Night Lamp IoT company helped Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino scoop top place in Postscapes’ list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers in 2016 and her work has been exhibited at the V&A and galleries around the world. She is a start-up advisor and was also part of the Mozilla Leadership Network Advisory Group.
Doyle-Morris, Dr. Suzanne, InclusIQ Institute
Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris is an academic, author and built a self-funded company from the ground up. InclusIQ builds online games used in training groups to help people adopt inclusive leadership best practice. She is also one of the very few female entrepreneurs to have received SMART funding from Scottish Enterprise.
Egorsheva, Olga, Lobster
Olga Egorsheva’s first taste of entrepreneurship came via a family photography business which she founded with her father in 2005. Joining forces with her two co-founders in 2014 she became CEO of Lobster, a marketplace for creatives to search and license social media content directly from real people, and computer generated music.
Eltz, Stephanie, Doctify
Doctify co-founder Stephanie Eltz was an orthopaedic surgeon before she moved into entrepreneurship two-and-a-half years ago. She is currently head of growth and strategy for the start-up, which connects patients with doctors and has been described as the ‘booking.com’ for the health industry. She is also on the board of pharmaceutical start-up Hamoedica.
Bec Evans, Alex Farrell & Rebecca McAra
Evans, Bec, Prolifiko
With over 15 years’ experience in publishing and communications most of Bec Evans’s career was traditional, in-house, senior management. Then she got the idea for Prolifiko, a digital productivity coach which helps people start and stick at their writing projects. In July Bec and her co-founders pitched to Ignite and were accepted on their accelerator programme.
Farrell, Alex & McAra, Rebecca, Gift Wink
Gift Wink was co-founded by two women on a mission to start a gifting revolution. Alex Farrel and Rebecca McAra want to make gift giving easier with their online gift matching platform. Alex also previously launched one of the biggest tech careers platforms in Europe, The IT Job Board, and is an active angel investor.
Feldman, Hannah, Kidadl
Ex-Linklaters lawyer and UBS banker Hannah Feldman worked for Dragons’ Den’s James Caan before founding Kidadl in 2016. The site is the place for families to dig out the best things to do in and around London and since launching in July 2017 has added 12,000 parents to its online community.
Fenichell, Sofia, Mrs Wordsmith
Serial entrepreneur Sofia Fenichell founded video app companies Rockpack and WonderPL and was a tech analyst at investment banks before starting Mrs Wordsmith. The company is illustrating the English language with the lead artists behind Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania, and creating products to accelerate vocabulary development and literacy.
Fish, Helen, Beatstream Media
After starting several businesses and spending six years living in Milan, Helen Fish moved back to Manchester to focus on her first tech business, music start-up Beatstream. The company has developed a streaming app which lets viewers watch music from bars, clubs and music venues as it happens around the world.
Follows, Tracey, Female Futures Bureau
Female Futures Bureau is a not-for-profit which connects female futurists with the press and events media to help create gender diversity in the media. Tracey is a professional futurist, regularly writes for the press, has spoken at the UN on the future of gender, and at events like TEDx.
Freeman, Cherry, LoveCrafts
Since co-founding popular online crafting hub LoveCrafts in 2012 Cherry Freeman has helped grow the business to 140 employees. She has also been a strategy director and software business unit director at Computacenter, done advisory work with Mimecast, New Voice Media and Symantec and been a non-executive governor of City University for nine years.
Godfrey, Gemma, Moola
Ex-quantum physicist Gemma Godfrey’s Moola helps people achieve their money goals. Featured by The Times as a “route to the best financial advice”, Gemma was also advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger on Celebrity Apprentice and is the money expert on the hit ITV show “Eat, Shop, Save”.
Gold, Sarah, Projects by IF
Sarah Gold is a designer forming and creating our digital rights. Winning a Creative Conscience Gold prize, she also founded IF, a design studio that specialises in privacy and security. Sarah sits on the board for Tech for Good and is a practitioner for the Research Institute in the Science of Cyber Security.
Griffiths, Jenny, Snap Tech
As the founder of Snap Tech, Jenny Griffiths’ first product is Snap Fashion, which lets users take pictures of products to find where it, or something similar, is sold. She incorporated Snap Fashion at just 23 and was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to digital innovation in the fashion industry.
Gross, Karoline, Smartzer
After attending medical school Karoline Gross started an LA-based production company. She then launched Smartzer in 2014 and has built the video ecommerce and analytics platform into an award-winning start-up boasting clients like Puma and Adidas.
Grover, Riya & Swanton, Lyz, Feedr
Feedr CEO Riya Grover is the marketing, sales and product brain of the business. She launched her first tech start-up whilst at Harvard Business School. The food tech start-up’s COO Lyz Swanton is the operations and analytics brain of the business and has previously implemented mobile health technology in rural Africa.
Guderley, Jacquelyn, Salomé
Jacquelyn Guderley has an impressive tech legacy as co-founder of Stemettes, which she left to start Salomé, a literary magazine for emerging female writers. She is also in the steering committee and management group for Tech Talent Charter and a Tech London Advocate for Women in Tech.
Hardwick, Liz, DigiEnable
Liz Hardwick is co-founder of DigiEnable, a digital training & SEO services company. She designs and delivers tech-based and online marketing workshops, and regularly speaks at events across the UK. Liz is also chair of the UK Women’s Equality Committee for BECTU and one of the organising team for Women in Tech North UK.
Hodges, Jill, Fire Tech Camp
Jill Hodges has inspired hundreds of children with technology through Fire Tech’s courses. As the UK’s largest provider of tech courses and camps for 9-17-year-olds, Jill’s company is creating a collaborative community of innovators, creators and makers.
Hubbard, Joanna, Electron
Joanna Hubbard is the COO and co-founder of Electron: a digital energy start-up, building blockchain platforms and ecosystems for and with the energy industry. Before Electron she spent four years in renewable energy investment banking, worked in a cleantech VC and consulted on digital transformation at McKinsey.
Hutcheon, Leah, Appointedd
Leah Hutcheon is the founder and CEO of Appointedd. Following an eclectic career from theatre management to journalism, she is now an ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland, director of Future Leaders for Entrepreneurial Scotland and a #ScotEDGE Award winner who was featured in BBC documentary The Entrepreneurs.
Imafidon, Anne-Marie, Stemettes
After passing two GCSEs aged ten Anne-Marie Imafidon was destined for great things. She is CEO, ‘Head Stemette’ & co-founder of Stemettes which has inspired over 14,000 girls & young women into STEM. She co-founded the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls and at 27 was awarded an MBE for services to young women and STEM.
Inglesby, Iona, Dot One
Iona Inglesby has a background in textile and product design but a passion for genetics, making Dot One – which creates personalised apparel based on your DNA – her perfect match.
Enjoy the full list with extra content and interactive videos in the digital magazine below