Posted on December 18, 2017 by staff

Female Founders of Tech: From Adelman to Cummings


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 A to C.

Adelman, Sophie, WhiteHat

Sophie Adelman is supercharging the next generation of tech talent as a mentor and advisor, and co-founder and general manager of talent accelerator WhiteHat. The company helps young people launch their careers at the best possible companies through apprenticeships.

Alys, Stephanie, MysteryVibe

Sporting possibly the best job title ever, Stephanie Alys is co-founder and Chief Pleasure Officer (CPO) of award-winning smart tech pleasure brand MysteryVibe. She has also been featured in major publications such as the Times and WIRED and regularly appears as a keynote speaker on international stages.

Aslam, Mevish, Terminal 3/Sprinters

Ex-lawyer turned entrepreneur Mevish Aslam has spent over five years developing start-up ecosystems around the world. Terminal 3 reinvents traditional learning and development while Sprinters is a women in tech social enterprise. Mevish is also a coach, strategist, talent advisor and business developer.

Black, Dr Sue OBE, #techmums

Tech royalty Dr Sue Black is an honorary professor, a Government Digital Service advisory board member, social entrepreneur, writer and acclaimed public speaker. Her company #techmums teaches mums the tech skills they need to get back into business and she set up the UK’s first online network for women in tech BCSWomen in 1998.

Bonner-Cooke, Leanne, Evolve-IT Consulting

Having raised the funds to start her business in 2007, a decade later Leanne Bonner-Cooke’s business Evolve has grown into a global multiple award-winning software solutions provider across many industries. Her awards cabinet includes Business Woman of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year.

Bretland, Julie, Our Mobile Health

Julie Bretland has many accolades to her name, including winner of the Deloitte’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Founders Award, and being a founding member of the GSM Association’s ‘Connected Women’ programme. Her company Our Mobile Health assesses health apps so that organisations know which are the best for their patients.

Brock, Vicky, Clear Returns

Vicky Brock won Innovator of the Year at the 2014 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards and led Clear Returns to the spot of top Tech StartUp in Europe according to the European Commission. She has two non-tech businesses alongside Clear Returns, which uses data to help retailers to predict and prevent returns. Her latest business is called Get Market Fit.

Brockwell, Holly, Gadgette

Editor Holly Brockwell started non-profit website Gadgette to be an inclusive site that believes technology is for everybody. Holly also works at journalism start-up WikiTribune where one of her roles is to increase the diversity of the audience and community through direct outreach.

Brooke, Emily MBE, Blaze

Emily Brooke is on a mission to make cycling safer for London through Blaze, a tech and design start-up which creates products for urban cyclists. She and her 12-strong team launched both items in Blaze’s product range through crowdfunding investment and was awarded an MBE for services to the Economy and Transport.

Bumbra, Rav, Structur3dpeople

Following a 20-year career in tech, working mum Rav Bumbra decided to move into recruitment to get a better work-life balance. It was there she realised how few women were getting into the tech industry and started tech recruitment and career development consultancy Structur3dpeople.

Butkovic, Marija, Women of Wearables/Kisha Smart Umbrella

Marija Butkovic has many strings to her bow – from a law degree to starting Kisha Smart Umbrella – the world’s smartest fashion tech umbrella – and co-founding Women of Wearables, UK’s and Europe’s first organisation supporting, connecting and mentoring women in wearable tech and more. She is a mentor, investor and STEM ambassador.

Cabili, Karin, Dropit

After founding her first company at the age of 20, Karin Cabili started Dropit in 2014 after no one could deliver a pair of boots from the store to her hotel whilst on business trip in New York. This formed Dropit’s strategy – using technology to connect businesses and enhance the customer experience.

Camisotti, Cristiana, Silicon Milkroundabout & SMR Scotland

After five years as co-founder and CCO at Silicon Milkroundabout and SMR Scotland, the UK’s number one tech job fair, Cristiana Camisotti is now COO at EDITED. She is passionate about helping under-represented groups get into the tech industry.

 Carrell, Rachel, Koru Kids

As the former CEO of, the world’s largest online doctor service, Rachel Carrell grew the business to 1.3 million paying patients in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. However it was when she had her first baby and saw how difficult and expensive childcare was that she decided to found childcare platform Koru Kids.

Celestial-One, Saasha & Cook, Tessa, OLIO

Tessa Cook is a farmer’s daughter from North Yorkshire, Saasha Celestial-One was born to ‘Iowa hippy entrepreneurs’. Saasha is ex-McKinsey and while on maternity leave in 2012 she opened her first business in London. Tessa has worked at Dyson and Wonga UK, where she kick-started the turnaround of the business. The pair launched food-sharing app OLIO in 2015.

Cerrone, Emma, Freeformers

Emma Cerrone is co-founder and partner of Freeformers, a workforce technology and transformation company. She is an award-winner who was previously named as the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards as well as a 2016 NatWest Women in Tech to watch.

Chakraverty, Julie, Rungway

Julie Chakraverty is the founder of Rungway, a platform that helps employees give and seek advice on work and life challenges. She is also a non-executive director at Standard Life Aberdeen and a trustee for the Girls Day School Trust. She has been a board member of UBS Investment Bank, winning multiple industry awards for innovation.

Chaletzos, Nena, Luxtripper

Nena Chaletzos co-founded Luxtripper four years ago and has grown the company every year as CEO. She is also part of the Mayor of London’s international Program, and is also launching another business, Travel Genetics, this year.

Clark, Elizabeth, Dream Agility

Elizabeth Clark is the larger-than-life co-founder and CEO of Dream Agility, which matches retailer data to Google keyword searches without changing the site’s wording. She is also a mentor, multiple award winner, an accomplished international speaker and author of Flirting for Dummies.

Clegg, Judith, Takeout Innovation Agency

Serial entrepreneur Judith Clegg is a Fortune 500 board-level strategy consultant and an angel investor. She is also the founder of boutique business solutions consultancy Takeout and The Glasshouse, which offers support to tech entrepreneurs and investors. She co-created the #HANDSOFF campaign and is the founding director of Moonfruit.

Cockerton, Claire, Plexal

Claire Cockerton is the founder and CEO of Plexal, the 68,000-square foot innovation ecosystem for start-ups, scale-ups and enterprises. She also founded ENTIQ, an innovation advisory and delivery firm, and was founding director and CEO of Innovate Finance.

Cook, Jodie, JC Social Media

After founding JC Social Media Jodie Cook was determined to raise the standards of social media marketing and inspire others to start their careers in the sector. She developed Flaunt Report, which social media agencies now use for their reporting and wrote a series of books to develop enterprising skills in primary school children.

Cordwell, Lou, Magnetic North

Instrumental in the North’s digital scene, Lou Cordwell set up digital design agency magneticNorth 17 years ago in response to the changing digital landscape. Now she’s also director in the north for female funding platform AllBright, a board member for the Manchester LEP and advisory board chair of Design Manchester.

Coutu, Sherry CBE, Founders4Schools

One of tech’s most familiar faces, Sherry Coutu has been founding companies for over 20 years. Two of the most well-known are Founders4Schools, which helps students find jobs at start-ups and scale-ups, and The Scaleup Institute. She is also an angel investor and philanthropist.

Cummings, Susie, Nurole

Susie Cummings used to be a top-tier headhunter and is now founder and CEO of one of Europe’s most successful innovative recruitment platforms for board and senior executive roles, Nurole. She is also a patron of the Academy Ambassadors, a not-for-profit programme funded by the Department for Education.