Female Founders of Tech: From Paredes to Yu
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 P to Y
Paredes, Diana, Suade
Diana Paredes is CEO and co-founder of Suade, a software platform that lets financial institutions understand and deliver their regulatory requirements. Before founding Suade, which became profitable a year after launch, she worked in investment banking and believes that a data-driven approach to regulation is the key to preventing the next financial crisis.
Parsons, Kathryn, Decoded
Kathryn Parsons is bringing coding to the masses as co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded, which teaches people to code in a day. She’s also co-founder and ex-co-CEO of advertising agency the Scarlett Mark.
Payne, Samantha, Open Bionics
Open Bionics COO Samantha Payne co-founded her company, which creates bionic arms for amputees, at just 23. She is also an entrepreneur, digital marketer and journalist. She was recently named as one of the top 25 women in robotics you need to know about by Robohub.
Petgrave, Paris, We Love Work
Ex-headhunter Paris Petgrave is CEO of We Love Work, an award-winning people analytics platform that helps companies grow faster by using data to predict performance and fit. She is also the founder and investor in tech investment firm Rare Seed Capital and in 2013 launched start-up accelerator, Kaleidoscope enterprise.
Philbin, Maggie, TeenTech
Tech legend Maggie Philbin has received multiple awards during her career, including an OBE for her work to promote careers in STEM and the Creative Industries. She co-founded TeenTech, which helps young people get the tech skills they need, in 2008 and is president of the Institute of Engineering Designers. Older readers will remember her best as presenter on Tomorrow’s World.
Ramachandran, Anjali, Ada’s List
Anjali Ramachandran is co-founder of Ada’s List, a global network for women in technology which boasts over 4,000 members. She is also an editor at content studio Storythings and a member of the advisory board of Angel Academe, a pro-women angel investment group.
Russell, Heather, Biscuit Labs
Heather Russell started her first business at 19 selling Japanese animation artwork. At 24 she moved to Japan and built her second company Rinkya.com – a global eCommerce and logistics company. After five years in London as a start-up advisor and mentor she co-founded Biscuit Labs, which brings AI to energy management.
Sassow, Sandra, SEaB Energy
Making the world a cleaner place, Sandra Sassow is CEO and co-founder of SEaB Energy, which creates energy from organic waste. She also mentors and is director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as a member of WeConnect and the Chartered Institute of Waste Managers.
Savova, Romi, PensionBee
Following frustration trying to combine her pension schemes, ex-Goldman Sachs Romi Savova now wants her start-up PensionBee to make pensions cool. Having gained major press coverage Romi’s long-term ambition is to help 300,000 Brits control their retirement savings.
Shah, Sheeza, UpEffect
Sheeza Shah is founder and CEO of UpEffect, a crowdfunding and support platform for companies dedicated to improving lives and the planet. Its enterprise-solution approach and campaign-consultant model has driven the company’s 100 per cent success rate at securing funding for their campaigns.
Sherry, Rosie, Ministry of Testing
Once a software tester who wasn’t satisfied with the available resources, Rosie Sherry decided to do something about it. The result is the bootstrapped, self-funded Ministry of Testing, a global community and online learning platform with conferences across Europe and the US.
Shirley, Dame Stephanie, Freelance Programmers
At 83 Dame Stephanie Shirley has been making waves in tech for decades. Freelance Programmers, founded in 1962, has over 8,500 employees and specialises in tailor-made commercial software and business management. Although she is no longer involved in the company her work as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and speaker is extensive.
Sinel, Elena, Acorn Aspirations
Before building her businesses, Elena Sinel worked as an international development consultant and co-founded cross-border initiative Business Without Borders. Teenator, which is at concept stage, connects teens to tech mentors. Acorn Aspirations inspires teens through cutting-edge tech and is about to launch a nationwide VR hackathon.
Slater, Chelsea, Liverpool Girl Geeks
Chelsea Slater’s experiences of inequality in the tech sector inspired her to start Liverpool Girl Geeks, which empowers women in tech through events, workshops and courses. Now she is about to launch her second business and has ambitious plans to support teenage girls through a nationwide tech programme.
Smith-Nunes, Genevieve, ReadySaltedCode
Having a spinal implant has been a driver for Genevieve Smith-Nunes in her work, and has helped her engage and educate people of all ages. In 2013 she set up ReadySaltedCode CIC, a not-for-profit which provides STEAM-focused education, plus workshops, training and large-scale technology-enhanced classical ballet performances.
Sohoni, Reshma, Seedcamp
Reshma Sohoni is co-founder of Seedcamp, a company that invests early in world-class founders in order to make change through tech. It has invested in 250 start-ups since its launch a decade ago and is the first fund of its kind in Europe. Reshma is also an adviser and public speaker.
Sollberger, Alessandra, Evermore Health
Alessandra Sollberger set up her first business at 11 and since then has been investing in start-ups. She also set up a non-profit teaching IT and programming skills to children in disadvantaged areas. Since launching lifestyle brand Evermore, which uses AI and personalisation tech, she also mentors and speaks publically on technology.
Stinton, Felicity, Dead Right
Felicity Stinton’s Dead Right wants to disrupt the funeral market. By making people better informed they’re less likely to pay over the odds at a time when money isn’t top of their mind. Felicity had a successful career in advertising and is on the board and a shareholder at top ad agency BBH.
Sudbury, Hayley, WERKIN
WERKIN founder and CEO Hayley Sudbury is an LGBT+ leader, on the steering committee for LB Women and a Stemettes mentor. She is a regular tech and diversity speaker, and is a featured speaker for TEDx Shoreditch later this year. WERKIN is a mobile-first technology platform that supports mentoring and sponsorship programmes.
Teles, Ines, dwyl
Ines Teles is co-founder and CEO of dwyl – short for ‘do what you love’ – a digital agency specialising in building tech for good apps. She is also a director of Founders & Coders, the UK’s only free coding bootcamp, and runs Ladies of Code London which has over 2,800 members.
Trachet, Claire, wOndary
Claire Trachet believes that the right mind-set can make the world a better place, one traveller at a time – which is why after six years at Deutsche Bank she started advising start-ups and software firms. Claire then created wOndary, which helps empower people to travel through easy planning.
Vanessa Vallely, Julie Walters
Uggla, Julie-Anne, Cities Talking
Former model turned serial entrepreneur Julie-Anne Uggla launched Cities Talking in 2012, a mobile app which provides audio-guided city walks. The tours combine interesting content with engaging narration and can be accessed offline so users don’t have to pay roaming charges while abroad.
Vallely, Vanessa, WeAreTheCity
At the height of her 25 year career in financial services tech, Vanessa Vallely launched the award-winning WeAreTheCity.com to help corporate women connect and grow. The site has over 100,000 members and receives over 8 million hits a month. Vanessa is currently also an advisor for Government Digital Services.
Walters, Julie, Raremark
Raremark, Julie Walters’ third business, is an online community for families affected by rare disease – something which affects 350 million people globally. She launched the platform in 2016 and in the last year has built the world’s first patient-led search engine in rare disease with over 2,000 subscribers.
Wong, Colleen, Techsixtyfour
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of losing track of your child. Colleen Wong, an investment banker turned entrepreneur, founded Techsixtyfour in 2015 to help prevent that feeling. The company provides wearable mobile phones and trackers for kids, and sales for its Gator watch have soared since its launch at John Lewis in March 2017.
Yu, Angela, London App Brewery
Angela Yu is a self-taught programmer and iOS/WatchOS developer. She worked as a doctor for several years until she realised her passion has always been with teaching and coding, which led to starting the London App Brewery – an in-person programming and design bootcamp.
Enjoy the full list, extra content and interactive videos in the digital magazine below