1. Prukalpa Sankar
India’s contribution to this list of leading women tech entrepreneurs in the world is a big data visionary.
She founded SocialCops along with Varun Banka in her final year of college to use data intelligence to solve critical world problems. Based out of Delhi, the startup has worked in association with the Indian government and institutions around the world to collect and visualize data and help decision-makers in making faster and smarter decisions.
Prukalpa Sankar was recognised as Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in 2016 for her achievements.
2. Ashwini Asokan
An Indian couple returning from the States founded another Indian startup of note. Asokan left a successful career at Intel in San Francisco to return to India and start MSD - Mad Street Den, an AI and computer vision company, in 2016. She aims to turn the phrase from 'women in tech' to 'people in tech' through a focus on gaining in-depth knowledge and relentless perseverance.
MSD’s product Vue.ai provides a one-stop platform for online retailers to engage their customers and digitally manage their catalogs. Its abilities include processing images of the products (such as clothes) and visualizing them on the prospective buyer, which has converted several retailers into users of Vue.ai.
3. Jennifer Tejada
Tejada took over as PagerDuty’s CEO in 2016, a company whose current valuation stands at $1.3 billion. It relies on Cloud Governance strategies to provide alerts and analyses regarding IT incidents to the concerned person.
With former experience in marketing at various levels and organisations, she was recruited into PagerDuty after its founders moved on.
She aims to create an enduring company, and it already boasts over half the Fortune companies as its customers as well as a diverse set of employees.
4. Edith Harbaugh
When Harbaugh and her partner John Kodumal first started LaunchDarkly in 2014, the concept did not appeal to investors. The idea was to create a platform that would enable software developers to deploy and test new features quickly and efficiently. Today, the business is a little shy of a billion dollars in valuation and continues to grow.
Success was not immediate for Harbaugh though. She attempted to start her own company in the 1990s and early 2000s and admits that they all failed. Her first successful entrepreneurial venture was born after she identified a problem with existing Software Development Services and co-founded LaunchDarkly.
5. May Al-Karooni
Al-Karooni heads UK’s largest reuse marketplace which she set up in 2013. Globechain offers an online platform for corporate to responsibly dispose e-waste and furniture. In alignment with its ‘commercial with a conscience’ strategy, it connects corporate with charities to ensure that resources are utilized to their fullest capacities and recovered at the end of the cycle.
The idea was born after she witnessed the massive waste her office generated while shifting to a location on the other side of the street. Al-Karooni’s problem solving has helped to divert more than 5.1 kilograms of waste from landfills in UK till date.
6. Lauren Washington
Washington’s journey as an entrepreneur began in 2014 when she saw a gap present in the social media market. She co-founded KeepUp, an app that automates social media management. The business was kick-started after she won the largest business plan competition in the world. 43North earned her $250,000 to start her own business.
Of the 17% of women entrepreneurs in the IT industry, even fewer are coloured women. She co-founded Black Women Talk Tech in 2017 to provide resources and funding to black women in starting their entrepreneurship endeavours.
7. Losie Leolin
Even among the relatively small percentage of women entrepreneurs in the IT industry, Leolin stands out as a gaming entrepreneur.
She started DinoBytes, an indie games company, along with her partner in 2015 after realizing that she was not cut out for a traditional desk job. It creates apps and games that rely on a user-centric design and attempt to provide an optimal user experience. She says that her experience as a female gamer motivated her to enter the gaming industry and tell her own stories in an attempt to encourage other women.
8. Alice Zhang
This fearless biology researcher went from being a student to heading a biotech company in hopes of defeating neurobiological diseases like ALS, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Her idea teams up machine learning and human genomics. The aim is to map out human genes to find the root cause for these diseases so that drugs can be developed to target them.
Verge Genomics has taken on a task that even seasoned professionals have abandoned and has raised $32 million to its cause.
9. Claudia King
11 years of legal work led King to identify a gap present in the legal industry—the absence of legal solutions online. This was the sprout that became Automio in 2017. King developed the bot as a means of freeing lawyers from the stress of billable hours. The bot enables firms to provide their services to customers online and thus saves the lawyer time on tedious documenting. This has also enabled customers to access legal services easily.
Currently, the New Zealand based Cloud Computing Services has over 130 firms on board with its services.
10. Reshma Suajani
Despite not being in the IT industry herself, Saujani is responsible for inspiring and providing resources for thousands of girls to pursue a career in the field. She is spearheading the revolution for initiating girls into software engineering.
She founded the non-profit organisation Girls Who Code in 2011, which has been responsible for equipping 90,000 girls with the skills required to pursue a career in IT. She continues to inspire women with her publications and TED talks, and she aims to have 1 million women in the tech industry by 2020.