- Courtesy of SoulCycle
We recently released our annual list of the coolest, most inspiring people in New York City tech right now, the Silicon Alley 100.
The tech industry is notoriously male-dominated, so we wanted to tip our hats to the women of New York tech, the investors, innovators, founders, CEOs, and everyone in between making a mark on the scene.
Scroll down to see some of the incredible women who are building and funding the next great companies. Some of them have established their high-power careers already, and others are rising rockstars you should keep an eye on.
23. Hilary Gosher
- YouTube/Fox Business
Managing director, Insight Venture Partners
Since it was founded in 1995, venture-capital firm Insight Venture Partners has raised more than $7.6 billion and invested in companies like Udemy, Zenefits, Docker, Nextdoor, and Hootsuite. Gosher personally founded and leads Insight Onsite, the team that helps drive scale and growth for the companies in the firm’s portfolio.
Recently, Insight led a $160 million series D round for ride-sharing startup BlaBlaCar, valuing the company at $1.2 billion. In the last year, notable investments included a $100 million series B round in cloud company Mirantis and a $40 million round in education tech startup Instructure. Not a bad year for Insight.
22. Karlie Kloss
- Instagram/Karlie Kloss
Model, student, entrepreneur
Model Karlie Kloss is more than just a pretty face. The Victoria’s Secret Angel is a student, programmer, and entrepreneur. In the spring, Klossstarted taking classes at The Flatiron School, where she learned how to code. She was so inspired by her experience thatshe started Kode With Karlie, a scholarship competition that sends girls age 13-18 to the school. Back in 2012, Kloss also launchedKarlie’s Kookies, a collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar and the Feed Foundation, an organization that provides food and education to children in need. For every “Perfect 10 Kookie” sold, Feed donates 10 meals to children around the world.
And as of this fall Kloss can add college student to her list of ventures – shestarted classes at New York University.
21. Marcela Sapone
- Alfred founders Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck
Cofounder and CEO, Alfred
Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck met at Harvard Business School, fresh out of stints in the finance world. To keep their lives in order and their apartments clean, they had hired someone from Craigslist to buy their groceries and do their laundry. The woman they hired, Jenny, came to their apartments to take care of errands that would otherwise pile up. This was the earliest iteration of what would become their company, Alfred.
Today, Alfred is a startup that hires employees – Alfred Client Managers, or just “Alfreds” – to run weekly errands: things like buying your groceries, sorting your mail, dropping off packages, and taking care of your laundry for you. You pay $99 a month for the service, plus the cost of things like your groceries.
In May, Alfred raised a$10.5 million Series A round of fundingfrom New Enterprise Associates,Spark Capital, CrunchFund, and Sherpa Capital. In total, Alfred has raised $12.5 million since it was founded in 2013.
20. Alexandra Keating
- Business Insider Australia
Cofounder and CEO, DWNLD
These days it seems like everybody has an app in the App Store. And why not? It’s a great way to make extra money while putting out a product that you believe in. Alexandra Keating is capitalizing on that idea with DWNLD, a mobile app-creation platform that helps companies, brands, and other influencers easily and affordably turn their content, from social media to photos to videos to GIFs, into native mobile apps in minutes. DWNLD landed a $12 million investment from Greylock Partners in September,and works with clients like Nylon, xoJane, and a number of YouTube stars and bloggers.
19. Alanna Gregory and Cristin Armstrong
Founder and CEO (Gregory), first employee (Armstrong), Vive
Few things make a woman feel more fabulous than a fresh blowout. But at $40 to $90 a pop in New York City, it’s a luxury that quickly adds up. Enter Vive, a “ClassPass for blowouts” that lets members book unlimited blowout appointments at salons in Manhattan for just $99 a month. Founded by Alanna Gregory, Vive launched earlier this year and is still working with investors to raise funding.
Though the service isn’t perfect yet, it’s definitely gaining traction. Vive capitalizes on the popularity of on-demand services like Uber that make it possible to get what you want when you want it, relatively hassle-free.
18. Liz Wessel
WayUp (formerly Campus Job)is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-age users signing up weekly. Listings on the website include freelancing gigs, bartending jobs, and campus representative roles for companies.
WayUp was born out of a campus-rep company that former Googler Liz Wessel had started with a fellow student at Penn; it’s an alternative to a college career-service center and Symplicity, a job board employers have to pay for postings on. It recently wentthrough the startup accelerator Y Combinator, moved back to New York from Silicon Valley, and raisedover $9 millionin May, bringing its total funding to $10.3 million.
17. Reham Fagiri
- Vimeo/MeetAdvisors Videox
Reham Ragiri recently took her company, which is transforming the preowned-furniture marketplace in New York City, through prestigious startup incubator Y Combinator.
She and cofounder Kalam Dennis developed their service so that buyers and sellers of used furniture don’t have to coordinate delivery or pick-up times, or even do the actual delivering or picking up themselves. AptDeco has a delivery partner that does it all, taking one of the biggest hassles of trying to buy or sell furniture in New York City out of the equation.
16. Melissa McCreery, Kathryn Minshew, and Alex Cavoulacos
Cofounders, The Muse
Melissa McCreery, Kathryn Minshew, and Alex Cavoulacos are the cofoundersof the job-search and career-advice siteThe Muse. This year, it raised a $10 million series A roundof funding from investors including Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital Partner, and QED Investors. In total, the Y Combinator startup has raised $12.8 millionfrom investors.
The Muse receives3 million active users every month and is competing with other career-advice and job-search sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com. By the end of 2015, The Muse expects to hire 25 people. The startup also wants to expand to skills development. Compared to the average age of users on LinkedIn – 47 – The Muse’s is much lower at 29.
15. Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman
- Courtesy of Rent The Runway
Cofounders, Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway, a website that lets women rent and return designer dresses for special events, raised$60 million in a series D round of financing led by Technology Crossover Ventures in December 2014. To date, the company has raised a total of $114.4 million from investors including Advance Publications, Bain Capital Partners, American Express, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Condé Nast.
The clothes-sharing service continues to expand, capitalizing on the fact that women care more aboutfeelinggreat for an event than actuallyowningthe dress they wear. Rent the Runway hasmore than 5 million shoppersand operatesfour brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can rent clothing and accessories.
14. Angela Ceresnie
Cofounder and CFO, Orchard Platform
Orchard Platform, a fintech company that provides technology and infrastructure for marketplace lending, has attracted millions in VC funding, including a recent $30 million series B round led by Thrive Capital with Spark Capital, Canaan Partners, Victory Park Capital, and Thomvest Ventures. Ceresnie, who previously worked on credit risk analytics at American Express and Citibank, says her traditional finance background gave her a basis for marketplace lending.
Wall Streeters are also throwing their hats in the ring for Orchard, as they see peer-to-peer loans as a potentially huge moneymaker for them.
13. Shana Fisher
- Brian Ach / Getty Images
Managing partner, High Line Venture Partners
Shana Fisher is easily one of Silicon Alley’s best investors. The managing partner of High Line Venture Partners, she’s renowned as one of the earliest investors in companies like Pinterest, ShopHers, Makerbot, Vine, and Refinery29, all of which have gone on to become worth millions. In the last year, some her investments have been in rapidly growing startups like UCode, Ringly, and PillPack.
12. Christina Sass
Andela is a program that finds the best and brightest students or programmers in Africa – the continent which has the most untapped potential tech talent, according to cofounder and CEO Jeremy Johnson. Before Andela, Sass founded educational programs in her home state of Georgia as well as in China, Kenya, Nigeria, Palestinian territories, and other parts of the US.
Andela trains programmers and places them in jobs at startups or Fortune 500 companies. The company launched last July and plans to develop a new model for how companies staff their organizations. In June, Andela raised a $10 million series A round from Spark Capital and Arena Ventures.
11. Ara Katz
- Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Online-shopping app Spring is now the first major mobile shopping mall, thanks to a$25 million series B round of fundingin April. The round included investments fromSpring cofounder David Tisch’s seed fund, BoxGroup, as well as Yuri Milner, Groupe Arnault, Google Ventures, and Thrive Capital, bringing the company’s total amount of capital raised toover $30 million. Katz is cofounder and CMO and, in addition to Spring, Katz advises a number of other startups.
The app, which allows customers to immediately purchase any product with a single swipe, also reportedly received an investment from Snapchat earlier this year, Re/code reported, although reps for both companiesdeclined to comment.
10. Kate Ward
- Kate Ward/Twitter
Editor-in-chief Kate Ward and founder Bryan Goldberg’s publication for women announced at the end of last year that it now sees 20 million monthly readers, up from 10 million last July. At the same time, it raised a $15.5 million series C round of financing, led by General Catalyst Partners.
The site, launched in August 2013, aims to be the ultimate content site for women, covering everything from news to fashion to entertainment. And after meeting with a dose of criticism in the beginning, Bustle has managed to convert many of its critics into fans.
9. Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin
- c/o The Skimm
Cofounders, The Skimm
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin quit their jobs at NBC to start a daily email newsletter calledThe Skimm. In December 2014, The Skimmraised a $6.3 million series A roundfrom Greycroft Partners, Irving Azoff, and RRE Ventures, bringing its total funding to date
TheOprah Winfrey-endorsed newsletter launched three years ago. The last time subscriber numbers were released the count was at 1.5 million. “We’ve grown a lot since then,” Zakintold BI a few months ago. In addition to growing its readership, The Skimm has grown from two friends on a couch to 14 people in an office.
8. Alexa Von Tobel
- Tedx Talks
Founder and CEO, LearnVest
In March, Learnvest, a financial-planning startup, was acquired by Northwest Mutual for more than $250 million in cash,Business Insider reported.
Learnvest was started by Alexa von Tobel – a former Morgan Stanley trader – in 2007 as a way to make financial services affordable. The company provides free online resources to help readers manage money, including articles and advice on budgeting, investing, and money habits, as well as paid financial planning services. For$299 a month, members are given a fully customized financial planand paired with a certified financial planner available 24/7.
7. Lisa Falzone
- Revel Systems
CEO, Revel Systems
Revel Systemssells point-of-sale systems based on Apple’s iOS mobile platform. Since its 2010 founding, Revel Systems has sold its POS systems to 10,000 customers – including Dairy Queen, Goodwill, and Tully’s Coffee. Its employee count has doubled in the past year, from 200 to 400 people, and Revel Systems has deals with tech companies like Apple and Intuit.
In November 2014, Lisa Falzone’s company raised a $110 million round of funding led by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe. In August, it raised another $13 million at a$500 million valuation.
6. Payal Kadakia and Mary Biggins
Gym rats love ClassPass, a service that lets users take unlimited classes (up to three per location) at boutique fitness studios for aflat fee of $125 a month. Not only does the ClassPass give users a steep discount on pricey classes like Pure Barre and SoulCycle, but it allows them to try a multitude of things, from spin to hot yoga to Pilates.
Investors are pretty keen on ClassPass as well. The startup isvalued at about $400 million, and raised$40 million in January in a series B round of fundingled by General Catalyst Partners and Thrive Capital, bringing its total amount of venture capital raised to $54 million since its launch in 2013.
5. Kim Posnett
Cohead of internet investment-banking team, Goldman Sachs
At the beginning of this year, Goldman Sachs named Kim Posnett cohead of its internet investment-banking team. The move makes sense for Posnett, who worked on the sale of Sapient to Publicis in 2014, the eBay-PayPal spin-off, the Zulily IPO in 2013, the Etsy IPO in 2015, the Wayfair IPO in 2014, the Honest Company’s 2014 fundraise, and the Oscar and Jet fundraises in 2015.
4. Arianna Huffington
- Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Cofounder and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
After AOL was acquired by Verizon in May for $4.4 billion, rumors circulated that Verizon would spin off The Huffington Post – rumors that were quickly quashed by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Since then, editor-in-chief and cofounder Arianna Huffington has gone full speed ahead by hiring Jared Grusd, the new CEO as of August, to maintain content for more than 200 million unique visitors, making it larger than BuzzFeed. Huffington announced in June that she plans to stay on for at least another four years.
3. Ginni Rometty
After a rocky 2014, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty came up with plan to get IBM on track after abandoning Roadmap 2015, a plan formed by her predecessor in which the company was supposed to hit specific revenue targets each year.
In October 2014, Rometty told investors it would not achieve its years-long promise to hit $20 earnings per share by 2015, and early this year revealed her roadmap: a plan to spend $4 billion to grow $40 billion in revenue in strategic areas like cloud computing, mobile, and big data, by 2018. If all goes according to Rometty’s plan, this will nearly double what IBM is making on these areas now.
2. Lesley Eccles
Cofounder and EVP Marketing, FanDuel
Fantasy-sports websiteFanDuelhad a huge year; the startup raised a massive$275 million series E roundin July from investors like KKR, Comcast Ventures, Google Capital, NBC Sports Ventures, and Time Warner Investments. The new funding valued Fanduel at $1.3 billion and pushing it into a growing group of startups with $1 billion valuations known colloquially as the “unicorn club.” As cofounder and executive marketing director, Eccles is responsible for all customer acquisition, including all TV and online media.
FanDuel, which competes with DraftKings, made its first two acquisitions this summer too. In July, Fanduel acquired Scottish app-development companyKotikan, and in August it acquired sports-analytics platformnumberFire.
This year hasn’t been drama-free for FanDuel, however.
The product has been marketed so much this football season however, that some of the promotions have begun to get mocked. According to iSpot.tv, FanDuel and its rival DraftKings poured a combined $107 million into TV advertising during the month of September.
Also, both companies came under controversy when a class action lawsuit accused employees of using ‘insider information” to place sports bets. FanDuel had to issue a statement, in which it banned its employees from playing daily fantasy sports games for money on any website.
1. Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice
- Courtesy of SoulCycle
Cofounders and co-chief creative officers, SoulCycle
It’s official: SoulCycle is going public. The boutique indoor-cycling companyfiled for an IPOover the summer. According to the company’sfiling, SoulCycle earned $112 million in revenue last year, and tripled in size from 12 studios in 2012 to 36 in 2014, Business Insider reported in July.
SoulCycle’s success comes as no surprise to the thousands of loyal riders who turn out in droves for the company’s fast-paced classes andcult-like fitness community. SoulCycle’s also received itsfair share of criticism, but there’s nodenying the crazeit ignited.